“Terminator: Dark Fate” Hits the Spot

The debut of the newest Terminator was a box office and personal success. The high-tech graphics, star-studded cast, and legacy carried on in the film itself blend to create a fun and thrilling installment to the canon franchise.


Grinning in front of a large Terminator poster, Managing Editor Elyse Sommer grins after watching the new Terminator: Dark Fate movie on November 3, the day after the newest terminator film’s debut. The film, featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton, is a textbook box office flop, grossing $123 million in its budget of $185-$195 million, even if viewers like Sommer enjoyed the movie for all the gory, gruesome ways it is exactly like its predecessors. Photo courtesy of Dan Sommer.

Elyse Sommer, Managing Editor

The glowing red eyes of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s, and now Gabriel Luna’s, Terminator character peer out from one of the series’ many promotional posters. Schwarzenegger and Luna both turn up in Terminator: Dark Fate, the newest installment in the now-6 film long franchise, alongside Linda Hamilton, Mackenzie Davis, and Natalia Reyes. The film debuted on Friday, Nov. 9, and has already grossed over $2.4 million dollars at the box office since its release. Photo courtesy of Javier Domínguez Ferreiro (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

 Bum bum bum buh-bum.  

You can’t hear it as well in writing, but in the theaters, the rattling drum sends the vibrating beat through every viewer’s core, a loud recognizable call to one of America’s most popular franchises.  Carried through the 80s and even now still producing movies, the Terminator movie series is obviously a crowd favorite, evidenced by the first Terminator’s success at the box office in grossing over $500 million worldwide.  The movies have featured a wide range of actors and actresses, from Arnold Schwarzenegger, America’s favorite Austrian heartthrob, Jai Courtney, Australian (not to be confused with Austrian) heartthrob, and Emilia Clarke, British heartthrob who also starred in Game of Thrones (obviously a fan of end of world dramas, even though SkyNet doesn’t ever make dragons, sadly). Lots of heartthrobs, jeez.  


The new Terminator movie, Terminator: Dark Fate, was just as bold and as thrilling as the previous five installments of the series, resplendent with action-packed fight scenes featuring a villain and a hero, both not completely human, and a likable badass main female lead.  Good ole Arnie Schwarzenegger shows up inevitably, but not as the loveable father figure to young John Connor shown in the first Terminator movie, but as yet another Terminator sent to destroy Connor. Who would’ve expected Sarah Connor to still be kicking after the brutal fight her whole life against Terminators? Yet her fight isn’t over in Dark Fate. 


The superhuman female warrior sent to protect who the audience figures is Mother Mary to the rebellion’s figurehead? Amazing. 

The graphics used to illustrate the superhumanly quick and impossibly strong fight scenes between the newest Terminator sent to destroy Dani, the Mother Mary mentioned above? Amazing.  

Old Arnie and Linda Hamilton? A-frickin-amazing.  


Going in fully expecting to be disappointed, I actually found that the movie was really cool! I am not normally a fan of what my family and I call “gore” movies, where the entire plot circles around fight scenes designed to turn your stomach and get you rooting for the one isolated “hero” of the fight, but I found that the fighting scenes in this movie were well balanced and not overwhelming at all, while maintaining a certain level of machismo, I guess, is a word for it.  It might have also been because I was blown away by the physique of 72-year-old Schwarzenegger and 63-year-old Hamilton. Who knew Terminators and Terminator-killers alike aged so well? 


The only thing I would say I was a little mad about was that the director, for some dimwitted reason, decided to give the audience exactly four seconds of the classic Terminator bum-bum, etc, beat before cutting it in favor of some more thrilling chase scenes or dialogue, which I have to admit was well-written, at least in my opinion.  It definitely wasn’t Forrest-Gump level writing, but it was pretty decent for what some would classify a typical “guy” movie, full of fists flying and guns blazing and the young female characters in tank tops with grease tastefully smeared across their faces while taking down the bad guys. I just wish we had more of the classic Terminator flavor!  


The dude who directed it, Tim Miller, also did Deadpool and the type of deadpan comedy that you don’t realize is actually really funny until ten seconds later.  The only thing that Miller missed out on in directing Terminator was throwing Ryan Reynolds, American (guess what) heartthrob, in at some point and the only thing missing from Deadpool was Schwarzenegger’s ginormous arms.  Sorry, Reynolds, but you can’t compete with Mr. Universe, even if he’s way older… 


Overall, I recommend this movie for people who enjoy fight scenes and like the kind of sci-fi, apocalyptic “doomsday” type beat featured in the previous Terminator movies.  Gabriel Luna, the newest Terminator villain sent to kill Dani, is kind of cute, not gonna lie, and so is Dani’s unfortunately short-lived brother, Diego Boneta, a Mexican superstar and, you guessed it, heartthrob.  When Luna adopted a series of different accents as part of his Terminator persona code to fit in better with his surroundings, oh man…


If you’re not a fan of action movies, well, I suggest you get over it, because this series is legendary and I think that everyone should have to sit through the range of Terminator movies, especially this new one where Hollywood stepped up its game with the CG for once.