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Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines /

Rated: R

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nick Stahl, Kristanna Loken, Claire Danes, David Andrews
Directed by: Jonathan Mostow
Produced by: Andrew G. Vajna, Mario Kassar, Joel B. Michaels, Colin Wilson, Moritz Borman, Guy East, Nigel Sinclair
Written by: Tedi Sarafian, John Brancato, Michael Ferris, John D. Brancato
Distributor: Warner Brothers


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Movie Image

Movie Image

     Does Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines really need to match up to the high standards of its two predecessors? One would be foolish to have such expectations. T3 is fun, enthralling, and action-packed—and even though it doesn’t offer us anything more than that, it doesn’t really need to. As an audience, we are engaged for its entire duration, and never question the ridiculed story and plot-driving events. I can commend director Jonathan Mostow for assembling an ambitious and certainly presentable motion picture, even though his work undoubtedly is the beholder of many flaws. I didn’t walk into T3 to study it, though; I wanted a good time—one thing it definitely showed me. There aren’t any better mainstream releases currently playing in multiplexes than this one. T3 is worthy of a strong recommendation, intelligence left aside. Arnold is back; bigger and louder than ever. The third, and much awaited, installment in the Terminator franchise definitely won’t disappoint, and I certainly enjoyed my time viewing it.

     T3 begins ten years after T2. John Connor (Nick Stahl) is now twenty-three; his mother dead. He lives without a home or identity, so there is no possible chance of another terminator coming after him. But, soon enough, one does. She (Kristanna Loken) is a lady terminator, known as the Terminatrix, or T-X. John is not the only target she’s after, though; there are twenty-one others. Also on the list is Kate Brewster (Claire Danes), a previous association of John’s, whom he knew when he was thirteen. John kissed her a day before his giant adventure in T2 began. A new T-101 Unit (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is sent back in time, from the future to protect them. The T-101 is inferior to the T-X, who has the ability to generate any weapon she would like in the palm of her hand, and gain the power over any other machine at any time she wants. The T-101 must still complete his mission, however: to ensure the safety of John Connor. Many of the final happenings of events that were left unresolved in the first two films of the seruis unravel in T3. This film is a lean, mean, fighting terminator machine whose mission is to ensure the happiness of moviegoers everywhere. As far as summer-movies and popcorn-flicks go, this one’s first-rate.

     The constant usage of CGI is very impressive, and the way the visual effects are done is never a distraction to the likeability-factor of the movie. For a campy, big-budget action film, T3 is well-done. The change in directors (from Cameron to Mostow) makes the feel of this one a lot different than the first two in the series, but not exactly in a bad way. While T3 doesn’t nearly match up to T1 and T2, and shouldn’t be expected to, the letdown is in different areas than one would expect. This film looses a lot of potential impact because of its amateur storytelling ability. There was much more tension, expectation, and craziness in the first two, while this one is often times a very straightforward, but decent mindless picture, showcasing insanely crazy action. It’s not exactly the beholder of less substance, it just misuses some extra-baggage. T3 is gutsy, and I can admire its ambition, but it certainly does have some missing pieces (not that that matters in such a nutty movie). One thing that I would’ve liked Mostow to do, as a director, is mimic some of Cameron’s work on the original film. He didn’t make an attempt to do so, and I respect his decision to be independent. Nonetheless, it would’ve been superb to be reminded of some of the old charm of T1 and T2.

     Action, Arnold, and no restraints whatsoever complete this boomingly entertaining summer treasure. Most criticism towards it has been negative, but only because of the close tie that most have towards the first and second movies of the series. I can understand why one would dislike Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. This is probably it for Schwarzenegger's career in the movie business, and I must say, every movie he’s made has been a cheesy delight. In closing, this is definitely one to see. T3 is a crazy, campy, surprising nutcase of a movie, but it sure as hell is the best nutcase I’ve ever seen. Oh, and if you’re wondering, guys….Kristanna Loken is on fire as the Terminatrix.

-Danny, Bucket Reviews


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