When he first utter that now famous line ‘’I’ll be back’’, I doubt that neither the Austrian Oak nor the director James Cameron, could see so far into the future to see the movie he created spawn a half dozen sequels, prequels and pre-sequels. But as technology has made strides into the future, the science of Terminator has become less and less fantasy or fiction. And as the future draws closer every day, it shouldn’t surprise to revisit this franchise and ask if the future can indeed be changed.
22 Years after the events of Judgement Day, a familiar scene unfolds in Mexico City. A naked woman (Mackenzie Davis) appears in a flash of electricity and goes off in search for a young woman, Danielle Ramos (Natalia Reyes). As Dani and her brother go to work, a second sphere emerges and a machine disguised as a man (Gabriel Luna) goes on the hunt for Dani. The woman- Grace- saves Dani before the machine can terminate her, but they are pursued relentlessly. Grace and Dani are cornered on the motorway, when they are saved by the arrival of a heavily armed woman who dispatches the machine swiftly- Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton).
After regrouping, Sarah and Grace compare notes (after some headbutting). Sarah explains how she was targeted for termination by Skynet , but the future Resistance sent a reprogrammed Terminator to protect her and her son John. But while Sarah changed the future, the fate of the human race was largely unchanged. Grace explains that she comes from a future where a new A.I. called Legion wiped out humanity and built killer robots called Rev-9’s to hunt the survivors. Sarah reveals she been receiving advanced information about where and when Terminators would appear so she can destroy them. After a near-miss at a detention centre at the border, the three make it to Texas, where they find the man who had been giving Sarah her information- ‘’Carl’’… the Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger).
‘’Carl’’ explains that after he killed John Connor, his programming was complete and there were no further orders, so for the last 20 years he’s been living as and among humans, learning and evolving. Now understanding what he took from Sarah, Carl seeks to help Grace protect Dani and swears to help them abort the future of Legion.
With Cameron in the executive chair and Hamilton back on screen, Dark Fate appears to be the true sequel to the original movies (although with the time travel plot device one could argue that all the Terminator movies in their respective timelines are canon). Hamilton is back in top form and newcomers Reyes and Davis keep up with the established veterans. Top tier action of course is to be expected, with some suitably impressive special effects. What the future holds for Terminator next, it yet to be seen.
(My only gripe is nobody ever says ‘’Come with me if you want to live’’. That phrase is a constant in Terminator timelines)
(I reckon the Terminator chose his name from a hat-wearing llama who was also a mass murderer).
By Daniel Murphy