Terminator Dark Fate Review (no spoilers)


log in or register to remove this ad

I think that's a terrible shame. This one is way better than the last three. If they'd just made this one, and not them, the Terminator franchise would be just fine. As it is it's gonna die because the las three are stopping people from seeing this one.

It probably isn't fair on my part. But I also don't go to the movies very often and choose which ones I see in the theater carefully. With Terminator, definitely the last two being bad color my impression (honestly I kind of enjoyed part three, even though it was way below the quality of the first two). But also some of the plot details I am hearing about are a turn off for me as well. Spoiler warning I am going to discuss a major plot detail that is meant as a surprise in the following paragraph.


The whole killing John Connor thing, just removes a major reason why I would want to see the 'real sequel' with James Cameron behind it. I would be interested in following the story of that character and Sarah Connor. I am not interested in getting to know two new characters as the protagonists. That said, maybe I see it on DVD and these characters are compelling enough that they win me over (that happens enough). Its just that plot detail is enough to not have me rushing to the theater to see it. What I was really hoping for was that they would do something that feels like a real continuation of the first two, or a redu of III. But this sounds to me more like a reboot approach (maybe a soft reboot but still kind of reboot). But then I am in my forties and so my taste is probably not the same as someone in their 20s. To me, killing Connor like that in the first beat is gimmicky, it undercuts the second film, and it takes away an important character that I had an interest in following. I could be wrong. It might be a necessary ingredient for something else they are trying to achieve. I'd also be on board for something totally new with Cameron in the helm, directing something he really wanted to do (like he did with the first terminator). But this doesn't feel like that to me from the promotions, ads and reviews I've seen. Again I could be wrong. Usually when I get this kind of impression of a movie, I wait six months to see it because I find that gives me the distance from the mood around it on the internet (both positive and negative) to appreciate it more objectively. For example I wasn't enthused by what I'd heard about Last Jedi, but after all the online discussion had died down and I wasn't being influenced by outside opinions, I sat down to watch it six months later and rather enjoyed it. I am hoping I have a similar experience with the new Terminator.
 

I enjoyed it a lot and is so far the best attempt at succeeding T1 and T2. It's a shame it is becoming a flop, really.

I think the only part I didn't like was one battle that was a bit over the top modern hollywood superhero action cliché that I just can't quite buy or relate to anymore.
I probably wouldn't have gone this particularly direction story-wise, but... no one is paying me any bucks to make movies, so what do I really know?
 

Well, that was...... Unimpressive.

I just wasted $6 on PPV, I agree. I can only wait for "Indiana Jones: Dark Fate" which Im sure it will be now that Spielberg is not directing it. Im sure Harrison Ford going to ang around so long before he jumps ship too. And whatever happened to King Conan? Last I checked its in development hell with Indy 5 and Fletch Won.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I just wasted $6 on PPV, I agree. I can only wait for "Indiana Jones: Dark Fate" which Im sure it will be now that Spielberg is not directing it. Im sure Harrison Ford going to ang around so long before he jumps ship too. And whatever happened to King Conan? Last I checked its in development hell with Indy 5 and Fletch Won.

Better than the last one though.
 

Better than the last one though.

I'll give you that. I rented that one too, I didnt watch the whole thing so I dont remember much.

This one though the thing that really distracts me is the fight scenes. I don't know if its how they film things these days, the FX or CGI but everything look so fake. I watch the original not that long ago and even though the FX were dated they still looked better to me.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I'll give you that. I rented that one too, I didnt watch the whole thing so I dont remember much.

This one though the thing that really distracts me is the fight scenes. I don't know if its how they film things these days, the FX or CGI but everything look so fake. I watch the original not that long ago and even though the FX were dated they still looked better to me.

Excessive use of CGI. In fight scenes things tend to look a bit weightless.

T1 and T2 used a lot of practical effects and T3 was often subtle with the CGI.

I liked Salvation a bit better in the rewatch. It's the only one of the sequels that tried something different.

The TV show also holds up well. Almost looked better as well lol.
 

Excessive use of CGI. In fight scenes things tend to look a bit weightless.

That's a good way to put it. That and I think the TVs and projectors are getting to the point where there almost too good. I was watching a football game or a hockey game at my friends house awhile back and it looked weird to the point it was hard to follow. Kind of wish Id have kept my state of the art 2005 CRT Sony WEGA.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
That's a good way to put it. That and I think the TVs and projectors are getting to the point where there almost too good. I was watching a football game or a hockey game at my friends house awhile back and it looked weird to the point it was hard to follow. Kind of wish Id have kept my state of the art 2005 CRT Sony WEGA.

I think you start getting that uncanny valley effect as well. Something just doesn't look right.

I kind of wish I kept a CRT TV as I have old light guns for Nintendo/Sega and they don't work on modern TVs.

