Review: Terminator: Dark Fate is the best Terminator movie since T2: Judgment Day

Terminator: Dark Fate is the best sequel in the iconic sci-fi/action franchise since 1991's T2: Judgment Day.

I was pleasantly surprised by how much fun I had with this movie, given how bad the trailers looked and how terrible the recent sequels have been.

But Dark Fate, while not an essential addition to the Terminator legacy, is a lovely epilogue to the first two movies.

What really works in this one is the story and the tone.

There are some great ideas in the script, well-executed in the film. Definitely don't read about the plot before watching it, as a few early moments definitely shouldn't be spoiled.

It's fantastic to have Linda Hamilton back as Sarah Connor. She kicks arse as hard as ever and it's really cool finding out what happened to her following the events of Judgment Day.

And of course, Arnold Schwarzenegger - the greatest thing to ever happen to the cinema - is back as old man Terminator.

The new villainous Terminator is similar to the liquid metal man from T2, but with a much more advanced form of mimetic polyalloy (nanotechnology). 

Its technology is never explained and is a little inconsistent - it can form a gun that shoots bullets, but weirdly only does one time - but it makes for a suitably powerful enemy the good guys need to combine forces to overcome.

A lot of the action, particularly the first few sequences, is solid and entertaining. But some of it is poisoned by too much CGI and poor editing that means you can't actually see the action.

Natalia Reyes as Daniella Ramos, Mackenzie Davis as Grace and Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor in Terminator: Dark Fate.
Natalia Reyes as Daniella Ramos, Mackenzie Davis as Grace and Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor. Photo credit: Skydance Media

Most of the reverence Dark Fate pays to the older films is well done, but there are a few times where it's too on-the-nose and lame. To achieve servicing nostalgic fans perfectly is impossible, however, and they only make a few missteps.

The new main characters are all compelling, but Dark Fate works best as a genuinely sweet way to bid final farewell to Sarah Connor and the Cyberdyne Systems Model 101.

But please, please - let this indeed be their actual final farewell.

Three-and-a-half stars.