Review of 'Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines'

3rd film in the 'Terminator' series

OF THIS SPECIFIC MOTION PICTURE AND TO REMAIN THE PROPERTY OF THE STUDIO. NOT... Following on for the amazing and highly successful Terminator 2: Judgement Day, “Rise of the Machines” sees an older John Connor (Nick Stahl) who, 10 years later, lives “off the grid” in an attempt to escape from the future machines. Needless to say, this doesn't work and a much improved Terminator, a T-X (played ice cold by Kristanna Loken) is sent back to try it's luck killing Connor and his future lieutenants. Once again the Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) follows to protect Connor and his crew. While stealing medicine from a veterinary office John meets Kate Brewster (Claire Danes) whose father Lieutenant General Robert Brewster (David Andrews) actually controls Skynet. Will the Terminator be able to protect Kate and Connor from the faster and stronger T-X? Will they be able to finally stop Judgement Day? After T3 will anyone want to watch another Terminator film?

Treading over ground well and truly trod in the previous two films, T3 roundly disappoints except in the surprising final act which will likely catch many viewers by surprise. The action sequences here just do not have the same scale as T2 and can only disappoint though they are still look really quite good. Little here goes into elaborating on the Terminator character who remains a killing machine throughout, albeit one protecting the humans.

Danes is, for the most part, the “heroine in distress” feisty, but dealt with by locking her in the back of a pick-up truck or otherwise ignoring her while Stahl, as the older Connor, seems to have lost much of the spirit he showed in the previous film. The T-X is impressive but at the end of the day is basically a faster version of what we saw in T2 (sure, she can control machines but this is woefully under utilised). With the Terminator there are some frankly bizarre (and disturbing) scenes such as him walking through a cemetery with a coffin on his shoulders dealing out death with an automatic weapon - Truly this is beyond any sort of realm of good taste? Sadly, whole film has a sense of “going through the numbers” with nothing really new to add (except, perhaps, the fairly interesting ending).

After all of this what we are left with is a chase film with lots of explosions. Yeah, OK, entertaining enough I suppose but without the heart or fun spirit of T2 it is not one I will want to watch again (…unlike T2…).

Rating: “A bit better than average”

Review Date: 2019-10-26

Directed by: Jonathan Mostow

Studio: C-2 Pictures

Year: 2003

Length: 109 minutes

Genre: Science Fiction

Other reviewed films in the 'Terminator' series: