Ever feel like you’re stuck in a time loop? That’s pretty much where I was at watching this new trailer for Terminator: Dark Fate. It’s certainly better than that first trailer with the gosh darn Bjork cover, but I can’t shake the feeling that even with James Cameron in a producing capacity that this looks just like those crappy Cameron-less sequels. Whatever. I’m still very pro-Mackenzie Davis and pro-Gabriel Luna, even more so after this trailer.
A young woman, played by Natalia Reyes, is being targeted by a new Terminator model (portrayed by Luna, aka Ghost Rider) and finds herself under the protection of Davis’s cyborg character and returning stars Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger as Sarah Connor and a T-800, respectively. Why Arnold’s Terminator ages is totally beyond me, though the same happened in Terminator Genisys, a movie that I stubbornly refuse to see. Whatever the case may be, Sarah Connor isn’t too psyched to work with this T-800, despite making peace with one in Terminator 2: Judgement Day.
The thing that I really admired about the first two films was how it used special effects, digital and practical, to create tense sequences that felt weighty, with the best action taking place in dark, dirty, claustrophobic areas. I get that director Tim Miller (Deadpool) has a background in visual effects, but the CGI looks a bit uninspired—I’m tired of looking at that ridiculous plane collision sequence in these trailers.
I guess I’m just failing to see what the hook of this film is, other than the fact that some of the original stars and Cameron (to a certain capacity) are back. The premise involves having to save someone from a Terminator (like the first two movies), has Arnold as a good Terminator (like 2, 3, and Genisys), specifically an aged one (again, like Genisys), has a “human” protagonist with questionable cybernetics (like Salvation), and has the squad fighting to prevent another catastrophe despite averting Judgement Day (like Rise of the Machines). They also say “I’ll be back” again, even though this franchise ran out of effective uses for its three or so catchphrases long ago.
It seems that James Cameron’s solution to fixing the franchise after his absence is… mixing all of the movies that he wasn’t involved in? There must be more to it that the trailers aren’t telling us, which I’d be fine with—I’d love to be pleasantly surprised by a new Terminator movie in theaters. For one, we still have no clue what makes Reyes’ character special, there could be some more mystery with Davis’s character. Plus, it looks like Luna’s Terminator has a bit more personality, and I hope we’ll see some cooler visuals from his villain. I just hope that the film somehow resists the urge to once again pepper in quotes like “get out” or “Hasta la vista, baby.”
Be sure to catch Arnie and friends (and supposedly Edward Furlong, still unseen in these trailers) when Terminator: Dark Fate releases in theaters on November 1, 2019. Check out the poster below.