Is This a Dark Fate For The Series?

Terminator: Dark Fate Poster

 

The Terminator timeline is like a game of connect the dots that suddenly gets more dots and has to be redrawn.  No matter how many times we think the story is over, the team’s quest for more bucks finds ways to try and give “unique” stories, but still keep it in the universe.  After the reception of the last film, I can’t lie that I’m surprised a sixth installment is coming.  Yet here we are, ready to review the latest entry into the Sci-Fi franchise.  What’s ins tore?  Well Robbie K is here to shed some light and potentially alter your future.  Let’s get started!

 

Movie: Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)

 

Director:

Tim Miller

Writers:

James Cameron (story by), Charles H. Eglee (story by)

Stars:

Linda HamiltonArnold SchwarzeneggerMackenzie Davis

 

 

Likes:

  • Good Acting
  • Funny At Times
  • Better Character Development
  • Surprisingly Deeper
  • The Graphics At Time
  • The Pace
  • The Action

 

DISLIKES:

  • The Predictability
  • The Unnecessary Politics
  • The Computer Graphics
  • Bloated At Points
  • More Action Needed
  • Convoluting The Timeline Even Further

 

SUMMARY

 

A Terminator movie has never been known for Academy Award winning performances, but this reviewer will not lie that he enjoyed the acting.  The classic champions of the franchise succeed in reliving their characters, bringing a new light to the simplistic roles, but yet being familiar.  Meanwhile newcomers like Davis and Reyes succeed in fitting into the new roles that the franchise wants them to take.  It’s not the most complicated of the roles, but the it works for the premise of the film.  The writing stems from those characters being the simple cat and mouse game with a little gun play involved, but in this installment the comedy seems to be there once more to offset the darker tones, with simple jokes integrated into natural conversation that make fans like me laugh.  All of this boils down to more dynamic characters, where people are much more than simple fodder for the terminators, but instead starting to show more heart and wisdom then what I think I have seen in any film.  This opens up into a surprisingly deeper film, finally achieving characters that we want to see, instead of the generic one-dimensional shells that are no better than the robots they are fighting, which is something I enjoyed.  Yet, this does not mean the Terminators have deviated too much from their normal delivery of the Terminator films.  The computer graphics have continued to improve, helping beef up action sequences, and help design one of the deadliest series to date.  These qualities are the thumbs up of computer technology in this film and things I absolutely love to see.  When it comes to the pace of the film, Dark Fates keeps things moving, refusing to linger too long as they chase/hunt continues and the defense plans need to evolve.  For guys like me, this pace is welcomed, because it keeps things exciting, but yet does not move so fast that the character development is rushed.  The heavy dialogue moments are then interrupted by some decent action sequences, with the first and last moments holding the planning and execution of scenes I like.  Fights are vicious, fun, exciting, and have the darkness to allow for some seriously awesome moves and struggles that are fitting of this series.

 

Sadly with all the stuff I enjoyed of the film, there are still some things the series is working to find balance in for me.  First, the predictability of the story is probably one of the most obvious things I’ve seen in a long time.  Attempts to hide the truth are poorly diverted, with too many nonverbal cues and obvious bait liners present to point the trend along the entire time until the “big’ reveal at the end.  Like, many films, Terminator 6 has fallen victim to the political messages of the time, with some lines, and the twist, a little too focused on these issues that did not seem quite a needed in this tale.  All these political entanglements with attempts to throw us off the scent led to the film being a little bloated, the over 2 hours run time that not needed when there were some things that could have been cut.  At this point you might be saying, who cares about the story, I’m in this film for the thrills and chaos.  Well even at this point Terminator’s team still has a few things to tune up.  For one thing, the computer work may have thumbs up in design and sound editing, but they still have not mastered the ability for the smoothest/most realistic looking action.  There are some movements and transitions that still look a little corny to me, and I laughed at the obvious actor placement that they threw into the mix.  In addition, there could have been either a few more action moments or maybe a little more evolved action to again make the entire time investment worth it.  Terminator’s opening moment sets the bar high, and it would have been nice to see the momentum carried on, or at least the finale having even more bite to go hand in hand with the storytelling.  Overall though, this film is all about further convoluting the timeline and potentially opening up for the next chapter that is “different” but yet the same.

