Salvation was slightly better than its reputation, though Genisys was utterly bizarre, and probably the most miscast movie I've ever seen. But... oddly... I don't hate it either, probably because its many, many, many, faults actually make it kind of interesting, in a messed-up way. You know: like a washing machine that discharges a torrent of ghee whenever you parp a horn.
Nonetheless, not one of the movies since T2 has come close to reaching it in terms of greatness. I love The Terminator, but it's a low-budget, punk-y, kind of a film; more horror movie than sci-fi. T2, by contrast, really ushered in the era of the summer action movie, pushing forwards special effects and action... while somehow having characters and a story with a ton of heart. I'd never seen anything like it, and upon release I watched it three times in the space of a week.
Dark Fate is... it's... kind of... it feels bland. Like a waste of everyone's time. I didn't want to come away feeling like that, but it's nothing to nobody, and I didn't care.
Fundamentally, it's just a retread of T2, profoundly inoffensive and unremarkable, but at least it's straightforward, and has a couple of really good performances from Mackenzie Davies and Linda Hamilton.
Even if I do have issues with the way they've continued (or not) Sarah Connor's storyline (SPOILER: they kill John Connor - the character the entire franchise has revolved around - in an audaciously throwaway fashion within the first five minutes - thus wiping the slate clean, and removing Sarah Connor's entire motivation... Instead, she just sort of hangs around, uninvited, with no real agenda).
But I'm not here to talk about whether or not Dark Fate is a good film. I'm not going to get into the weeds of what it gets right and what it gets wrong.
I want to discuss why it has done so abysmally at the box office, because for some of us, on paper, it should've worked: they told us they were ignoring the sequels that everyone has decided were terrible, they brought back the lead from the first two films, James Cameron was back on board (albeit not in a directing capacity).
And yet... not enough people were interested. It has flopped massively.
Why? I've got a theory, and it isn't just to do with it being simply an okay sort of a film.