The T-1000 actor in T2 took some bumps and Arnie let him rough him up a bit to make it look good.

 

I think you start getting that uncanny valley effect as well. Something just doesn't look right.

Yep. My brain kind of tweaks out after a few minutes. In another thread we were talking about Dyson Logos' maps and after thinking about it with most of them being b&w it brings the crossed hatched negative space to forefront for me and draws my attention away from the important stuff. I'm not knocking the guy I just finally realised why I dont care for his maps as much as others.

I watched Antman & Wasp recently and thought the FX were pretty decent.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Yep. My brain kind of tweaks out after a few minutes. In another thread we were talking about Dyson Logos' maps and after thinking about it with most of them being b&w it brings the crossed hatched negative space to forefront for me and draws my attention away from the important stuff. I'm not knocking the guy I just finally realised why I dont care for his maps as much as others.

I watched Antman & Wasp recently and thought the FX were pretty decent.

Haven't seen that one. Watched most of the MCU a few months ago.

I think movies are over using CGI. It's blowing the budget out and is often not needed. Some movie spent 5k on cgi dog poop.

Disney is getting very good with CGI though.
 

Disney is getting very good with CGI though.

Yes they are. And yes many movies are wasting money on crap CGI. I dont remember seeing Jurassic Park since it was in the theater in 93-94. That was the first movie I remember seeing CGI in. I dont know if it was the beer ball we drank before we went or not but man they looked good.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Yes they are. And yes many movies are wasting money on crap CGI. I dont remember seeing Jurassic Park since it was in the theater in 93-94. That was the first movie I remember seeing CGI in. I dont know if it was the beer ball we drank before we went or not but man they looked good.

It looked great at the time. Still look ok now.
T2 looks more out of date with the hairstyles than most if the special effects. Except the fake Arnie they shot up. I think they only used 5 minutes of CGI though.
 

MarkB

Legend
Yes they are. And yes many movies are wasting money on crap CGI. I dont remember seeing Jurassic Park since it was in the theater in 93-94. That was the first movie I remember seeing CGI in. I dont know if it was the beer ball we drank before we went or not but man they looked good.
It's a matter of taking the time and effort to match the CGI action with the real-life footage. In Jurassic Park, they paid special attention to adding artificial film grain to the CGI shots, individually matched to the grain in the footage those shots were being integrated into. They also softened the focus of CGI shots to match the depth of field in the corresponding footage.

Pretty standard stuff in any decent quality production these days, but there's a difference between doing the bare minimum routine adjustments and actually thinking about the effects from a cinematographic perspective.
 

Beleriphon

Totally Awesome Pirate Brain
It looked great at the time. Still look ok now.
T2 looks more out of date with the hairstyles than most if the special effects. Except the fake Arnie they shot up. I think they only used 5 minutes of CGI though.

The biggest usage in T2 is Robert Patrick flowing through the bars at the psych ward and similar effects, the floor match for example.
 


You can tell that the CGI shots for both Jurassic Park and T2 were carefully planned out to make them look as convincing as possible. There's been a lot of movies since where the director didn't really plan anything out. Chronicles of Narnia is a great example of a movie where they just lazily shot an empty field of grass, and told the artists to just fill it with CGI creatures. Oh, and throw some random mermaids in the foreground of this shot while you're at it.

Both Spielberg and Cameron were very careful how long they showed a CGI shot, and how close they could put the camera to it. Marvel is aware of that too, which is why they had a different model of Thanos for his closeups. But many movies don't care about any of that.

One of my favorite scenes that involves a great mix of CGI and practical effects, is this scene from The Lost World.


Notice how much effort was put into this scene. They have a moving camera to help sell the integration of the CGI into the shot, which was difficult to do at the time. They shift focus multiple times, and physical objects react to the actions of the raptors. And they also make sure the timing and the eyelines of the actors match with where the raptors are at the time, during a longtake! The camera follows the action of both the actors and the raptors, as if they are both present in the scene. This had to be carefully choreographed, because some of the shots are so long and every interaction that the raptors have with the environment has to be timed at just the right moment.
 
Last edited:

Cyan Wisp

Explorer
T1 is my fav, mainly because of Reese and the love story with Sarah. T2 was amazing and still holds up. I love the calm, slow relentlessness of the T-1000. Hard to top. Both are burned into my psyche. My mum's fridge makes a three note jingle when you open it... I think of that beautifully desolate Terminator theme every time.

DF? I can barely remember it. It was forgettable (to me) and didn't really cover any new ground apart from having a (let's face it, largely unconscious) augmented human. High hopes but didn't hit the spot for me like the first 2. That rev9 guy seems to spend all of his time running sideways which got annoying quickly. :cautious:
 

T1 is my fav, mainly because of Reese and the love story with Sarah. T2 was amazing and still holds up. I love the calm, slow relentlessness of the T-1000. Hard to top. Both are burned into my psyche. My mum's fridge makes a three note jingle when you open it... I think of that beautifully desolate Terminator theme every time.

