I imagine a bunch of saddo men have moaned about the new Terminator requel (a new word I just made up*, a portmanteau of reboot and sequel) that it’s too political or feminist or whatever. Which is of course ignorant of the fact that the franchise is inherently political — Government contractors messing about with rogue AI? That’s politics, bozos! — and that since the second film, a woman kicking ass as much as if not more than the men has been kind of central to its thing.
No, Terminator: Dark Fate has other, actual issues. Besides an exhilarating first hour (and in fairness, much of the last half hour), it gets bogged down in the most mundane character stuff (“I’m a nobody,” says the McGuffin quite early on and yeah, she’s right) as well as cringingly risible attempts at ‘humour’, and that old albatross named Nostalgia weighs heavily. It doesn’t help, either, that this film’s version of the liquid metal terminator doesn’t have an iota of the malevolent presence of Robert Patrick’s original. No, being a double terminator doesn’t make up for that.
Maybe, just maybe, the people that make these films, even within the confines of a franchise, should have the courage to do their own thing and let bygones be bygones. ★★★
* OK, I’ve googled it since.
Cross-posted from Letterboxd