Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nick Stahl, Kristanna Loken, David Andrews, Claire Danes
Directed by: Jonathan Mostow
Written By: John D. Brancato, Michael Ferris
Rating: R (US) Running Time: 1 hr 49 min
To be honest it’s hard to even consider Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines as part of the franchise that includes The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day. It just doesn’t feel like the other two movies at all, and to call it all a ‘trilogy’ just doesn’t sit well with me. As far as I’m concerned, there’s the classic originals, and then that other one!
To start with this film doesn’t have the good sense to take its story seriously! We’re talking about 3 billion people potentially dead in a nuclear holocaust, and this film brings inflatable boobs, and Arnold the naked terminator making a guest appearance during ladies night at a club. A little levity is nice to have from time to time, but T3 takes it too far.
Rise of the Machines also doesn’t seem to have a voice of its own, as there are constant references and throwbacks to the first two terminator films. It gets so bad that some of them feel really forced, and on a couple of occasions they are damn right stupid. For example, John Connor (Nick Stahl) at one point in the film expects the terminator to remember conversations they had in the last film including the famous ‘hasta la vista, baby’ catchphrase. Why did John think this was the exact same terminator? Surely he remembered what happened to his friend and protector? He then seems surprised that these machines are made on an assembly line, and we’re supposed to believe this is the future leader of the resistance against the machines?
However, even though this entire film feels like a big budget TV movie, it’s not completely without its merits. While the story is very familiar, is does take an interesting turn at the close of the film. The action too is nicely staged, though I really missed Brad Fiedel’s score. Kristanna Loken makes an impression as the relentless T-X killing machine, and Clare Danes does pretty well as Kate Brewster considering the material she’s given.
If you loved the first and/or second terminator films, you need to prepare yourself before taking on the third film. T3 has a much lighter tone than the first two installments, and isn’t as dramatic or as layered as the other films.
The third outing isn’t as well shot as the other two films in the franchise. There are some impressive action pieces, but this film will be served just fine at home on your HD TV.
Best moment: << spoiler! >>