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12/12/19

TERMINATOR: DARK FATE (Movie Review)



You probably know that more than 20 years ago, Sarah Conner and her son, John, shut down a futuristic defense computer network called Skynet and saved billions of lives. What you may not know is that John was killed soon after by a T-800 Terminator that had already been sent from that former future and was still set upon its assigned duties.

A mind-twisting paradox? Uh, yeah. But time-traveling Terminators don’t seem to care much about that type of time/space conundrum.

In fact, in the years since, Sarah has continued to receive messages and texts about new robotic threats from the future. Every couple of years, someone sends her the GPS coordinates of where yet another Terminator will be materializing in her timeline. And the stalwart, grizzled and revenge-driven Sarah Conner gears up, ventures out and destroys the thing before it can get onto its mission.

She’s gotten quite good at it. And, oddly, it’s given her a sense of purpose. As she puts it, “I hunt Terminators, and then I drink ’til I black out.”

Where are these things coming from and what do they want? Well, that’s a good question, since Skynet is no more. But Sarah doesn’t take the time to chat with them. And once she’s done hitting those super robots with enough ordinance to obliterate a small city, well, there’s not much evidence to explore.

Recently, though, an unexpected wrinkle popped up in Sarah’s highly regimented kill-and-black-out routine. She got another text, and when she arrived at the given location, she found something out of the ordinary (if you can call the usual murderous robots ordinary, that is).

This time, there was a young woman named Dani in the line of fire. And she was being protected by a super-strong “augmented” human named Grace (obviously, another product from the future). That was new … but familiar feeling, too. And the Terminator was something completely different.

The newest robotic assassin is something called a Rev-9. It has a liquid metal shapeshifting exterior (like Sarah’s been seeing lately), but it’s melded to a super-alloy endoskeleton. And the two parts can separate and operate independently: a nearly indestructible super killer that can split in two at a moment’s notice.

This new threat is going to take a fresh approach. And it appears that Sarah is going to be forced to hear answers to questions that she really hasn’t wanted to ask. Sometimes even a seasoned robo-killer can start feeling a little old for this sort of stuff.

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