DF? I can barely remember it. It was forgettable (to me) and didn't really cover any new ground apart from having a (let's face it, largely unconscious) augmented human. High hopes but didn't hit the spot for me like the first 2. That rev9 guy seems to spend all of his time running sideways which got annoying quickly. :cautious:

Terminator was a true classic, a great film done on a shoestring budget. At heart it was a monster movie, but instead of some undead abomination or mysterious "slasher", it was a cyborg. . .and instead of a sleepy small town or a summer camp, it was Los Angeles.

Terminator 2 was the best action film of its time, and there's a reason it's fondly remembered almost 30 years later. It was outrageously expensive, but worth every penny, and was famously groundbreaking in special effects.

There's a reason that all the various Terminator sequels and spin-offs agree on the first two films being canonical.

Terminator 3 started to drop into self parody. The shot of Arnie putting on the silly stripper sunglasses briefly after getting his clothes made it clear they KNEW they were starting to dip into self parody. They were trying to make ever-more challenging Terminators for him to fight, so they had the now absurdly powerful T-X. Despite Reese's dialogue in the first film making it clear that Skynet had lost the war and that the Terminator time travel gambit was Skynet's last chance to win the war, Terminator 3 made it seem a lot more like they just kept sending people back in time over and over again.

To me, the best part of Terminator 3 was the "world building" of finding out that John Connor was "supposed" to get in touch with the military because his girlfriend/fiancee/wife's father is a USAF Lieutenant General and that's the connection he makes that has him become a leader in the resistance after the war. The film was worth it for the scenes of Skynet activating, and Connor taking command at Crystal Peak as the whole world is wondering what's going on and why they're seeing missile launches going off.

Terminator: Salvation was part of that 2000's film trend of making everything as dark and grim as possible. Grimdark Terminator without time travel. The heart transplant ending was a last-minute plot change after test audiences absolutely HATED the original ending of Connor dying in that last attack, so that was a quick re-shoot change to let Connor live but not change a lot of scenes so the film could still come out on time.

The best part of that was the scenes with seeing the resistance actually fighting, like seeing them attacking Skynet bases.

Geneysis and Dark Fate were both forgettable sensory-overload explosion-fests that seemed to be trying HARD to cash in on the Terminator name, but that's it. Killing off John Connor in BOTH films was a huge mistake.

Dark Fate's outright flop may well have finally killed the series, but it hadn't been the same since Terminator 2 and had been slowly going downhill.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Terminator was a true classic, a great film done on a shoestring budget. At heart it was a monster movie, but instead of some undead abomination or mysterious "slasher", it was a cyborg. . .and instead of a sleepy small town or a summer camp, it was Los Angeles.

Terminator 2 was the best action film of its time, and there's a reason it's fondly remembered almost 30 years later. It was outrageously expensive, but worth every penny, and was famously groundbreaking in special effects.

There's a reason that all the various Terminator sequels and spin-offs agree on the first two films being canonical.

Terminator 3 started to drop into self parody. The shot of Arnie putting on the silly stripper sunglasses briefly after getting his clothes made it clear they KNEW they were starting to dip into self parody. They were trying to make ever-more challenging Terminators for him to fight, so they had the now absurdly powerful T-X. Despite Reese's dialogue in the first film making it clear that Skynet had lost the war and that the Terminator time travel gambit was Skynet's last chance to win the war, Terminator 3 made it seem a lot more like they just kept sending people back in time over and over again.

To me, the best part of Terminator 3 was the "world building" of finding out that John Connor was "supposed" to get in touch with the military because his girlfriend/fiancee/wife's father is a USAF Lieutenant General and that's the connection he makes that has him become a leader in the resistance after the war. The film was worth it for the scenes of Skynet activating, and Connor taking command at Crystal Peak as the whole world is wondering what's going on and why they're seeing missile launches going off.

Terminator: Salvation was part of that 2000's film trend of making everything as dark and grim as possible. Grimdark Terminator without time travel. The heart transplant ending was a last-minute plot change after test audiences absolutely HATED the original ending of Connor dying in that last attack, so that was a quick re-shoot change to let Connor live but not change a lot of scenes so the film could still come out on time.

The best part of that was the scenes with seeing the resistance actually fighting, like seeing them attacking Skynet bases.

Geneysis and Dark Fate were both forgettable sensory-overload explosion-fests that seemed to be trying HARD to cash in on the Terminator name, but that's it. Killing off John Connor in BOTH films was a huge mistake.

Dark Fate's outright flop may well have finally killed the series, but it hadn't been the same since Terminator 2 and had been slowly going downhill.

Did you watch the TV show?

A big problem the have had is they keep doing over the top Terminators even though as you said T1 and T2 were supposed to be Skynets last gasp.
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top