"Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" review (minor spoilers)
The first Terminator movie was a phenom with underground appeal to the likes of cult classics like Road Warrior and Mad Max. But T2 with it's advanced effects and action put it on the level of summer blockbusters like Total Recall and True Lies. People of all ages left the theatre with their minds blown do to the wowser effects and creepy dark plot. Young folks identified with Edward Furlong's character John Connor , and women liked the new GI Jane version of Sara Conner played by Beauty and the Beast series Linda Hamilton. A tough act to follow.
The third episode in the saga, did not really try. Because of this I think the public and the industry tucked it aside in the flood of summer hits. However, this was good follow up the first two movies and successfully held on to the T1's cult vibe, and T2's dark sci-fi plotline. However, with a title like the Rise of the machines they could have spent a little more time expounding on that.
While T3 did not exactly display the effects advances of T2 and more recent Matrix. It has some ground breaking action scenes and fun bylines and humorous cornball breaks akin to "I'll Be back". (I won't bore you with the true account, amidst my travels, of a dinner eaten at a Denny's, in the Negro section of a big city, where my loose lipped company slid his chair back and loudly proclaimed "I'll Be Black".)
I think fans of books like Down and Out and movies like Brazil, should not be frightened by the commercialism of a "big" movie like this. The "poor performance" in the box office may be more closely tied to a weak ad campaign, as the only ads I saw for it were the new 2003 T3 edition of the Dodge Dakota! The highlight of the entire movie was this, the fact when I saw the first movie, it was entirely fantasy, but this movie with the history of the take over of machines and the internet "Skynet" and it's early Red Planet style kill robots are far to real and plausible and seemed like fiction imitating real life.
The Terminatrix played by Kristanna Loken wasn't as creepy as the jail cell morphing robo cop T-1000 unit in T2 nor did the film convince me that the T-X model was that superior to the T-1000, after all it couldn't even handle a common military supercolider. Although the fax by voice through her cell phone to hack the internet was novel. Nick Stahl who played John Connor actually did a pretty good job, at first I was disappointed that they didn't just get Edward Furlong, but his replacement was deep and complex enough, even for a young unknown, to pull it off. The other major critisism, is what happens in many time travel movies; the temptation in a sequel to keep going back and rewriting history. As in Back to the Future.
I give this movie an A- for the thought provoking plotline, and classic entertainment. Even though James Cameron, who gave the film a thumbs up, did not direct this one, Jonathan Mostow did a good job of making something worth seeing that has a Planet of the Apes style humanity verses evil message. While I am sure the big action is most complimented by the bigscreen, Terminator fans will be just as happy waiting for the rental. Would I by the DVD? Yes and I don't own the other two.
Now the question is will Arnie go for the governorship? I think he will. 1) The making of T3 seems like a good ending to his movie career. 2) Why go on Leno to announce your not running. 3) California has history with movie star governors.
The next question is he qualified? While I am sure having a lot of fame and money is good experience for a governor, the failure of Planet Hollywood may not be a good indicator of his expertise. We will have to wait and see how he plans on addressing 28 billion in debt.
PS Cannot get me for infringment cuz' it is political satire ha-ha!