Judgment Day was only the beginning. Join Carl as he breaks down the TWO new Terminator: Dark fate trailers
He always said he would be back. Well, today, he is…Twice!
Yesterday (29th August) is now traditionally known to movie fans as ‘Judgment Day’ after the date given the cataclysmic event within the ‘Terminator‘ universe. Movie theatres around the world now hold a screening of at least one of the first two Terminator films on the date. I myself, alongside our owner and Editor-in-chief, Phil Roberts, attended a double bill of the very first two movies in the saga last night and enjoyed every minute of it. To be able to watch the movies on Judgment Day is now becoming traditional on the same kind of scale ‘Alien‘ day has become in April of every year. Who would have ever guessed this would ever happen? Not that I’ll ever complain though. What could be better than to sit and watch these classics in a darkened movie theatre on the worldwide day of celebration for these iconic movies? I’ve lost count how many times I personally have watched these films on the big screen now but I will attend every year without fail.
In celebration of Judgment Day 2019, many of the stars of the new movie ‘Terminator: Dark Fate‘ posted messages and their own memories of seeing the movies for the first time alongside brief snippets of footage from the new movie. Chiefly among these were the messages from Sarah Conner herself, Linda Hamilton and of course, The Terminator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger posted a video thanking the fans for their ever-loyal support of the franchise. He then went on to ask the fans a serious question. What about the day after Judgment Day? What will we be doing? Where will we be? I guessed correctly that we would be getting a new trailer for the upcoming sixth film the day after Judgment Day. It’s one of the taglines for the new film so it had to happen. What I didn’t guess was there wouldn’t be just one trailer released but TWO! One that showed quite a lot of new footage we have yet to see but within a PG-13 trailer, the other one more graphic, with more violence, gore and some strong language within an R rated red band trailer. Both look completely amazing and harken back to the days of James Cameron‘s original vision. And the Terminator Endoskeletons look completely frightening again as they should do.
Both trailers open the same way. The new character of Grace (Mackenzie Davis) awakens on a bed in what looks to be a motel, to be confronted with a gun being held close to her face by Sarah Conner, demanding to know who she is. Quick as a snake, Grace leaps from the bed, grabbing the gun and Sarah and slamming her into a wall, face first. Grace then slowly lowers her mouth to Sarah’s ear and quite simply states, “You first”. And we cut to black and the production company logos. We return to the footage, seeing a devastated world, one we are all too accustomed to seeing in the Terminator universe. And we get to see Sarah walking through the destruction as her voice over simply and without emotion states her name and what she and her son, John have done. They have stopped Judgment Day from ever happening, they have saved three billion lives and the world from Skynet. She asks Grace is that Resume good enough for her. Grace simply says no.
Grace explains that while Sarah and her son may have stopped Judgment Day and the deaths of three billion human lives, all they have done is condemn humanity to a different kind of fate, a different kind of death. And, inevitably, Skynet and Its Terminators will play a huge role once again. Here we are treated to scenes of the Hunter/ Killer machines once again flying over a destroyed and devastated world with the Endoskeletons walking over human bones and skulls again, clutching their weapons of death. Grace explains she is NOT a Terminator, rather she is a human soldier who has been advanced and modified. She has also been sent back in time with the mission to protect Dani, a young woman who has been targeted for termination by the brand new advanced Terminator units.
It’s at this point that the trailers differ. We see different footage in several places from here on. We see the arrival of both Grace and the new Terminator, REV-9 played by Gabriel Luna but in the red band trailer, we get to see more of Grace’s arrival and her attack on the police surrounding her which is certainly more violent than the footage seen in the standard trailer. Also, there appears to be more natural nudity in the red band trailer, not full frontal and graphic but tastefully shot from behind without any genitalia being shown. This is keeping with the tradition set from the original where the audience sees male buttock nudity but nothing else from either the male or female characters. The audience is fully aware now that the characters will arrive naked so it is not a shock when these scenes appear. We are then thrown into the action full tilt, scenes of Grace and REV-9 fighting each other come at us thick and fast. These sequences look really impressive. The fighting styles both Davis and Luna take on and use leave us in little doubt that the fights between these two will be violent, graphic and potentially lethal.
