Terminator 3
Dir: Jonathan Mostow
Star: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kristanna Loken, Nick Stahl, Clare Danes
Cert / Year: 15 - R / 2003
Format: DVD R2

Arnie's Terminator always said he'd be back, and now he is.

It is ten years after Sarah Connor successfully stopped Judgment day (the day of the nuclear war in which the machines took control. see Terminator 2). Unfortunately she has since died, leaving her son John Connor living as a bum unable to shake off the feeling that the world is still in danger. Then when a new super terminator T-X arrives to kill him his worst fears are realised. Luckily enough yet another Arnie Terminator is sent back to protect him.

Bankruptcies, legal battles, and split rights to the franchise has meant that it has taken until now to sort out a sequel to the 1991 smash hit Terminator 2. Returning from the original two films is Arnold Schwarzenegger, not involved with this film is practically everyone else. The biggest loss is that of series creator James Cameron who after initial interest withdrew from the project. So the big question is how much of the success of the Terminator franchise is down to Arnie, and how much was down to Cameron.

There is no doubt about Arnie has a massive screen presence and this is the sort of role he excels in. However no amount of hair dye and CGI body enhancing can hide the fact that this Terminator is getting old, in fact almost too old to play the role. On a more positive note though he is excellent in the role and steals many of the scenes. As for Kristanna Loken as T-X well she is ok but the whole Terminator as a woman thing feels like a gimmick. In fact the T-X is pretty much the same as T-1000 but with a built in gun.

This direct replacement hints as to why this film is a major disappointment. There is no escape from the fact that this isn't a new movie but a retelling of Terminator 2 with a variation in poorly integrated stunts. For all those hoping to see Judgment day or the start of the human resistance's war against the machines you will be largely let down. It is a sad fact that without the creative power of James Cameron the franchise has floundered. I'm not sure how much of a brief John D. Brancato and Michael Ferris were given but the end result is a poorly collated story that is largely irrelevant. Maybe it would have been better to just show Cyberdine finding backups of Miles Bennett Dyson's work and the crack on with Judgment day making the most of the film based after the war.

I have already mention the poorly integrated stunts and this is major problem. Ok so the action scenes are spectacular, expensive, and impressive. It's just you feel that they were written first and then the rest of the story was created just to try and give them a reason to happen. For example the crane \ fire truck chase is real fun but why does T-X steal the slowest vehicle (not to mention the most difficult to get to), also how does she control the other cars (she can control computers but how does the press the pedals). Another problem is the myriad of time paradoxes the films creates. The franchise was always on shaky ground with the whole and the future be changed or not theme, here any semblance of attempting a cohesive explanation is jettisoned. One minute you can change the future the next you can't, it turns the whole thing into a bit of a farce.

Terminator 3 is not a bad film. It massive budget and spectacular stunts are pure eye candy. It's just at the end of the day in the context of the Terminator story it is utterly pointless. It contents itself retreading the plot from Terminator 2 with out any of the skill or cohesion that film had. This just proves that it is Cameron not Arnie that made the originals. If you like action and effects this is the movie for you, however if you like plot and story it is not. If you are a fan of the Terminator franchise then this film may not be as bad as you feared but it certainly won't be all you hoped for.

Please no Terminator 4 unless you give it back to James Cameron (it seems you'll find him faffing around at the bottom of the Atlantic).


The Machines Will Rise

Rating: 2 out of 5

Picture 2.40:1 Anamorphic Top class as we have come to expect.
Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 DTS Big Bangs but not not quite T2.
Features Main Feature
Pointless and unwelcome introduction by Arnie
Commentary from director Jonathan Mostow
Commentary from cast
Features Deleted Scene
Many making of Featurettes including lots on visual effects and costume design
Outtakes and bloopers
Photo Gallery
Weapons and actor profiles
Terminator timeline
Verdict Excellent transfer and excellent discs, shame about the film.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Reviewed by Glitz Link Back Top Home