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Review: Terminator: Dark Fate

True confessions time. I’m more than a little late to the Terminator game. Until last week, my only exposure to the decades-old franchise revolved around random clips featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger as a menacing looking robot dude and pop-culture references to his signature line, “I’ll be back.”

Since I never ventured there to begin with, I couldn’t really go back. Or could I?

Seemed fitting to try, given the brand’s own penchant for messing with time. So thanks to Amazon Prime (free streaming of 1984’s The Terminator) and iTunes ($3.99 rental of 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day), I got up to speed pretty quick, and got the baseline I truly needed for Terminator: Dark Fate.

Sanctum

Sanctum is like a beautifully shot National Geographic special that would almost have you craving adventure if it weren’t for all the bloody, bloated bodies smashing against cave walls and floating through narrow passageways. Instead, you’ll be sitting on the edge of your seat, craving oxygen.

Avatar

I’ve heard it described as Dances with Aliens and that is a pretty good description, though I think Dances with Wolves had better character development. Avatar tells the story of a paraplegic soldier, Jake, who goes to the planet Pandora where evil corporate humans want to mine for a super-expensive, rare mineral, but the local population (Na’ vi) stands in the way. Jake is taking his dead brother’s place in a science program that infiltrates the Na’ vis by using avatars, earth people inhabiting Na’ vi bodies as they sleep in the lab. At first Jake is a gung-ho Marine ready to do his duty, but once he becomes a Na’ vi, falls in love with the head guy’s daughter and gets into their new agey lifestyle, he predictably decides to fight the power.