Directed by: Tim Miller
Starring: Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mackezie Davis, Gabriel Luna, Natalia Reyes, Diego Boneta
I would like to first confirm my status as someone who is not a Terminator franchise follower so you can take my words with the appropriate grain of salt. I went into this movie without much baggage- I didn't even look up the film's ratings until after I saw it. (Ratings-wise, it appears to be doing much better than its last few predecessors.)
The film centers on Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes) who goes from being a factory worker with her brother (Diego Boneta) to being on the run from a Terminator (Gabriel Luna) bent on killing her before she can become a threat to the machines. Helping to protect her from the Terminator are an augmented human being named Grace (Mackenzie Davis) and Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), two women who don't initially like each other but band together in their common goal of protecting Dani.
Terminator: Dark Fate is a quintessential action movie and action movie lovers will enjoy the prolific fight scenes which were both well-shot and interesting. The movie has a similar plot to the first Terminator movie with a few changes- instead of being hunted for being the mother of a future threat to SkyNet, Dani is hunted for being a threat herself. Also, the protagonist is a Mexican woman and a few of the scenes take place in a border detention facility. Both of these changes reflect the times we live in.
I really liked the Deadpool movies so I was glad to see Tim Miller attached to this project. The actors were great- Natalia Reyes perfectly captured the personal evolution of a woman who was suddenly struck by tragedy and forced to accept both the existence of time-traveling machines and her role in defeating them. Gabriel Luna, no stranger to action roles having played Ghost Rider in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, plays the Terminator role with a malicious determination that is fun to watch. Linda Hamilton plays jaded really well and this is superficial, but both she and Arnold Schwarzenegger are in amazing shape. Seriously, I was was eating junk food while watching this movie and it made me actually go to the gym after. The former Governator resumed his role as the O.G. Terminator, older and wiser with a grizzled beard (can Terminators age? I can't remember if they explained this in the movie.)
If you're looking for a fun action movie, I'd recommend Terminator: Dark Fate. I'd also recommend watching (or re-watching) the first three Terminator movies. (You can probably skip Terminator Salvation and Terminator Genisys.) Fun fact: apparently, the first Terminator traveled back to 1984 from the year 2029. Maybe a dystopian future is just around the corner for us! After all, those iPhones are getting smarter and smarter.