"The Day After Judgement Day" arrives in the brand-new trailer for Terminator: Dark Fate. After decades of failing to clear the bar for critical and commercial success set by Terminator 2: Judgement Day, the sci-fi franchise is trying a different approach. Dark Fate is a partial reboot that ignores the last three Terminator movies (Rise of the Machines, Salvation, and Genisys) in an effort to wipe the slate clean following Judgement Day. It also brings back the Terminator 1 & 2 team of Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and James Cameron.
Directed by Tim Miller (Deadpool) from a story Cameron cowrote, Dark Fate sees Hamilton return as Sarah Connor opposite Schwarzenegger as an old T-800 who goes by "Carl". Natalia Reyes stars as Dani Ramos, a young woman who's hunted by a time-traveling Terminator in a present-day setting where Judgement Day didn't happen... in 1997. After the Dark Fate teaser dropped in May, the film's marketing is picking back up.
In a video posted to Twitter on August 29 (aka. the day Skynet became self-aware in the original Terminator 1 & 2 timeline), Schwarzenegger teased the arrival of a new Dark Fate trailer "The Day After Judgement Day" (which is part of the movie's tagline). The requel's full-length trailer did indeed drop online a minute after midnight EST, as you can see below.
Judging by the Dark Fate trailer, the film is really committing to exploring the ramifications of Sarah's decision to destroy Cyberdyne in Terminator 2. It also adds an intriguing wrinkle to the humans vs. machines conflict in the form of Grace (Mackenzie Davis), an "enhanced" soldier-assassin from the future who travels back in time to protect Dani. Dark Fate will return the franchise to its R-rated roots and there are glimpses of the bloodier action scenes here. Gabriel Luna's Rev-9 (a new Terminator with a solid endoskeleton and mimetic poly-alloy "skin" that can split in two) is even reminiscent of Terminator 2's T-1000, in the way he comes across as a slasher villain. Schwarzenegger, meanwhile, is playing a variation on the "old T-800" he portrayed in Terminator: Genisys, but it looks like Dark Fate takes the concept more seriously and gives Arnold a dramatic role to sink his teeth into.
After so many bungled attempts to continue this franchise, it's hard to not approach Dark Fate with a heavy dose of skepticism. And yet, in spite of that, the film is doing a number of things right off the bat (bringing Hamilton back, building on Judgement Day's ideas) that the previous Terminator sequels did not. The set pieces and stunts seem well-crafted too, with Miller delivering a blend of slick CGI spectacle and gritty, yet stylized, violence similar to his work on Deadpool. Still, the question isn't so much if Dark Fate can surpass the last three Terminator movies in quality (that's not exactly a difficult challenge); it's whether the film will be strong enough to finally justify moving past Judgement Day in the first place.
Source: Paramount Pictures
- Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) release date: Nov 01, 2019