Movies

Now showing in Taos: ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’

Threat from the future makes a Mexican woman face hard choices

By Rick Romancito
tempo@taosnews.com
Posted 11/3/19

While we may not have been “psychedelized” as the Chambers Brothers suggested, the past can be tricky and so can the future. That’s why remembering ...

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Movies

Now showing in Taos: ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’

Threat from the future makes a Mexican woman face hard choices

Posted

'Now the time has come/There's no place to run/I might get burned up by the sun/But I had my fun'— The Chambers Brothers

While we may not have been “psychedelized” as the Chambers Brothers suggested, the past can be tricky and so can the future. That’s why remembering the timeline laid out in the first “Terminator” movie when it came out in 1984 isn’t exactly the roadmap we thought it was.

It had to do with a hardened soldier going back in time from a dystopian future to save a woman who would be mother to a charismatic leader named John Connor, humanity’s only hope against the apocalyptic rise of the machines. It was to be an epic battle against an unstoppable cyborg called a Terminator that was sent to kill her.

The woman, Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), was successful at the end. She was left pregnant with a son who would grow up to be John. In the second movie, another T-800 Terminator showed up who would be teenage John’s protector against a newer, more dangerous Terminator (a T-1000), who possessed a shape-shifting ability. Averting Judgment Day once again, as the friendly Terminator sacrificed himself to save Sarah and John, we were left with this statement, “There is no fate but what we make for ourselves.”

Director James Cameron was recently asked to go back and help resurrect one of the most lucrative sci-fi franchises ever. Instead of trying to untangle the messes created by subsequent movies and a TV series that attempted to re-write the playbook, he decided to put together a sequel to the second movie. Finally, for this fan, it makes sense and is a movie that hits all the right buttons without wallowing in nostalgia or confusing plot holes.

Although Cameron isn’t directing, his fingerprints are all over it, even with “Deadpool” director Tim Miller at the helm. This movie posits that when Sarah and John defeated the T-1000 Terminator and saw the end of the trusty T-800, the future was again an open road. But, as this movie opens, we quickly come to realize that all they did was create a separate timeline, one in which a dystopian future is still not only inevitable but exists without John Connor ever being around to save what’s left of humanity.

The setting now is Mexico City and it is where two beings from that future arrive, naked and with a single-minded mission. One is a woman named Grace (Mackenzie Davis), who is actually an augmented human. The other is a cyborg, called a Rev-9 (Gabriel Luna), who was developed by a computer program known as Legion. No one knows anything about Skynet.

Grace is there to protect a young woman named Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes). The Rev-9 is there to kill her at all costs. Into this epic battle steps, shockingly, Sarah Connor. Without giving away too much, Sarah, Dani and Grace all wind up in a race to avoid being destroyed by the relentless Rev-9.

Not surprisingly, diehard fans will lament the plot following all-too familiar lines, but it’s how the story is told that held this viewer’s interest. In particular, there is a sequence involving the protagonist’s urgent need to travel from Mexico to Laredo, Texas. Since this is set in 2020, border issues are very present tense, evident when a border guard tries to correct a statement about people kept in cages, saying they’re “detainees not prisoners.”

And, yes, Arnold Schwarzenegger makes an appearance.

This movie is big and violent, yet features a more sensitive core. It may not be a kinder, gentler Terminator movie, but it has more heart.

Tempo grade: B+

“Terminator: Dark Fate” is rated R for violence throughout, language and brief nudity.

It is screening daily at Mitchell Storyteller 7 Theatres, 110 Old Talpa Cañón Road. For show times, tickets and additional information, call (575) 751-4245 or visit storyteller7.com.

Also showing in Taos

Ága

MPAA rating: Not rated

Taos Community Auditorium

Director Milko Lazarov’s film opens in a yurt on the snow-covered fields of the North. Nanook (Mikhail Aprosimov) and Sedna (Feodosia Ivanova) live following the traditions of their ancestors. Alone in the wilderness, they look like the last people on Earth. Nanook and Sedna's traditional way of life starts changing - slowly, but inevitably.

Hunting becomes more and more difficult, the animals around them die from inexplicable deaths and the ice has been melting earlier every year. Chena (Sergei Egorov), who visits them regularly, is their only connection to the outside world - and to their daughter Ága (Galina Tikhonova), who has left the icy tundra a long time ago due to family feud. When Sedna's health deteriorates, Nanook decides to fulfill her wish. He embarks on a long journey in order to find Ága.

This film will be screened at 2 p.m. Sunday (Nov. 3) and at 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday (Nov. 4-6) at the Taos Community Auditorium, 145 Paseo del Pueblo Norte. For tickets and additional information, call (575) 758-2052 or visit tcataos.org.

Arctic Dogs

MPAA rating: PG for some mild action and rude humor.

Mitchell Storyteller 7

In the animated film directed by Aaron Woodley, Swifty the Arctic Fox (voiced by Jeremy Renner) works in the mailroom of the Arctic Blast Delivery Service, but he has much bigger dreams. He yearns to become a Top Dog, the Arctic's star husky couriers.

To prove he can do it, he commandeers one of the sleds and delivers a mysterious package to a secret location. Once there, he stumbles on a hidden fortress overseen by the nefarious Otto Von Walrus (John Cleese). The blubbery evil genius commands an army of oddly polite puffin henchmen.

Swifty discovers Otto Von Walrus' villainous plan to drill beneath the snow-packed surface to unleash masses of ancient gas to melt the Arctic and become the world's supreme ruler. To stop this sinister scheme, Swifty enlists the help of his friends: PB (Alec Baldwin), a neurotic polar bear, Lemmy (James Franco), a scatterbrained albatross, Jade Fox (Heidi Klum), a brainy engineer, Leopold (Omar Sy) and Bertha (Heidi Klum), two conspiracy theorist otters and Magda (Anjelica Huston), his curmudgeonly boss.

This film is screening daily at Mitchell Storyteller 7 Theatres, 110 Old Talpa Cañón Road. For show times, tickets and additional information, call (575) 751-4245 or visit storyteller7.com.

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