Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure was both goofy and "excellent!", but perhaps in jest, it pointed out one of the major flaws with most stories about time travel -- and that is, once you possess a time machine, especially one that has little or no cost to operate, time becomes moot. Toward the end of the film, Bill and Ted continually summon objects by promising themselves that later, when they get out of the jam, they will travel back in time and plant those objects. In a weird way, it makes sense.
In the original Terminator, a machine from the future in the form of Arnold Schwarzenegger was sent back to kill Sarah Connor, the future mother of John Connor (the leader of the future resistance). John Connor sends back his best friend, Kyle, who ends up sleeping with Sarah Connor and ultimately becoming the father of the person who sent him back in time. This is not the paradox in this series that made my head hurt, and it certainly wouldn't be the last.
Terminator: Dark Fate is a direct sequel to Terminator 2: Judgement Day, so if you lost track of the multiple timelines going on in the sequels, you're in luck because in this film, none of that happened. Instead, Sarah Connor completed her mission at the end of T2 and prevented Skynet. Unfortunately in the future timeline where Skynet existed, it sent back multiple Terminators to terminate John Connor. And as I once learned in a computer security course, the good guys have to be right every single time, and the bad guys have to only be right once.
But if Sarah Connor destroyed Cyberdyne and stopped Skynet from forming, there's no bad future, right? Wrong. A different conglomeration called Legion formed and it's just Skynet with a different name. Who or what is Legion? Who cares, they got time traveling Terminators too and that's all you need to know, sucka! They even got one of them liquid metal ones like in T2, and they send it back to kill the future leader of the resistance, just like in T2. And then the good guys send someone back to protect the leader of the resistance, just like in T2. And Sarah Connor is a bad ass, gun carrying momma ready to take on Terminators, just like in T2. And Arnold the Terminator is going to help the good guys, just like T2.
There were at least three points in this movie where I thought a big emotional scene was about to materialize, but never did. In one scene, two characters with a past history are having conflict and you think there's going to be a deep conversation but... nope! More explosions! The few opportunities the filmmakers had to make a point were squandered; instead, they took the easy route by making one of the leads Hispanic and throwing the team in a border detention center because... well, it's easy.
Terminator: Dark Fate is half Terminator film, half Transformers. There are so many explosions and chases and fights that you don't have time to process how goofy it all is until after it's over. The takeaway from all this is if you do something to change the world, don't worry, there's another conglomeration waiting in line to kill us all.
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