Sarah Connor and a hybrid cyborg human must protect a young girl from a newly modified liquid Terminator from the future.
James Cameron returns to the franchise that catapulted to fame as a producer and it is a step in the right direction as this true sequel to Terminator 2 proves to be a far more imaginative and energetic follow-up than previous failed attempts. Linda Hamilton returns as Sarah Connor, a beleaguered warrior who, along with a benevolent cyborg (Mackenzie Davis) sets out to protect a young girl (Natalia Reyes), who is now the savior of the future according to a new timeline, from a new and improved terminator (Gabriel Luna).
The recycled plot is of little consequence as the draw here is Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger, who returns as a now domesticated T-800. The action is fine but what makes the film vital is its commentary on masculinity, the modern nuclear family and the current immigration crisis. This subversive subtext makes enduring the rather standard plot worthwhile.
As a huge fan of the “Terminator” franchise, I held my breath going in as I am always fearful of sequels. And while this isn’t a true sequel, it does attempt to carry on the story and the concept, but unfortunately, this newest version had too many flaws for me to recommend it. This stand-alone film features Davis as the “augmented human” created an interesting development, but alas, she and her “target” proved to be nothing more than chase and fight scenes followed by more fight and chase scenes. I can’t imagine that there were more than two written pages of dialogue and most of that, thankfully, was uttered by our favorite Terminator played by Schwarzenegger.
I did appreciate the power of women in this film, but even more enjoyable was the Terminator’s evolution and role. His interaction, particularly with Sarah (Linda Hamilton), piqued my interest and made me laugh, yearning for more screen time and dialogue with Arnold. He’s what we associate with the term Terminator and is the heartbeat of the franchise…otherwise it’s flatlined.