Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)
USA / English
"The Machines Will Rise
"John Connor is now in his 20's, and a female terminator, called T-X or Terminatrix, is after him. Another T-101 is sent back through time to protect John once again on the verge of the rise of the machines.
Good, but not worthy of the Terminator franchise (including nerdy rant & SPOILERS)
I know it's easy to put "Terminator 3" down. Everybody had great
expectations and it was clear that this movie would have lots of
enemies, especially if someone else than Cameron was going to direct.
So, here it is now, T3, and the truth is, it is a good action movie,
just not as good as Terminator 1 & 2.
What I liked best about this movie is that it doesn't include any
martial arts. Since "The Matrix" came out, I often wondered if it would
even be possible to make an action movie without Kung Fu anymore. Also,
Mostow really tried to not only focus on the action but include some
story and character development, too. The problem is, the story is
nowhere near as good as it used to be. Writers mistook character
development for endless whiney monologues by John Connor, supposed
leader of mankind. Where Cameron always found the right balance between
someone explaining what was going on and action scenes, T3 fell into
the trap of slowing down too often.
I think writers really had a lot of chances to turn Terminator 3" into
an interesting story that picked up from the end of T2. I hoped that
finally we'd get an explanation for why only one Terminator is sent
back at a time, how the time portal works, how CyberDyne recreated the
information on future technology after it had been destroyed in part 2,
etc. Instead writers gave vague or no hints at all to previous riddles
and went away too far from the original ideas of Terminator". No fate
but what we make for ourselves" we were told in parts 1 & 2. Now it has
changed to Judgement Day is inevitable". Why is that, you may ask
yourself and why would a Terminator know that? It's only one of many
things that don't really make sense. A fact that's even more annoying
when you think about how perfect the series has been so far. Sure,
James Cameron had also made mistakes (John's and Sarah's age, for
instance) but the main story did always make sense.
Mostow obviously was afraid of stepping into Cameron's shoes and be
compared to him, so he decided to put several nods to the previous
movies in sequel no. 2. Nice thought, but T3 is definitely too much of
a nod" to T1 & T2. It's part parody, part rip-off that has only few
new elements. Again there are two Terminators, one brand new, one
obsolete, we get a spectacular car chase, desert scenes, etc.
Furthermore, we get a funny version of the bar scene at the beginning
and a funny" cameo by infamous psychiatrist Dr. Silberman. Yes, some
of the jokes are actually quite funny, but really, why would the
Terminator smash the gay glasses? Come on, this is supposed to be a
serious movie! The worst thing about all this repeating old stuff is
that this time there's no suspense whatsoever. It just feels like we've
seen it before and we know exactly what's coming.
One scene that could have brought a cool twist to the movie was the one
where Arnold gets reprogrammed by the T-X. It would have been so cool,
if the T-800 had turned into the bad guy again now. It would have
showed that a machine knows no loyalty. Instead we got the most stupid
scene ever in a Terminator" movie: John Connor asks the T-800 not to
kill him and the Terminator obeys. Reese said in part 1 It can't be
bargained with" and now John did just that. Sad. I couldn't believe
what I was seeing. And what's with John Connor? Isn't he the one who
will go on to lead mankind? In T3, he isn't much of a leader to me. Is
it the writers fault or Nick Stahl's, I don't know, but the character
is such a sissy in this movie, it's painful.
About the T-X: why the hell isn't that thing bigger, stronger, faster?
The T-X has no real improvements compared to the T-1000 and it seems to
be really stupid. How else could it lose to the trashy T-800? And why
did it change back to its known form just before it could have killed
Kate Brewster in the disguise of her fiancé. Why would it walk around
with the same face all the time, anyway? (Granted, that's a question
that T2 had already raised and not answered) Although Kristinna Loken
played her part quite well, I think it was a bad decision to have a
woman play the T-X in the first place. How cool is it to watch Big Ol'
Arnold beat up a girl? There are so many more minor mistakes in this
movie it gives me headaches (why was the T-800 already programmed to
not kill innocent people and look for the keys in the car when it was a
different Terminator than the one in part 2? If Arnie is not programmed
to answer John's questions why did he answer when John asked if he was
gonna kill him? Why did the T-X investigate the place where Kate
Brewster works at night? Why didn't the T-X try to reprogram the T-800
from the beginning? Why has the Terminator never used the little atom
bomb chip, he's carrying within, against an enemy?), but I think I
better stop here.
However, I did like the ending a lot as it's the only real improvement
to the whole story and an open door for a sequel. "Terminator 3" is
still the best action movie of this summer and it feels really good to
see Arnie back in action one more (last?) time.
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