Glisten Effect
Editorial Reviews
Scoreboard Forum
Viewer Ratings
     1. Enola Holmes
    2. Mulan
   3. Tenet
  4. The One and Only Ivan
 5. Project Power
6. An American Pickle

       1. Godzilla: King of the Monsters
      2. Romeo and Juliet
     3. The Monkey King
    4. John Williams in Vienna
   5. Space Battleship Yamato
  6. Willow
 7. Ready Player One
8. Ghostbusters
         1. How to Train Your Dragon
        2. Nightmare Before Christmas
       3. Gladiator
      4. Alice in Wonderland
     5. Harry Potter: Sorcerer's Stone
    6. Superman
   7. LOTR: Return of the King
  8. Titanic
 9. Raiders of the Lost Ark
10. Joker
Home Page
Terminator: Dark Fate
Album Cover Art
Composed, Co-Orchestrated, and Produced by:
Tom Holkenborg (Junkie XL)

Co-Conducted by:
Conrad Pope

Co-Orchestrated and Conducted by:
Edward Trybek

Co-Orchestrated by:
Jonathan Beard
Henri Wilkenson

Additional Music by:
Antonio Di Lorio
Labels Icon
Paramount Music / La-La Land Records
(November 4th, 2019)
Availability Icon
The digital and vinyl albums are regular commercial releases. The CD from La-La Land Records with the same contents is limited to 3,000 copies and available initially for $16.
Also See Icon

Decorative Nonsense
(inverts site colors)

   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you have a high tolerance for the flailing redundancy of this franchise and its music, Tom Holkenborg basically sufficing but not always excelling at resurrecting the concept's most famous thematic identities.

Avoid it... if you still await a composer who can provide the heartbreaking main theme for Sarah Connor with proper, authentic dramatism in the face of tired "slash, slur, and clang" techniques for each successive terminator foe.
Review Icon
WRITTEN 10/18/20
Shopping Icon

Terminator: Dark Fate: (Tom Holkenborg) If you assumed that the return of James Cameron and Linda Hamilton to the Terminator franchise for its sixth entry, 2019's Terminator: Dark Fate, would save the concept from itself, then you were wrong. A once compelling and thrilling franchise has devolved into one depressing alternate universe after another, all the redemption of the finale of Terminator 2: Judgement Day replaced by ridiculous temporal alterations necessary to convey new actors in redundant chase scenarios. The return of both Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator: Dark Fate is complicated by an opening scene in which their impressively de-aged characters depict the slaughter of a young John Conner shortly after the events of the second film, a decision made by the filmmakers to "reset" the concept and one met with extraordinary backlash from audiences. From there, the film is a massively wasted opportunity to explore the evolution of the Sarah Conner and T-800 terminator characters in their likely final appearance together. An entire film could have been sustained by their interactions alone, minus new characters and those redundant chases and climactic battles in industrial settings. Just the looks they exchange are dramatically poignant and even vaguely comedic, as at the start of a target practice scene. But no, Cameron returns to familiar highway battles and other tired scenarios involving yet another advanced terminator sent back to kill another youngster. The film lost its studio more than $100 million, so one can only hope that we have seen the last of many wasted opportunities to tempt but disappoint us. The music by Brad Fiedel for the first two films was a good match and narrative arc for their films even if the music remains largely unpleasant on its own, especially the second score. Everything since has been frustratingly divorced from the heart of Fiedel's music, though Lorne Balfe's Terminator: Genisys at least infused some dramatic weight into the equation. Tackling Terminator: Dark Fate is Tom "Junkie XL" Holkenborg, now firmly established apart from Hans Zimmer in his own highly active composing career in many genres.

The Terminator franchise maintains one of the most romantically engaging main themes of any concept in Hollywood history. In fact, despite its famous industrial conveyance over many of these films' end credits, it remains among the greatest movie romance themes of all time. Many listeners forget that the idea was originally for Sarah Conner's journey as defined by her affection for Kyle Reese and her son, John. The idea evolved into something of a victory anthem for her, and, in retrospect, it has made sense that the identity only had a minimal impact on the film scores for the entries not directly featuring the original Sarah plotline. With Dark Fate disregarding all the stories after Judgement Day, Holkenborg had the opportunity to return completely to Fiedel's established thematic applications and general sound design, all the while updating that style to fit a more symphonic ambience as expected. He only partially succeeds, and it's possible if not probable that the frustrating, wasted opportunities within the score are directly due to the movie's own similar ills. The work is moderately orchestral, dominated by a huge brass section and utilizing synthetic effects to represent the new villain as expected but supplying symphonic atmospheres for the character interactions. The redundant new hybrid-liquid terminator receives the most direct Fiedel inspiration, as does the horrific opening scene. Holkenborg did devise numerous new themes and motifs for Dark Fate, but the idea for the Rev-9 terminator is a tired rehash of the descending brass-slurring effect used for such liquid-like adversaries going back to the second film. The composer expands the heavy industrial sound to any scene involving the central chase, doing very little to reinvent a wheel that already has a flat tire on it. The action music in this score is hideously obnoxious, so awful that Holkenborg incorporated an alarm effect as a rhythm-setter in "The Wall" against a cacophony of grinding metallic samples manipulated alongside equally distorted organic recordings. Passages like "Iron Spike" and "Screaming Turbines" are so mind-numbingly brutal that they cease to maintain any real purpose in extending the narrative. The suspense portions aren't much better, cues like "REV 9," "Drones Coming," and "HUMV" offering unpleasant dissonance with little intelligence, as Holkenborg doesn't succeed in approaching these terminator pursuit scenes any better than previous sequel composers.

Ratings Icon
Average: 2.79 Stars
***** 8 5 Stars
**** 18 4 Stars
*** 25 3 Stars
** 24 2 Stars
* 14 1 Stars
  (View results for all titles)

Comments Icon
Read All Start New Thread Search Comments

No Comments


Track Listings Icon
Total Time: 57:57
• 1. Terminated (1:28)
• 2. My Name is Dani (3:39)
• 3. Rev 9 (3:10)
• 4. Iron Spike (2:52)
• 5. Enter Sarah (0:59)
• 6. Grace (4:24)
• 7. Drones Coming (1:46)
• 8. The Wall (4:12)
• 9. Terminator (2:57)
• 10. Coyote (2:18)
• 11. The Picture on the Fridge (0:42)
• 12. C5 (4:10)
• 13. HUMV (1:59)
• 14. You Saved Me (5:41)
• 15. Screaming Turbines (4:13)
• 16. For John (7:59)
• 17. Epilogue (1:10)
• 18. Dark Fate (4:19)

Notes Icon
The insert includes a list of performers but no extra information about the score or film.
Copyright © 2020-2021, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Terminator: Dark Fate are Copyright © 2019, Paramount Music / La-La Land Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 10/18/20 (and not updated significantly since).
Reviews Preload Scoreboard decoration Ratings Preload Composers Preload Awards Preload Home Preload Search Preload