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Terminator: Dark Fate [2019] (2 discs)

Director:Tim Miller
Writer:Billy Ray
David S. Goyer
Justin Rhodes
Length:128 minutes
(2 hours 8 minutes)
MPAA Rating:R
Sorting Category:SciFi
Sorting Tub:India
IMDB Rating:6.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:70%
Amazon Rating:4.0/5 stars
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Synopsis: An augmented human and Sarah Connor must stop an advanced liquid Terminator, from hunting down a young girl, whose fate is critical to the human race.

Reaction: It ignores the previous three movies and relegates them to "alternate timeline." While this was not directed by James Cameron, it feels like a significant return to his storytelling. It's intriguing and exciting, though the second one is still the best.

Personal Rating: 7/10

Tim Miller => Director
Billy Ray => Writer
David S. Goyer => Writer
Justin Rhodes => Writer
James Cameron => Producer
Aaron Kunitz => John Connor (voice)
Alicia Borrachero => Alicia
Arnold Schwarzenegger => Carl / T-800
Brett Azar => T-800 (uncredited)
Edward Furlong => John Connor Reference
Fraser James => Major Dean
Gabriel Luna => REV-9 / Gabriel
Linda Hamilton => Sarah Connor
Mackenzie Davis => Grace
Mario de la Rosa => Mexico City Cop
Natalia Reyes => Dani Ramos
Pete Ploszek => Ackers
Steven Cree => Rigby

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • Sarah Connor mentions that Skynet sent many Terminators back to multiple moments in the past before it got obliterated. After one of them killed her son John, she started to receive coordinates and dates from her secret ally, indicating where and when these Terminators would materialize so that she could destroy them. One of those coordinates led her to the highway where she arrives just in time to save Grace and Dani from the REV-9. According to director Tim Miller, what was left out of the movie is that Sarah also received coordinates for Grace's arrival. During that scene, Sarah's truck can be seen almost crashing into Grace's time bubble, implying that Sarah was on her way to kill Grace, but the near-crash caused her to miss that opportunity.
  • The makers had long discussions about whether Carl (Arnold Schwarzenegger) had humanized to the extent that even his adopted family didn't realize he was a T-800. Director Tim Miller thought that the family would know, as he personally believed that the humanized Carl couldn't lie to people that were close to him. In the end, they chose to keep it ambiguous.
  • Sarah (Linda Hamilton) can be seen using the weapon (the short-barrel shotgun) that the T-800 ('Carl') dropped after killing John Connor in the prologue. It would make sense that she uses the weapon that reminds her of her failure to save John to fuel her anger against her son's killers.
  • Director Tim Miller explained that the decision to kill off John Connor in the beginning of the movie was taken early on in the production process. With Skynet's creation prevented in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), John no longer had any heroic role to play and they could not imagine him "[being] a 36-year-old accountant somewhere". John's daughter was briefly considered to be the new 'savior of humanity', but Miller decided to step away from this 'chosen one' trope in favor of an everyman/woman who rises through adversity. John's death also had the advantage of providing a solid story arc for Sarah Connor's bereaved and tormented character.
  • According to Tim Miller, only the first half of Carl's monologue about drapes was in the script. Arnold Schwarzenegger added the second part, including the line "Don't do it. It should be polka dots, balloons".
  • One of the things that director Tim Miller and writer/producer James Cameron disagreed on was the reason for the time travel in the movie. Miller initially suggested to have humanity lose the battle against Legion, and in a complete reversal of previous movies, it would be the humans who went back in time first, in order to "strangle it in the crib" and change their future. Although Miller thought that the idea of humanity losing and resorting to time travel as a last stand would be dramatically interesting, it wasn't Cameron's thing.
  • Casting agents were looking for an eighteen-year-old Mexican girl to play the role of the female protagonist, Dani Ramos. Natalia Reyes was cast as Dani, though she is actually Colombian and was 31 at that time she was cast.
  • The phone number (for U.S releases) displayed on the Carl's Draperies van is 888-512-1984, with the last seven digits referring to May 12 1984, the date Kyle Reese arrives in the first Terminator film. For international releases, it was changed to 800-555-0199. This is a valid phone number and dialing it results in a voice message from Arnold Schwarzenegger: "Hi, this is Carl's Draperies. We have the best drapes and curtains anywhere in Texas, I can guarantee you that. Sorry we're not here right now to answer your call but we will call you back. Until then, hasta la vista."
  • Linda Hamilton's first movie where she gets top billing. This is the first Terminator movie where Arnold Schwarzenegger is billed second.
  • James Cameron considers the film to be a direct sequel to his own films The Terminator (1984) and Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991). He was not involved in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003), Terminator Salvation (2009) and Terminator Genisys (2015), so Terminator: Dark Fate disregards the events of these films, as well as the short-lived TV series [Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008)]. In 2017, Cameron commented that he has been generally supportive of those films due to his close friendship with Arnold Schwarzenegger, but for various reasons, they did not work for him, so he decided to produce a true sequel himself. This means that Rise of the Machines, Salvation, Genisys and Sarah Connor Chronicles are being described as occurring in alternate timelines.
  • The song playing when the Rev 9 crashes through the shed at a BBQ ({"Guitars, Cadillacs"} by [?] Dwight Yoakam) is the same song playing when the T-800 enters the bar at the beginning of Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991).
  • Producer and series creator James Cameron has stated that he was involved in the movie's writing, but didn't interfere with Tim Miller's direction, as he never visited the set. However, after the first rough cut of the movie, Cameron stepped in for some uncredited editing (as he is an accomplished editor), finding Miller's version to be "pretty rough [and] pretty long". He admitted that he and Miller had their share of disagreements, which at times "became a bloodbath. And the blood is still being scrubbed off the walls from those creative battles. This is a film that was forged in fire. But that's the creative process, right?" Miller, in turn, acknowledged the behind-the-scenes disagreements, but stated that many of these came down to "stuff that I had cut that [Cameron] thought was important", and "small lines that I saw as "poetic and beautiful" but which he didn't care for". Miller also said that although he maintained a good relationship with Cameron, he preferred to have more control on his next projects, and would be unlikely to work with him again.
  • During filming, Tim Miller had to tell Linda Hamilton to stop smiling when she was firing guns.
  • In previous instalments it is established that dogs can detect and will bark incessantly at Terminators, so humans employ them as an early detection device. In this film the aging T-800, "Carl," owns a dog that quietly allows him to pet it. This subtle detail signals that despite Sarah's skepticism, Carl has in fact become more human and empathetic.