So, the big thing about Terminator: Dark Fate is that James Cameron has returned to the franchise as a producer and story credit guy, so that means we’ll return to the sort of powerful franchise chapters he directed back in the day, right? Well, actually, no. Tim Miller, the guy who directed Deadpool, is in charge of this mostly bland and banal chapter, with Cameron essentially whispering in his ear from afar. Cameron, apparently, never even visited the set; not surprising, considering ex-wife Linda Hamilton is back and, given her physical superiority, could easily kick the living shit out of him. Cameron’s real attention is on the Avatar sequels, which have mercifully been postponed so many times that I’m currently conditioned to think I will never have to sit through them. One can dream. For the umpteenth time, the future is all screwy because rogue A.I. has essentially taken over the planet and ruled humans unnecessary. This chapter picks up where Cameron’s second chapter left off, with the future changed thanks to the work of Sarah Connor (Hamilton), her boy, John, and a cuddly Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger). Had things turned out all peachy after Sarah’s handiwork, we wouldn’t have this movie. Some major happenings transpire in the opening minutes here, featuring a CGI de-aged Hamilton that I must say is remarkable. It totally looks like 1991 Hamilton on the screen, and some other characters from Judgment Day show up as well. Things are off to a good start. Then things get, well, routine at best.

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