Terminator: Dark Fate 4K Blu-ray Disc Review

We cover in written form the last installment (hopefully) of The Terminator franchise which includes the return of Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) after many decades. The timeline has been altered again in Dark Fate with an updated cyborg and a super-human time traveler played by Mackenzie Davis. Movie reviews and disc quality reviews are color coded for your convenience, BillChete in orange and Lady Phantom in blue respectively.

IMDb Storyline: A young female Mexican worker, Dani Ramos, is hunted down by a virtually indestructible terminator from the future called a REV-9. However, she is protected by an enhanced human named Grace who is also from the future. They flee from the unstoppable terminator and, out of the blue, Sarah Connor helps them on the road. All three head to Laredo, Texas, where Grace has the coordinates of a possible support and where they meet a T-800 who is living in an isolated location with his family. The group teams up to try to destroy the REV-9.

Movie Review:
After the blasphemous release of what is called Genisys, the writers scrap film 3 through 5 and take a new approach bringing back Linda Hamilton as Sarah, and killing off her son when he was a young’in. This convoluted tale just doesn’t hold water. Ever since Judgment Day, they have continually rolled on with different actors playing John Connor and weaving in nonsensical dimensions of time where it just doesn’t make sense. Unlike Terminator 2 the effects of the robots take on a cartoonish feel at times using digital action scenes which makes me roll my eyes. Some of it is good though, but it is a mixed bag at best. It hurts big time because there’s ton of action scenes and battle scenes. The new, upgraded REV-9 robot was cool for the most part when it was melding in-and-out of a metallic skeleton. The best part of this film is the comedic dialog that Arnold delivers with impeccable timing. In this storyline he feels a sense of emotions and has even adopted a name, Carl, and when Sarah approaches this killing machine it is golden cinema. The movie is a fun romp at times but in no way is it a good movie. If you have seen the others, go ahead and give this a viewing, at least it’s much better than the atrocity of the one beforehand.

First of all, it’s important to mention that this is a direct sequel to T2. They decided to get rid of 3, 4 and 5. I found that confusing, but also refreshing. In an unexpected turn, John Connor died a short time after successfully preventing Judgement Day from ever happening. What’s going to happen then? This movie has Linda Hamilton as the protagonist, which I loved. She was Sarah Connor again, and I couldn’t be happier. Arnold looks fantastic in this movie, and I thought his arch was very interesting. Natalia Reyes plays Dani, who must be saved from the newest terminator (Gabriel Luna); Mackenzie Davis plays Grace, sent from the future to protect Dani… from what? Wasn’t Judgement Day stopped? Well, watch and see for yourself. The acting is solid in this movie by all the leads. I particularly enjoyed Sarah and “Carl.” Arnold never ceases to be funny, yet serious. There’s some seriously good de-aging at the beginning of the movie, and good effects throughout (except some very video-gamey CGI). The sound is good, with some usage of the Terminator theme. Unfortunately, I felt it was often a bit mistimed. This terminator was really good, with great effects applied to it. The story has paradoxical issues, so you have to suspend disbelief and just go with it. All in all, I think it’s a good sequel. Not perfect, but good.

4K Disc Quality:
Mainly positives on the 4K front, it’s a stable and above average release. I am a little shocked that many scenes had a very filmic appeal, as the up-convert of Terminator 2 relied on incredible vividness and coloring pops. On this one we only get that mainly in the last 30 minutes of the movie. This disc has a very clear image, it’s the saturation I was mainly disappointed with. Bleak scenes with little high contrast utilization. The largest fault is really due to editing and speed timing. With a crisp picture, that fast motion animation of the cyborgs is just to fake looking. The Atmos track was excellent with the dialog track coming through strong. Bass could’ve been deeper and dark but it worked when it had to. Overall, if you need this movie to complete the collection, it is worth the money, but if you don’t have all the films in this franchise and you’re interested in seeing it, just stream it.

Like almost all the Terminator movies, this one has mostly neutral and dark tones. However, it has quite a few well lit and colorful scenes. The detail that can be appreciated is incredible; you can see every wrinkle and every texture throughout. It’s a very clean and crisp image. I wish they had used HDR even more, though. There were specular highlights, but for some reason they didn’t look as good as they could’ve. There are very dark blacks, and very bright light too. The sound is good. Every line of dialogue is intelligible, and the surrounds and Atmos are really cool. I think this disc is worthy of the upgrade, even if it’s not reference material.

Breakdown of “Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)

Movie Rating  
BillChete:  5.5 (Rental) Lady Phantom:  7 (Buy)

4K Blu-ray Disc Grade  
BillChete:  B- (Worthy) Lady Phantom:  B+ (Worthy)

Average 4K Disc Grade