Terminator: Dark Fate review round-up — Linda Hamilton surprises with her 'amount of power' in a rather 'stale storyline'

FP Staff

Oct 23, 2019 10:57:52 IST

Days after the first reactions of Tim Miller's Terminator: Dark Fate hit social media, the full reviews embargo has also been lifted. Reviews have emerged from critics all over the world, with most praising the performances of both Linda Hamilton and Mackenzie Davis while, some criticising the visual effects and uncalled-for nostalgia trips.

Hamilton and producer James Cameron return to the franchise, with Cameron back for the first time since Terminator 2: Judgment Day in 1991. Apart from Hamilton and Davis, the film also stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Edward Furlong, Natalia Reyes, Diego Boneta, and Gabriel Luna.

 Terminator: Dark Fate review round-up — Linda Hamilton surprises with her amount of power in a rather stale storyline

Linda Hamilton in a still from Terminator: Dark Fate. YouTube

Read what critics has to say about Terminator: Dark Fate

The Hollywood Reporter's John DeFore says the film fails to "blow minds and up the ante the way that FX-pioneering adventure did." Despite having "excellent CGI" and being action-packed, DeFore found Dark Fate to have "less humor than the last one" and leaves the audience "distracted from the staleness of this storyline by sequences that strain awfully hard to dazzle." However, DeFore described Davis as "the film's best new addition" yet, and describes Gabriel Luna as a "more than capable heir to Robert Patrick's T-1000."

Owen Gleiberman of Variety writes, “Terminator: Dark Fate is a movie designed to impress you with its scale and visual effects, but it’s also a film that returns, in good and gratifying ways, to the smartly packaged low-down genre-thriller classicism that gave the original Terminator its kick. The new movie earns its lavish action (and its emotions, too), because no matter how violently baroque its end-of-days vision, its storytelling remains tethered to the earth."

Empire’s Helen O’Hara, argues Dark Fate is "easily the third-best Terminator film", but counters it “occasionally leans too heavily on the homage but mostly, remarkably, feels like a worthy descendant rather than a cheap cash-in. Sarah must challenge her presumptions, Grace must learn a sort of peace after a lifetime of war, and Dani finds a faith that will serve her well in the years to come. For the first time in a long time, we can look to the future of Terminator with hope.”

Vanity Fair critic Richard Lawson, calls it a 'bitterly pessimistic film', and writes, “What I found uniquely depressing about Dark Fate, though, is how resigned it is to the reality of its title. How it organizes itself as a paean to tireless scramble and triage, to the fight not for something better but for less of something worse. It’s a bitterly pessimistic film,” he writes. “It’s not that I want a new Terminator movie to be hopeful, exactly. It’s just that maybe we don’t need a new Terminator movie right now. The franchise’s ritualistic reminding that we’re going to do ourselves in seems gratuitous at this point, Debbie Downer talking in apocalyptic terms at a time when we’re made plenty aware of the dire stakes every time we look at our phones. The problem, really, is that nothing about Dark Fate feels novel.”

Matt Singer of ScreenCrush says, “Schwarzenegger is always memorable in these Terminator movies, and his new cyborg adds some entertaining new twists to his typical deadpan schtick. It’s clear from the beginning, though, that Dark Fate belongs to his female co-stars, particularly Davis and Hamilton, each kicking an impressive amount of robotic ass while bringing significantly more passion and intensity than one might expect from the fifth sequel in a long-running franchise with a so-so-reputation. Hamilton, who’s been out of the spotlight for most of this decade, is going to surprise people with the amount of power and melancholy she delivers. This is not a cash-in gig for her.”

The upcoming film, which is a sequel to 1991 film Terminator 2: Judgement Day, will release in English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Malayalam on 1 November.

Updated Date: Oct 23, 2019 10:57:52 IST