‘Terminator 3’ is noisy and stupid. James Cameron and Linda Hamilton wisely stayed away from this one handing the director keys over to Jonathan Mostow who brought us the semi decent sub thriller, ‘U-571’. And despite his and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s enthusiastic effort, ‘T3’ is a brick that sinks to the bottom of this summer sequel filled seas.
You know your third movie is in trouble when it comes coupled with a subtitle with more syllables than its name. ‘Terminator 3’ Rise of the Machines is a current day case study of how the crass art of churning out sequels thins the brand formula every time a new product is pushed into multiplexes around the world.
‘T3’ rehashes the overall plot of its predecessor ‘T2’ and instead of Arnie duking it out with Robert Patrick as the latest and greatest “evil” terminator We have Kristanna Loken as a hot-chick in skin tight leather, who is really an evil liquid metal fighting machine with more moving attachments than a Swiss army knife.
The good guys of course have the reprogrammed Arnie Terminator who does his best to not show his gray alongside a cast that’s more than half his age. Nick Stahl ogles us like an over excitable puppy dog as the now adult aged John Connor. Connor it seems has grown up from the punk mall rat last seen in ‘T2’ into an over reactive schlump. Considering how ‘T3’s’ inept script cast him, Stahls overacting ability comes in handy as he periodically bursts out into panicked pleas of exposition that hauls the story along.
And Claire Danes is surely wondering what has happened to her so-called life when she must play parts like Kate Brewster, the ever-weeping damsel in distress. Who will later reassure us that she’s not completely lame when she grabs the nearest automatic assault rifle to blow the ILM created Hunter Seeker ship out of the sky.
The ‘T3’ effects while big and certainly costly offer nothing we haven’t seen before. With so many scenes of lumbering vehicles crashing into things that you’d swear you were watching a rerun of ChiPs. In fact the overall tone of ‘T3’ holds a retro theme like bad 70’s sci-fi schlock.
To the story’s credit, ‘T3’s’ scriptwriters don’t wus out on the ending, which saves this third and hopefully final installment of the ‘Terminator’ movies from being a complete travesty.
As California considers recalling its governor, we get a close up view of one of the likely candidates in action, and so Governor Schwarzenegger, how do you propose to clear congestion in LA? Blow it up of course!
For Movie Magazine this is Purple.
© 2003 - Purple - Air Date: 7/2/03
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
USA - 2003