Again, during these interspersed sequences, the trailers differ. The climax of the family one is gentle whereas the red band simply has Grace telling Sarah to her face that if she gets in her way or affects her mission in any shape or form, she will regret it. Or as Grace puts it, “I will F**k you up”. After all this, we come to the point we’ve all come to see. The person we all want to see again. The first face to face of Sarah and the T-101. Arnold Schwarzenegger simply oozes menace and elicits a genuine emotional response from us as we see him again, older but still ‘our’ Terminator. Sarah instantly goes for a weapon to shoot him. We understand without being told why she does this. As this film disregards every film since 1991s ‘Terminator 2‘, this T-101 shouldn’t even exist. The last T-101 was lowered into liquid steel at the film’s climax and can’t be here. But he is. Sarah’s nightmare has come back to haunt her again. She made her peace with the last Terminator she dealt with, he protected her and her son but this one isn’t him. Again, both trailers differ here, showing the scene from different perspectives. The family version has Schwarzenegger coming out of his front door face on to the camera, the red band version shows the scene from Sarah’s perspective, seeing him emerge from his home from the side.
We now see scenes of Dani training with weapons alongside Grace, Sarah and Carl (The name the Terminator has taken on). We get the feeling that Dani is the new John Conner. That she will play a vital role in what’s to come. It’s this feeling that we get from the trailers. It almost seems like we are being introduced to these new characters as if we are going to say goodbye for good to Sarah, John and the T-101. That this film is their last hurrah. That they will all die by the end credits so the newly created characters can take the franchise forward. I hope this isn’t the case but you get the feeling it may just be so. Then we are treated to scenes of Rev-9 in action. And boy, he is good! We do get to see a little blood and violence in the family trailer but the red band doesn’t hold back. We see scenes of violence similar to those seen in the original films epic police station attack. Rev has disguised himself as what looks to be a S.W.A.T. team member. He has to walk through a metal detector which doesn’t bode too well if you’re a Terminator and made of metal! Of course, the alarms go off, setting Rev off on a nasty and quite graphic looking sequence of violence, blades slicing through human officers and in a quite startling piece of the action, Rev is jumped on by several officers only for him to start using his body as metal spikes to impale them one at a time quickly. Blood is seen here and the sequence looks to be exciting but also nasty and not for the squeamish.
We are then given extended pieces of the action aboard a flying aircraft. Fights take place, planes crash into each other from the side and we finally get to see our beloved T-101 take on Rev and shoot the new Skynet creation in the face with an automatic rifle at close range, destroying his human features to reveal the Endoskeleton underneath. In addition, we are again shown part of the sequence from earlier in the film when Sarah throws a grenade over the side of the bridge and calmly states to Dani and Grace, “I’ll Be Back” as she strolls away from the explosion she has created. We then cut to black and the title of the film. All the way through the trailer, Brad Fiedel’s haunting and classic Terminator theme plays subtly but welcomingly in the background. It fits the images we see in the trailers to perfection and brings a welcome feel of familiarity to proceedings.
And we are presented with our final footage. Nothing action-packed here though. But it feels natural and right to end the trailer on this note. The final frames are with Sarah and the T-101. Schwarzenegger and Hamilton face to face alone once again. These two launched the franchise 35 years ago alongside the sadly missing Michael Biehn and it just feels perfect to end our look with these two. Sarah calmly looks into the eyes of T-101 and states quite matter of factly, “When this is all over…I am going to kill you”. Depending on what trailer you view, the reaction is different. The family version has the 101 simply smiling. The red band has him rolling his eyes with a face like a put upon husband. Pure and simple. And extremely fitting. It’s almost like these two are husband and wife. And to a certain extent, they are. Sarah has had the Terminator in her life for years and is really, apart from Kyle Reese, the only man she has ever known or been close to. Whereas the Terminator, for good or bad is always there, whether she wants him there or not. And he does what any good man should, he protects his woman from harm when he needs to.
If these two new trailers fail to make you start to feel the anticipation, then I honestly don’t know what will. There’s enough nostalgia to appeal to the die-hard fans of the franchise to get excited about and enough to introduce a new breed of people to this iconic series. James Cameron returning to help the production and to oversee this new film looks to have worked wonders. His creation looks to be coming back to us in a fantastic way and I for one, can’t wait to sit down in a darkened theatre and see what delights and amazement we will be in for this time around. Forget the last three entries in the franchise, this looks and feels like the third Terminator film in Cameron’s saga. And that in itself is reason enough to justify its existence.
Until Next Time.
“Stay here, I’ll be back”
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Carl Roberts is a Senior Staff Writer and Books and Literature Correspondent for Future of the Force. He is passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, Indiana Jones and Horror movies. Follow him on Twitter @CarlRoberts2 where he uses the force frequently!