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Books & Culture

Hollywood’s Dark Fate Foretold in Box Office Performance of ‘Dark Fate’

Apart from pandering to the politically correct with a jumbled social justice salad, “Terminator: Dark Fate” offers thin gruel in the way of decent sci-fi action.


- November 3rd, 2019
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Judgement Day is upon the Border Patrol, or at least that’s the message in “Terminator: Dark Fate.” The latest installment of the series features Border Patrol agents being slaughtered by a Mexican-American actor while illegal aliens flee a detention center. The people who protect our borders, it seems, are even less human than the film’s cybernetic antagonist.

The message was received loud and clear by the “woke” press, who appreciated the bloodbath but thought Hollywood should have taken this fiction further. “It’d be fascinating to see a world where the Terminators are working as ICE agents,” wrote one critic, “the ultimate purveyors of evil.”

What’s worse to the liberal mind than cyborgs set on humanity’s annihilation? The people who uphold the rule of law, of course.

The “best-paced scene in the movie,” wrote another critic, is set “in a U.S. Border Patrol detention center, complete with, yes, undocumented migrants in cages.” That’s the part where “Rev-9,” the villain played by Gabriel Luna, hacks, slashes, and disembowels a platoon of Border Patrol agents who happen to be conspicuously white. That scene made it into the trailer, presumably because producers thought it would play well with woke viewers.

The choice seems odd, however, considering that 51 percent of all Border Patrol agents were Latino at the end of fiscal year 2016. As a member of the bronze race, I must say that I feel underrepresented in the final cut.

Jokes aside, “Dark Fate” is an example of how Hollywood attempts to shape political perceptions through culture. “Politics,” as Andrew Breitbart famously said, “is downstream from culture.” Nothing quite invalidates another person’s politics like depicting them as somehow less than human.

Keep in mind, “Dark Fate” arrives after a series of attacks on Border Patrol and ICE agents across the country. In March, an illegal alien bit an ICE agent’s finger off. In August, an ICE facility was attacked by a leftist armed with a gun and incendiary bombs.

It’s no secret tinseltown has little love for conservatives. Recall that the late actor Peter Fonda demanded that a mob “rip Barron Trump from his mother’s arms and put him in a cage with pedophiles.” Or when Disney producer Jack Morrissey fantasized on Twitter about pushing conservative teens “screaming, [MAGA] hats first into the woodchipper.” Morrissey’s tweet featured an image of conservative kids being shredded to pieces.

“Dark Fate,” moreover, illustrates the iron law of double standards among critics. In the latest installment of “Rambo,” the villains are Mexican gangsters. Though it played well with audiences, it was panned by critics for its “archaic patriotism” and “racism.” Implicit in the review cited above is the patronizing assumption that all Latinos identify with Mexican gangsters and therefore either must be criminals themselves or bereft of a functioning moral compass.

“Dark Fate,” by contrast, hasn’t done so well with former fans of the franchise, but critics love it because it makes mincemeat of all the right people. One “great thing about the film,” wrote a critic, “is that there are barely any cis men in it—the only ones have bit parts, and most of them die.” Well, then . . . what better to recommend it?

Apart from pandering to the politically correct with a jumbled social justice salad, “Dark Fate” offers thin gruel in the way of decent sci-fi action. Though the audience is force fed feminism and girl power, there is no chemistry between any of the characters—you don’t care for them. The first film in the series, by contrast, featured a powerful Shakespearean romance that literally crossed space and time, with such lines as: “I came across time for you, Sarah. I love you; I always have.” Arnold Schwarzenegger offers up a mechanical performance rivaled only by his robotic advocacy of liberal climate alarmism in real life.

The biggest bomb in the latest and—one hopes—last installment of this franchise is the film itself, pulling in a paltry $29 million domestically over opening weekend against a budget of $185 million. Movies made by people who hate their audience, it turns out, don’t do so well. Maybe there is hope for the culture after all.

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