Rise of the Machines, Salvation, and Genysis do not exist. Paramount’s upcoming Terminator: Dark Fate is a direct sequel to Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Judgment Day alone, which raises a lot of questions considering that film ended with John Connor alive, the T-800 Terminator gone, and the world all but saved.
At CinemaCon 2019, the first footage from the upcoming film, directed by Tim Miller, debuted. It was about five minutes long, comprised of two larger scenes, and then a bit of a sizzle on the end. And, of course, it included looks at Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger, as well as new cast members Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes, Gabriel Luna, and Diego Boneta. What it didn’t include: any answers as to how it’s all possible.
The setting is Mexico City. We see a bridge at night, but the environment starts to change. Something is coming. Then that Terminator electricity. Someone is coming from the future. The iconic blue ball appears but it’s only halfway to the road, so when it opens, the person inside falls from the sky, hits the bridge pillars on the way down, and smashes into the ground.
A man and a woman who have been making out on a car under the bridge are startled, so they walk over to the naked female body, which is the character played by Mackenzie Davis.
The couple helps her up and carries her to their car, and then the police arrive. The couple explains this person just fell from the sky, but the cop doesn’t believe them. “Oh yeah, I love when it rains naked ladies,” he says as he’s arresting the man. However, when the officer touches Davis, she wakes up. We see her point of view, which isn’t exactly Terminator vision but is definitely something mechanical. She notices the cop’s gun and immediately goes to town on the police, smashing one officer, throwing another.
It doesn’t look like she kills anyone but she completely neutralizes like four officers. The couple, who’d been hiding, thank her for saving them. “Don’t thank me yet,” Davis says as she studies the size of her foot versus the man’s. Cut to her, in the man’s clothes, driving away in their car.
The next scene is on a bridge. A black ooze, very much like the T-1000 but darker and grimier, is reforming into the new Terminator played by Gabriel Luna. He’s after a young woman, played by Natalia Reyes, who is being protected by Davis’ character. Davis says, “When they start to kill me, you run,” to the girl. Who is “they?” Well, it’s the new Terminator. His power is to split and become a second whole Terminator, which looks like a black endoskeleton.
At that moment, a truck speeds into the scene. It does an aggressive slide and out pops…Sarah Connor, who has a huge arse gun. She fills the human-looking Terminator with shells, much like the did at the end of Terminator 2, and then takes a bazooka off her back, and uses it to blow the shit out of the endoskeleton Terminator. “Who the fuck is that?” asks the girl. “I don’t know,” says Davis.
Then the footage moved into more of a montage, with a kind of slow guitar version of the Terminator score playing over it. One scene showed some kind of plane carrying a Humvee and Davis’ character holding on for dear life. We see Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character on a helicopter, shooting a plane from the air. In another scene, he jumps down and smashes out a windshield to save someone. There are some scenes in the future after Judgment Day with helicopters flying, people fighting cyborgs, and one of those people looks like Mackenzie Davis. There’s just a lot of action involving all the characters.
Finally, it goes back to the bridge scene. Sarah Connor pulls out a grenade and drops it off the bridge. As it’s in the air, she says to Davis and Reyes, “I’ll be back,” and walks away as the grenade explodes.
So what does this footage tell us? Well, Davis is basically the Kyle Reese character there to protect this young girl. Is she a Terminator? It was unclear, but she was definitely somehow enhanced. Who is the girl? We don’t know. How is Schwarzenegger’s T-800 back? We don’t know. How is Sarah Connor involved? Again, we don’t know. All we really know is that the new Terminator can split in two, giving himself an endoskeleton doppelgänger, and that he’s there to kill Reyes’ character.
I’ve been burned by overexcitement for the last two Terminator movies so I’m trying to keep things on an even keel here. But there’s little doubt that seeing Sarah Connor back on the big screen, blowing shit up, coupled with new, mean, Terminators is pretty damn exciting.
Terminator: Dark Fate comes out October 31.