Terminator Dark Fate Death of Terminator Franchise:
There was a time when Terminator was supposed to be the king of all action science fiction. The concept of a machine killer looking like a human being sent from the future by a rogue Artificial Intelligence Unit to kill a seemingly normal human being who will one day lead the human resistance to victory in a war against the machines was so thrilling and exciting. But with each subsequent installment to the Terminator franchise, the concept started dying out, little by little. Terminator: Salvation, which was an abysmal failure at the Box Office, was supposed to kick start a new chapter in the movie series, with the focus being shifted to the war that wages in the future, led by John Connor – Saviour of Mankind. Salvation gave birth to another abomination – the awful Terminator: Genisys. When Genisys failed, the franchise looked back to its roots and brought back Cameron along for the ride. And sadly folks now that we have seen Dark Fate in action, it is safe to say that the Terminator formula has finally run its course. The franchise is officially dead.
SPOILER ALERT: Major Spoilers for Terminator: Dark Fate up ahead. Enter at your own risk…
Before we start nit-picking at the flaws and the massive chinks in the armor that is Terminator: Dark Fate, we would like to point out some positives that the new installment has added on to the movie series! First and foremost is the debut of the terrifying and new Terminator model called the Rev-9. The Rev-9 terminator is played by Gabriel Luna, who played Ghost Rider aka Robbie Reyes in the Agents of Shield TV Series. Luna’s amazing screen presence and captivating sinister aura caught the audiences by surprise. He did quite a wonderful job, contrary to what most critics predicted.
The second most exciting thing about Dark Fate is its element of women empowerment. No longer are the women the McGuffins of the movie. They are no longer side characters or supporting elements to the primary plot direction. They are the very drivers of it. This time, the movie has introduced three different female lead characters and all of them have more or less rocked their roles. While they may have dragged the cover of feminism a little too much in the movie’s runtime (more on that in a bit), we are proud to see the Terminator Franchise having the guts to make this happen.
The third most coveted part of Dark Fate is its crazy action scenes. There have been a lot of Terminator movies but the action scenes, barring Terminator 2: Judgment Day, have been pretty sub-par. Since there is a younger female lead that can actually do some stunts rather than the aging Arnold Schwarzenegger, a lot of the action sequences had amazing fight choreography never before seen in Hollywood. Some scenes are so epic that you would like to rewind and watch it again and again.
After rambling on about the positives, it is time to move on to the negatives of the movie. And boy is it going to be a long story. Not even James Cameron, who was the creator of the first-ever Terminator movie and was the one who wrote that storyline of a man-machine war with machines being sent back in time to kill people in the first place, did not rate Terminator: Dark fate high enough. And mind you Cameron was actually involved in Production of Dark Fate. Dark Fate was supposed to be a clean slate for the Terminator Franchise. It was going to start a whole different timeline where another Artificial Intelligence called Legion took over the world, not Skynet. But elements from the old timeline also existed so the premise was exciting enough for the fans. Dark Fate had everything – a solid plot and a good enough setting that could be milked for at least a trilogy. It failed because of one massive flaw.
The biggest weak point of the movie was its EXECUTION.
It was common knowledge before even the movie released that Director Tim Miller and producer James Cameron did not see eye to eye. The Director and the Producer of the movie had massive creative differences that were apparently visible throughout the movie’s production. Tim Miller wanted Dark Fate to follow the same path as the other formulaic Terminator movies – robot travels back in time to kill humans. Cameron wanted that tried and tested formula changed. The latter’s words were not paid heed to by the former and the movie suffered big time.
Dark Fate’s Rev-9 chasing a young, soon to be the savior of Mankind in the past while another guardian angel from the future is trying to save that person, sounded too familiar. The movie was a sight for sore eyes with its gorgeous character depths and plot direction. But in the end, it was repetitive. It was the same storyline churned out from another hole and served for the fans to eat. And the fans were having none of it.
There is one more reason Terminator: Dark Fate failed so miserably. The simple fact is – the excess of everything is bad. We loved the idea of female leads taking center stage in a movie franchise as big as the Terminator. But what we did not like is the way Tim Miller decided to throw subtlety out the window. The feminism tropes were so obvious in the movie it felt like Miller wanted to prove something with Terminator. While his intentions were poor, the movie looked like one hot steaming pile of SJW crap as it neared its end.
We will give you an example from the movie itself. In one scene, Dani Ramos realizes that she is not going to be the mother of the savior of mankind unlike Sarah Connor was for John Connor. It is then we find out that she herself is the future of humanity. But they do not reveal it visually and with minimalistic cues like a good movie does with subtlety. Sarah Connor literally says “She’s John”. As if we had to actually hear someone say it to realize that we were some misogynistic pigs who had to be reminded that women can be protagonists as well. That’s right Tim Miller. We still live in the 20th Century!! Thanks for the heads up!!
There is one more reason that contributed to the movie’s downfall at the Box Office. It was a whole new continuity altogether. In the entire 6 movies that composed the entire franchise, there have been three different ret-cons of the timeline. These ret-cons were essentially attempts at rebooting the movie series. Ardent fans of the franchise were not happy seeing the series get so many face-lifts. The flaw did not just end there. The fact that the first trilogy is still considered to be the best timeline and the last two re-boots have been humongous duds must be taken into account. The Terminator franchise became a victim of its own fame. Its consecutive installments could not live up to its predecessors, always staying within its shadows.
Last but not the least Dark Fate lacked an actual villain. We know that Luna did an amazing job as Rev-9 but he was never the true mastermind behind the screens pulling everyone’s strings. In Dark Fate, it was Legion, the Skynet of a different future. Legion was never shown in depth in the movie. Had we had a visual representation of Legion or at least he was mentioned more within the movie’s context, the audience would have been able to connect with the movie which essentially lacked a true villain in every sense of the word.
Dark Fate, believe it or not, was destined to fail. Arnie had a great run as the unstoppable android killing machine. It is with a heavy heart that we have to bid the one true Terminator goodbye. We just hoped that the franchise could give him a proper farewell.
Do I really look like a guy with a plan? You know what I am? I’m a dog chasing cars. I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I caught it! You know, I just… do things