Terminator: Dark Fate – 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

Terminator: Dark Fate

Since we’re forgetting Terminator 3 up to Terminator: Genisys, it’s safe to say that it’s been a while since we’ve seen a proper Terminator film. It’s safe to say that this is the most action-packed and entertaining Terminator film yet.

The film is full of fun, action-packed scenes that utilize and takes inspiration from modern-day action movies. You might recognize inspiration from Fast & Furious 6, Inception, The Raid, and even Tim Miller’s previous film, Deadpool. If you take the most entertaining scenes from these films and mix them with Terminators, then you can guess what kind of action sequences you’ll see in Dark Fate.

We also get to see a natural character progression for our favorite heroine, Sarah Conner. In Dark Fate, she’s the most broken and fragile as we’ve ever seen her—even more than in Terminator 2. But it’s not all doom and gloom with Sarah Conner this time around. Now, she’s a bit of a sarcastic wise-crack too. In other words, she’s more human here. Needless to say, Linda Hamilton handles these characteristics nicely. At the same time, Mackenzie Davis is relatable and charming as Grace. She conveys a delectable mix of power and vulnerability. She’s one of the more interesting new additions to the franchise. Also, similar to the T-1000, the new REV-9 Terminator is a dangerous foe. Unfortunately, even if it can split into two terminators, the film doesn’t utilize it as much.

Much like Sarah, Dani Ramos is thrust upon a very sympathetic situation. She lost so much because of the Terminator that’s after her. Now, if that’s starting to sound similar to the first film then you’d be right. Terminator: Dark Fate is more of a reboot than it is a sequel. Also, even though the film is a sequel to Terminator 2, Dark Fate retcons the first and second films.

Overall, Terminator: Dark Fate is the best Terminator film to come out since Terminator 2: Judgement Day. The film takes the same approach to the “sequel” as Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In other words, the film is more of a reboot than it is a sequel. As I said before, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. After all, good things come from familiarity. Unfortunately, this also causes the negation of the first two films and all you’re left is an empty shell. But at least the film is fun and entertaining enough to warrant a watch. Not to mention, the nostalgia of seeing Arnold and Linda Hamilton interact once again.

Movie Rating: 3/5 atoms


Terminator: Dark Fate - Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton

Terminator: Dark Fate hits Ultra HD Blu-ray with an HDR transfer and a 2.39:1 aspect ratio. The picture has a good medium contrast which gives depth to the picture—something you can see as the Terminator turns liquid. Also, there is a wide range of whites throughout the film. These range from a vibrant white to a darker shade of white. Similar to the brightness level, the picture also has a wide range of blacks as well. These range from a deep black to a lighter, dark gray looking shade of black.

The colors, overall, look natural. They’re a little bit subdued since nothing pops off the screen. But the best part of the video transfer is picture clarity. Although the video transfer is a 4K video upscale, the picture is still incredibly clear. You can see it in the burnt and bloody flesh of the Terminators and Grace. Overall, this is a fantastic video transfer.

Video Rating: 5/5 atoms


Terminator: Dark Fate - Mackenzie Davis

Terminator: Dark Fate hits Ultra HD Blu-ray with a Dolby Atmos and a core 7.1 Dolby TrueHD Master Audio track. This review will reflect Terminator: Dark Fate‘s Dolby Atmos track. An action-packed film requires an action-packed audio mix. Luckily enough, we get just that. The sound effects pan as aggressively and as hard as the film itself. Also, atmospherics and sound effects are immersive and accurate. It bombards you from all over. With the overhead effects, they’re distinct and immersive—something you can hear during the scenes set in the future.

Junkie XL’s score complements the chaos of the audio mix nicely. It holds its own and is distinct without being too overwhelming. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about the dialogue. There are a few times where the chaos drowns out some of the dialogue. But the dialogue is audible, it’s clean and crisp. Weirdly enough, we get some action from the subwoofer through the score and not through the multitude of explosions. Overall, this is a great mix.

Audio Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

Special Features

Terminator: Dark Fate - Gabriel Luna and Arnold Schwarzenegger

Terminator: Dark Fate‘s Ultra HD Blu-ray disc doesn’t have any special features on it. However, you can find the following special features on the 1080p Blu-ray disc:

  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
    • I Need Your Car
    • Internet Café
    • Augmentation Volunteer
    • The Crossing
    • Alicia Confronts Sarah
    • Let Me Save You
  • A Legend Reforged
  • World Builders
  • Dam Busters: The Final Showdown
  • VFX Breakdown: The Dragonfly

The deleted and extended scenes are a bit of a mixed bag. Two of the scenes involve Gabriel Luna using cameras to scan for Dani. It’s safe to say that the theatrical version is better. However, there are a few scenes (I Need Your Car, some parts of The Crossing, and Let Me Save You) that would’ve been good if they were added into the film. “A Legend Reformed” is such an informative and in-depth featurette that covers a wide array of subjects. Chief among them is the breakdown of the story and characters from Tim Miller, James Cameron, and the writers. “World Builders” is another informative and in-depth featurette that covers the CG and stunt work, production design, and the various shooting locations in the film. All of the random subjects that weren’t covered in “A Legend Reforged.”

As you probably can see, “Dam Busters” covers everything about the climactic final battle between our heroes and the REV-9. It’s a nice complementary featurette to the “World Builders” featurette. Unlike the previous featurettes, the VFX breakdown isn’t as informative. It does show a lot of the various aspects of the visual effects work. However, without any context, you don’t know what it means or how important it is.

Special Features Rating: 4/5 atoms

Overall, Terminator: Dark Fate is a nostalgic action extravaganza but that’s about it. The film tries to pull off a “Force Awakens” but inadvertently (or intentionally) retconned the two most important films in the entire franchise. What we’re left with is something that feels hollow and empty. Nevertheless, the picture quality and audio mix are both beautiful. At the same time, the bonus features are both informative and compelling watches.

Overall Rating: 4/5 atoms

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Paramount Home Entertainment.

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