Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

Dan Movie Reviews

After work, I headed over to Matt’s, and picked him up. We then battled our way through the rush hour traffic to get to the Arclight Theaters for the press screening of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. I got a few driving pointers along the way (thanks Matt!), and we made it there around 6:30, which gave us plenty of time to chitchat before the film started.

The film was, overall, entertaining. But honestly, that’s about it. It wasn’t a long movie (about 1:45), which helped it go by easier. The action was pretty cool, and some of the car chase stunts were rather, well, destructive. Fun to watch, at least. The problem was, anyone who gave a crap about the storyline was gonna be severely let down – especially in the context of the other two films. Where Terminator 2: Judgment Day had characters with depth and emotion, here there were none. Where the first film allowed you to feel endangered by the Terminator, in this film you’re just kinda “impressed” by what the TX can do, but wonder what the point is some of the time. I mean… if you have time travel, why travel back to THIS time? Why not just get Connor when he’s a baby or something? Ya know? If you have time travel, and keep messing up, then keep sending those Terminators! And that brings me to another thing: continuity. I’m sorry, but it would help if the folks that wrote this film bothered to actually check the other two films, instead of (seemingly) relying on their memories of it. In the other films, Arnold was the T-800 model, and Robert Patrick was the T-1000. Right? Right. Well, suddenly Arnold is the “T-101” model. Huh?? It’s as bad as them suddenly making Ripley a Lieutenant in Alien 3, when she was never part of the military. Urgh.

The visual effects were cool – very impressive, as is expected for a film in this day and age. The music was, well, there. Marco Beltrami took over from Brad Fiedel, and he did a rather satisfactory job, but it didn’t stand out as anything notable. But to his credit, he did do a nice job trying to imbue the film with some emotion, which it was (still) lacking. It was nice, though, hearing Jerry Goldsmith’s new C2 logo music at the beginning of the film. I’m not even gonna talk about the end of the film, which was such a groaner of an ending that I’m just annoyed with the whole thing. This one is a rental at best, and only for the visuals and stunts. $30 million for Arnold? For what?