 

The VERDICT:

 

            Going into with lower expectations, I’ll admit I enjoyed Dark Fates on a variety of levels.  Old and new cast team up to start the legacy of the film off right, brining character development that is deeper than anticipated and style that is aggressively awesome.  With fast pace and action to keep things moving, alongside some impressive video and sound editing, this film delivers on the special effects boom.  Yet, the film still cannot find the full balance it needs, bringing predictability and politics to what should be a film that is willing to take a step into new realms.  Throw in some work with the special effects and better finesse of the action scenes, this bloated part of the film could have been filed away to make a better film.  Still, worth a trip to the theater for this one, especially for fans of the series. 

 

My scores are: 

 

Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi:  8.0

Movie Overall: 7.0

A Decent Start To A Regenerated Series

genisys

            “I’ll be back!” These words continue to be quoted and memed in just about every aspect of social media. The Terminator franchise has given plenty of memorable moments over the last thirty one years. And like every movie involving time travel, there seems to be no end in sight for ever closing the series down, doing anything possible to get another film out. This holiday weekend, the fifth installment is unleashed, once more to make the universe more complicated than ever. So let’s get to work reviewing Terminator Genisys and see what’s in store.

If there is one thing that we know about Terminator films it is a robot relentlessly pursuing a human. Genisys is no exception, but this time ups the factor by three as numerous machines hunt our protagonists, at least in the beginning. Nostalgia ran high for me as I tried to catch all the references integrated in this new tale with the timeline, or perhaps timelines, set up by the events. Genisys will throw your mind for a whirl in the beginning as a convoluted display of theoretical physics alters the Terminator timeline. Eventually the pieces start falling in to place, a combination of repetitive flashbacks and dialog will help solidify the main points while also annoying getting on your nerves. Though the pace is fast, the movie does have some decent character building moments amidst our cast that again reference a lot of movies. The characters are able to bring humor to the film as well, as well timed jokes provide relief from the explosions and tension of the movie. Yes some of the jokes are beaten to death, but it isn’t too bad.

However, the plot is very predictable, the foreshadowing painting an obvious picture of what is to unfold in the coming hours. I mean how can you not predict what is going to happen when Sarah asks a random, off the side question, despite being in a combat situation. In addition, the movie has lost the originality that the series was famous for, making the film somewhat lackluster on some levels. Sure seeing the previous Terminator models come back was cool, but honestly I’m getting tired of all the time hopping back to the same point. After all… how many times can Skynet attempt to kill Sarah at the same point in time. Even the character development can’t save the movie, because it devolved into petty arguments that diluted the plot and made it stale. How did I continue to get baited into the tale? The writers managed to introduce some “new” components in the story, questions that still remain unanswered by the end of the movie to net you into the coming sequel. Overall the plot is okay, but not the most exciting.

What about the action? Terminator Genisys has a lot of action packed moments in its two hours, filled to the brim with special effects. The directing team did a good job in spanning the war across all fronts. We get a few shots of the post-apocalyptic Earth war, whose futuristic weapons and CGI combatants make you feel like you are in a video game. In the “past” though the action remains okay, the gunplay in particular starting out thrilling as see Sarah and Kyle handle military grade weapons with ease. Hand to hand, the actions wasn’t special, primarily numerous sequences of Arnold and Jason Clarke savagely smashing each other against walls, or a cheap prop. Brute strength is a recurring theme in this movie, and one that needs to be changed in the future. Even the gunplay gets old, as our heroes continue to pump lead into creatures we all know by now don’t fall to conventional warfare.

Special effects wise, it is not that bad, but also not the best thing I have ever seen. The makeup and prosthetics are good for me, as the department has blended metal and flesh together in a manner similar to the first. In the CGI department the animation is fluid and savage, but the looks of the robots begin to lose its realistic edge, sometimes becoming cheesy looking, as things evolve. Lace all of this with enough explosions to give Michael Bay a run for his money, and you have what Genisys’ actions scenes primarily involve. One thing I want to add, is that I felt the movie did a god job integrating the action with the story, and providing relevancy to most of the battles.

Overall Terminator Genisys is a fine restart to the series, and a decent movie overall. While the directors need to work on balance, originality, and spicing up their action scenes, I feel the Terminator series shows some promise down the line. I can say I enjoyed this one better than Salvation, but it still doesn’t rise up to the standards the first two did. This reviewer recommends going to the theater to those who are: big fans of the series, want a decent action film, or are die hard Arnold Schwarzenegger fans. Otherwise catch this film in RedBox later on.

My scores for the movie are:

Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi: 7.5

Movie Overall: 6.5-7.0