Terminator is an unkillable franchise. No matter how bad the movies get—and they have gotten VERY bad—every few years a new one is announced. And not reboots! They keep trying to build off the same lore and continue the original story, but much like Star Wars, it turns out Terminator is pretty simple and expansion packs complicate the narrative unnecessarily. Time travel gives Terminator a sheen of complication that the story doesn’t actually support. It’s just a chase—cat and mouse. That’s all it is. The first two movies know this, and they are great. Every movie after tries to turn it into some kind of time-hopping 4D chess match with the future and they all suck. So where will the new movie, Terminator: Dark Fate fall? Going by the first trailer, somewhere in the middle. It looks better than Ts 3-5, but not as good as Terminator or T2.
James Cameron returns to the franchise as a producer, working on Terminator for the first time since T2. This has fans very excited, although I am not sure why anyone trusts him after he gushed about Terminator: Genisys. This has turned into a real Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas scenario, as everyone talks about Dark Fate—these titles are SO STUPID, the T-Number naming convention was great and they should have stuck to that—like Cameron made it, but it is actually directed by Deadpool’s Tim Miller. I am more excited about the return of Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor. The trailer picks up some momentum when she shows up, and I love that “are you sh-tting me?” look she gives Mackenzie Davis when asked who she is. Linda Hamilton should work constantly in all the best things (like she did in Chuck). Although I did just learn that Linda Hamilton is in a TV movie called Bermuda Tentacle, in which the Navy attempts to rescue the president from a sea monster after Air Force One crashes in the Bermuda Triangle. Yes, I just took a ninety-minute break to watch it, and no, I have no regrets.
The best part of Dark Fate, so far, is Linda Hamilton, and the second-best part is the impromptu AMA Arnold Schwarzenegger did on Reddit after the trailer dropped. First, he name-checked Linda Hamilton when some diaper baby complained about female-led reboots (the original comment has been deleted, but you can still see Arnold’s drop-kick of a response). Then, he related a scene he wanted to do in Commando in which John Matrix would beat a guy to death with his own severed arm. I am now very sad that scene is not in Commando. I hope it shows up in Terminator: Dark Fate. I guarantee I will love this movie if Old Terminator tears a guy’s arm off and beats him to death with it.