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Laramie Movie Scope: Terminator: Dark Fate

More time travel paradoxes, spinoffs

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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November 7, 2019 – This latest Terminator movie is a kind of reboot that builds on storylines developed in “Terminator 2: Judgement Day” and later films in the series. The series is built on the ideas that time travel into the past is possible and that actions in the past can change future events. In the current film, we see the return of Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton reprising her role from the first two Terminator films) interacting with a Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger reprising his role from earlier Terminator movies) she has good reason to hate.

In this alternate timeline, Skynet, artificial intelligence system that destroyed most of the human race in the early Terminator storylines, never existed. That future, called “Judgement Day” was prevented from happening by Connor and others. Nevertheless, another artificial intelligence system called “Legion” arises, and a similar fate befalls mankind in the future.

As in earlier films, a heroic leader arises from the radioactive ashes of civilization to vanquish Legion. As a last resort, Legion builds a time machine to send an assassin into the past to destroy the human leader before she can threaten Legion. Also, as before, the humans send a time-traveling protector into the past to protect the future leader from the time-traveling assassin. If this sounds overly complicated, this is just a simplified explanation of a portion of the plot.

The assassin in this movie is a lot more dangerous than the simple cyborg in the first movie. In his human form, the assassin is played by Gabriel Luna (of the “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” TV series). He can pass for human, but has a metal skeleton which can be detached from his liquid metal body to act on its own. This assassin is very powerful and almost indestructible.

The protector from the future, Grace (played by Mackenzie Davis of “Blade Runner 2049”) is a cybernetically enhanced human capable of great feats of speed, strength and computer-enhanced skills. She is sent to protect a Mexican woman, Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes of “Running With the Devil) from being assassinated. Grace and Dani receive unexpected help from Sarah Connor, who has years of experience killing terminators.

Sarah explains that she gets cryptic messages from an unknown source which lets her know where to find Terminators when they first appear from the future. The source of those messages is a key element of this story. This involves a time travel paradox.

Eventually Linda, Grace and Dani all team up with an older Terminator (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger) in a battle for survival against the very powerful assassin from the future. There is plenty of action in this movie, of course. The plot is complicated, but it works, if you don't think about it too much. The acting is solid, and the special effects are high quality.

This is an effective action movie, if you have seen at least some of the previous five Terminator films. I don't know what you'd get out of it if you haven't seen some of the other films in this series. I, of course, have seen all the films in the series, as well as most of the episodes of the 2008 TV series “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.” This is one of the better Terminator movies. It rates a B.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2019 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at dalek three zero one nine at gmail dot com [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]