Terminator: Dark Fate is the latest installment in the long-running Terminator franchise, and although it's tough to top the first two, Dark Fate does come pretty close to being one of the greatest installments too. Without spoiling too much too soon — don't worry, we'll spoil the hell out of some of the biggest and best twists in the movie later on in the article if that's what you're after — Dark Fate manages to be a direct sequel to Terminator 2: Judgment Day and softly reboots the entire franchise all in one go.
And as anyone who has seen a Terminator film might expect, this movie is basically a nonstop sensory assault of badass moments. It's honestly tough to think of a moment in the movie that isn't badass. However, some awesome moments stand up head and shoulders above the rest, so here are the 10 most badass moments in Terminator: Dark Fate.
10 Ring The Alarm
In a uniquely contemporary plot point, Sarah, Grace, and Dani find themselves in need of a way to get over the border from Mexico to the US illegally. As a result of this move — and being spotted by the Rev-9 Terminator that's hunting them — they wind up in an ICE detention center. Once the Terminator tracks them all down, Grace pulls the fire alarm to get everyone out of the building and hopefully avoid being spotted by their pursuer. They inevitably fail, but the Terminator has to fight his way through a veritable swarm of Border Patrol agents in his pursuit of the trio.
9 Daddy Issues
Given the history of Terminator, maybe it should have been obvious that something shady was going on when Dani's father showed up at her workplace looking for her, especially since he had just come face to face with and had clearly been weirded out by a Terminator.
But it initially seemed like he was maybe coming to warn her about some strange man calling himself her friend, when he clearly wasn't, as he called her Daniella and anyone who knows her calls her Dani) who was looking for her, that is until he actually spotted Dani and transformed into the terminator who had just been talking with her real father.
8 A Problem With Authority
So as anyone who has seen the Terminator films before knows, only living things can be transported through time, so the only things that come through are the naked forms of a human being or a terminator. So when Grace initially shows up, it's unclear which kind of being she is, that is of course until she comes face to face with some other people, including the Mexican police. Initially she's very out of it, but she comes to as she's being dragged towards a police car, and she promptly pummels the crap out of the entire police force in a way that only something mechanical can.
7 Fast And Furious
Thankfully, when it looks like Dani is about to be blown away by the Terminator masquerading as her dad, Grace shows up just in time to hold off the Terminator and whisk Dani away to relative safety. Except after a massive knock-down-drag-out fight, the Terminator is only waylaid for a moment or two. He begins chasing them down the highway in a massive, destructive industrial truck. And the Rev-9 might have the vehicular muscle, but Grace has the driving skills, leading the Terminator on a wild goose chase that is straight out of one of the Fast & Furious films.
6 In The Nick Of Time
From the beginning of the film it's clear that Dani and Grace are going to be the major focal point of the story, but we all knew and were waiting with bated breath for Sarah Connor to show up. Her introduction to this story line needed to be really badass, and it absolutely was.
Sarah shows up towards the tail end of the whole car chase/fight, and although the audience was reeling with shock that this partially structured, partially liquid Terminator could essentially take on two forms at once, Sarah is utterly nonplussed, blowing both of them away as soon as she rolls up on the scene.
5 Emergency Exits
The budget for this installment in the Terminator franchise must have been insane, and clearly the filmmakers wanted to use up every penny of it. That is presumably why the film included scenes like this particular one, where Grace, Dani, Sarah, and a T-800 commandeer a military plane to escape the Terminator. Their escape plan fails, and the Terminator crashes his plane into theirs, and thus crazy machine fighting ensues. Then Dani and Sarah, obviously the most breakable members of the anti-machine squad, escape their crashing, burning plane by hopping into a hummer in the cargo hold that has been outfitted with parachutes and exiting the aircraft at 20,000 feet.
4 Under The Sea
When a movie features multiple characters that aren't bound by the strictures of human existence, it really opens up the options for what can be done, and that is especially true when it comes to action scenes. Terminator: Dark Fate obviously has a lot of characters that are of the mechanical variety, so once they've been thrown out of a flaming plane and come in hot into a river dam, the fight still isn't over. It's tough to film anything underwater, and it's even tougher to film an actual action sequence in the water, but Terminator: Dark Fate skillfully does both.
3 A Shocking Start
Now this is a super huge major spoiler for Terminator: Dark Fate and the entire Terminator franchise, so if anyone doesn't want to know, be warned. The very beginning of the movie starts off with Linda Hamilton's Sarah Connor just as we saw her last, shortly after the events of T2 with her young son, John.
Moments after we see them again, John is shot and killed by a T-800. It's an absolutely heartbreaking moment, but it is one hell of a way to start off a new Terminator movie and a bold move given that Dark Fate is meant to be the most relatively "canonical" film after the first two.
2 Grace Under Fire
Again, big spoilers, so be warned. Grace is a human being and a fighter in the resistance against the machines, but she has undergone some serious mechanical upgrades that allow her to square off against a Terminator and actually hold her own. But the only reliable way of destroying the Terminator for good is an electromagnetic pulse, and the gang is fresh out of those. So when it looks like Dani might actually be killed, Grace explains that her power source has enough electromagnetic juice to fry the Rev-9, but it needs to be cut out of her chest to use it, which will kill her. Soldiers know they might die in war, but that is one brave sacrifice.
When we all meet Dani Ramos at the beginning of Terminator: Dark Fate she seems to be an entirely normal girl who is caught up in a life-or-death situation that she doesn't understand. Although she is apparently supposed to be the messiah in the robot apocalypse, she's essentially helpless. But Dark Fate takes things full circle with this kind of reinvented version of Sarah Connor, and Dani manages to sacrifice someone that she truly cares for in order to ensure the Terminator will die and she will go on to fulfill her apparent destiny. And that victory has the same impact today that it did 35 years ago.