Witchdoctor’s two science fiction colossi – CHARLES JAMESON and PAT PILCHER – agree to agree on this one: Terminator: Dark Fate is so bad that it really stinks up the room.
Charles Jameson writes: After a range of average-to-crap movies in the series following Terminator 2, James Cameron returns to co-write and produce this latest movie in the franchise, directed by Tim Miller (Deadpool, and the forthcoming Sonic The Hedgehog).
Unfortunately, despite some fairly good action sequences and Linda Hamilton’s kick-arse role, this movie is about as exciting as a wet blanket. And should probably be renamed Germinator: Fart Date. Or something like it. I’ll share a few alternative titles with you as we move on through this review. And Pat will do the same.
The general theme in Fumigator: Dark Turd is that there was yet another Terminator, just like Arnie, who was downloaded to Earth not long after Terminator 2. This new Terminator had a task to do. And when it was finished he retired. But he had a few side interests, and a lame sense of humour. Both of which ruin the movie, because cheap-shot laughs undo the action focus.
Then there’s the arrival of a new female soldier from the future, Grace, played by Mackenzie Davis. She’s a human, but with … well, modifications. She’s here to do a few important things. And overall she does a great job of keeping the team alive and safe.
Hallucinator: Park Date’s problems? Shitloads. But let’s keep it simple. Firstly, there’s an annoying gender imbalance in terms of the movie’s ‘heroes’: Three positive and strong lead females and one lousy ho-hum male (Arnie) who seems plonked into this movie as a token gesture for brand awareness. The other main geezer is the liquid-ish, predictably bad-ass male Terminator dude, who doesn’t seem to be all that different to the liquid T-1000 nasty dude from Terminator 2 so long ago in 1991.
Sure, it’s great to have some incredible female leads. But then why not throw in a couple of blokes to balance the picture? As it is, Arnie is very much on a second tier, a satirical ‘joke’ mechanism. And his dialogue is often clunky, unconvincing. And he adds ‘humour’ when it really isn’t necessary, or funny. It spoils the tension and ‘breaks the spell’ of the movie.
Snark Bait doesn’t really break any new ground. We still have a nasty dude from the future and a bunch of heroes trying to get rid of him (yawn). Sure, he has some ‘special features’, which I can’t really explain here (hey, no spoilers from me). And those are odd and seem inconsistent with his overall makeup.
Sure, there are lots of action sequences, and these are mostly well done. But overall, I just wasn’t all that captivated by the story or the acting. It was all kind of ‘meh’. Which is surprising, given those behind it. Especially Cameron.
Another hassle when watching this movie was some jerks in the audience to my right. They were forever checking their phones, chatting, eating food with loud crinkly wrappers. Boring and distracting. I had to hold my palm next to my eye to block the phone screens for most of the movie. At the end credits, I told them how they’d given me a shitty experience. They just went into grumpiness. No apologies. Bummer, eh?
If cinema proprietors want people to keep paying up to see movies on the big screen, why don’t they ban the use of cellphones while a movie is on FFS, except for emergencies?
Pat Pilcher writes: I used to be a massive Terminator fan. The original 1984 movie may have been made on the smell of an oily rag, but it captured the gritty feel of the early 1980s, and it had you on the edge of your seat. Even better still, you ended up giving a shit about the characters. Since then, Terminator movies have been on a downhill trajectory. I thought they’d culminated in a pile-up of epic mediocrity with Terminator Genisys. It even made Christian Bale’s one-note shouty John Conner in Terminator Salvation look good. I was wrong.
I wasn’t expecting anything epic, brilliant or even good with Terminator: Dark Fate. Sadly, I wasn’t disappointed.
Featuring an ancient Linda Hamilton, accompanied by a CGI de-aged yet utterly crusty and old Arnold Schwarzenegger (complete with greying stubble), I’d personally have called it Terminator: Incontinence.
Ageist quips aside, Terminator: Damp Stain has all the same material that’d made earlier prequels, sequels and reboots Hollywood’s accountants have asked us to bend over and hand over money for. No wonder its box office take is tanking.
So, did Terminator: Draft Fart have any redeeming features at all? Perhaps the most staggeringly terrible thing about it was how little Hollywood seemed to care about what had taken place in earlier Terminator movies.
This is a particularly confusing thing. The original gave us an evil AI hellbent on wiping out humanity. Since then, that has been revised, cancelled, and perhaps postponed for rain and a warm cuppa. All told, the steady stream of sequels/prequels/reboots have also shown scant regard for canon. John Connor has been a shouty Christian Bale. We’ve also had a frankly boring Nick Stahl. Sarah, John’s mum, even kicked the bucket in one movie. Then in a case of life imitating art, Arnie became the Governator of California.
Just to make sure that Terminator: Damp Squib adopted a similar “who gives a flying fuck about canon” and studio groupthink prevailed, Hollywood’s geniuses decided that in Terminator: Stank Tank, Skynet never happened. Now killer robots are battling “augmented” fighters. I’m already yawning.
Anyway, I digress.
The protagonists in Terminator: Dark Snot consist of an augmented human soldier “Grace” and a Rev-9 baddie who can copy any human. Adding a bit of much-needed pizazz, Rev-9 can also split in two and consists of a bot made from black ooze. The CGI effects around this looked cool, but they’re nowhere near enough to carry a screenplay that appears to have been written by a team of Neanderthals from the shallow end of the gene pool.
Schwarzenegger is witty, but he plays second fiddle to Sarah, Dani and Grace. I was wondering if I was watching a Thelma And Louise reboot, prequel, sequel or whatever else the Hollywood accountants call these money takers.
All told, Terminator: Fart Pants struck me as being a CGI-driven roller coaster ride that is aimed at appeasing the knuckle draggers.
Why is that? Hollywood must’ve put a smoking hot team of capable screenwriters and authors together to workshop out the plot of Terminator: Duck Pate. Yet sadly, groupthink and/or smoking copious amounts of weed prevailed. Grace is sent back from the future to protect a woman named Dani Ramos, who has been targeted by the Rev-9 to be killed. With access to any number of high-powered writers, consultants and screenplay talent, it’s more than a little sad that the studios fell back on a rehash of the original Terminator plot. Sure, they added a few wrinkles to keep the punters engaged. Still, it wouldn’t have been all that difficult to craft a different screenplay with a coherent and dare I say it, engaging plot. Oh well.
Even the plot quirks which I suspect were added in to give Terminator: Stork Pies’ lacklustre story a lift fell flat. A rather ancient Sarah Connor and Schwarzenegger are there (I’m sure in the next Terminator movie both her and Arnie will need Zimmer frames and oxygen). Arnie still plays the T-800, and in Terminator: Daft Punk he’s taken up the name Carl and is running a fabrics business in Texas. Ha-ha, yawn.
There are excellent CGI effects plus the well-choreographed fight sequences that you’d expect in Terminator movies. This time they’re set in and around Mexico, and even in the air. The problem is that they’re the only high point and are let down by average acting, cliched and predictable dialogue, and of course a limp and uninteresting plot.
Terminator: Shark Week is little more than a mildly amusing flick that most punters will forget once they leave the cinema.
If you’re thinking I was unimpressed, you’d be completely wrong. I was saddened, disappointed and angry. I was left wondering if Hollywood really has snorted too much coke and simply run out of ideas. My advice is to wait for Terminator: Telly Tubbies to hit the bargain bins at JB Hi-fi and then watch it. It simply isn’t worth the frankly stupid prices cinemas are charging.