St. Edward’s alumnus shines in thrilling ‘Terminator’ sequel


Kerry Brown / Skydance Productions and Paramount Pictures

Arnold Schwarzenegger (left) and Linda Hamilton are back together for 'Terminator: Dark Fate.' The movie has earned a 71% on Rotten Tomatoes.

In the Terminator saga’s newest installment, a dark future looms over the world once again as cybernetic robots dubbed “Terminators” seek to eliminate human existence.

 “Terminator: Dark Fate” resumes directly after the two initial James Cameron films “The Terminator” and “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.” Kyle Reese, a soldier from 2029, is sent back to 1984 to warn Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) of a supercomputer A.I. network known as Skynet.

After becoming self-aware, Skynet aims to launch a nuclear strike in order to preserve itself from deletion, causing global annihilation. A T-800 Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is sent by Skynet to eliminate Sarah and prevent the birth of her son John, who will lead the human resistance against Skynet and its Terminators created to wipe out the survivors of judgement day. Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese eventually defeat the T-800, preventing an apocalypse.

A new T-1000 Terminator is sent back to kill John 11 years later. Meanwhile, a future John Connor sends a reprogrammed T-800 Model to protect his younger self. Alongside Sarah and John, the T-800 successfully destroys the T-1000 and the remaining software that will lead to Skynet’s creation. The world now holds a future without Skynet or Terminators. However, this fragile future is leaning towards a dark fate, courtesy of a new villain with a connection to the Hilltop.

Gabriel Luna ’05, a participant in the St. Edward’s theater program, stars in “Terminator: Dark Fate” as a Rev-9 model Terminator sent to destroy any hope for humanity’s survival.

Luna’s Rev-9 presents an authentic threat on par with Schwarzenegger’s original cyborg assassin: unmatched danger in metallic form. His superb portrayal leaves viewers dreading every movement, while anticipating the next battle.

Director Tim Miller (of “Deadpool” acclaim) does an exceptional job blending callbacks to Cameron’s classics with a contemporary, humorous style. Stellar performances by franchise veterans Hamilton and Schwarzenegger add a powerful highlight, while allowing new characters like Luna’s terrifying Terminator and Mackenzie Davis’ cybernetically-enhanced Grace to dazzle audiences.

The film balances explosions and fight scenes with a metaphor for the current climate crisis. The outcome of a planet without resources because of human decisions offers a timely insight to the responsibility to protect our global environment.

 What makes “Terminator: Dark Fate” a must-see on the big screen is the re-creation of the excitement after leaving a blockbuster film as a kid. A viewer can escape to this fictionalized version of earth while also finding an emotional connection to the story, whether that be excitement, fear, humor, sorrow or compassion. The characters in this epic tale are both believable and relatable, providing the perfect example of a franchise sequel.

 Movie-goers require no more than an open heart (and an optional tub of popcorn) to be wowed by this experience. Say “Hasta La Vista Boredom” with this thrilling adventure. Who knows, this movie might entice an “I’ll be back” for a second screening.