Terminator 3-Rise of the Machines(released July/03)stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator,Nick Stahl as John Connor,Claire Danes as Kate Brewster,Kristanna Loken as T-X,David Andrews as Lieutenant General,and others.It is a rather ambitious film that has alot to tell,which is its main drawback.The first two by Cameron kept it simple and straightforward,which were its virtues.However,this one features the best S/FX of any of the Terminators,and as such reaches a level on a par with the first.
The story finds John Connor 10 years later from the last,a loner and continually on the move.His mother has died,thinking they had averted a global conflict with the machines.However,this is a Terminator movie and that is not to be.This time Ah-nold "beams" back into 2004 ,as does another advanced T-X model with enhanced capabilities.To add to that,it is female in form.She has been sent back not only to terminate John but his closest lieutenants and she sets about doing just that with the usual terminator proficiency.Ah-nold coincidentally finds John caged in a vet hospital by one of its employees Kate,who it turns out knows John and will become his closest associate in the future,not to mention his wife.At the same time the T-X has also arrived and is terrorizing the pair.John and Kate who,with Ah-nolds assistance,manage to escape.
They head to a memorial park where Sarahs body is supposedly interred.Ah-nold smashes the wall and pulls out the casket,inside of which is filled to the brim with weaponry,to which Ah-nold helps himself.It seems the USAF took over the Cyberdine systems research and now has the Skynet system up and running.Unbeknownst to the trio however,all satellite systems are starting to shut down.And the USAF are at a loss to explain the virus which seems to have invaded their computer systems and others around the world.The so called virus,is the Skynet system's own plant so the USAF would have to eventually let it take over control of every system in order to "repair" it.The USAF thinks it can control it,but Skynet has become too self aware by now and when Skynet is finally given control,it institutes the war of the machines against mankind by launching preemptive nuclear strikes around the world.
The trio come to the conclusion they must stop the Skynet system at all costs.At that they are ultimately unsuccessful,but they are directed to an underground facility north of the central one. There it is hoped that they will be able to stop Skynet once and for all.John and Kate fly a Cessna to the location and while attempting to gain access they witness the arrival of the T-X.Ah-nold arrives shortly thereafter and holds off the T-X until the pair can reach the underground facility.It turns out what they thought was their salvation and access to stopping Skynet was no such thing.They were sent to an underground location designed to protect officials from nuclear fallout;a survival bunker.They can do nothing but sit back and wait.After a while they start to receive radio messages from civil defense authorities across the country,and they realize there is now hope of humanity rising back up and fighting the machines.
It is an ambitious films with alot of nice moments such as the massive crane chase through the L.A.streets, with Ah-nold dangling on the end of it.There are funny moments such as when near the end the T-X arrives at the underground shelter ahead of Ah-nold in a normal sized chopper.Then shortly after Ah-nold arrives,but his is the size of a Sikorsky.There are two or three times when Ah-nold tries to come out with some snappy comebacks,as from the last movies,which are now iconic sayings.Ah-nold says"Talk to the hand" and"She'll be baaack",referring to the T-X.None of them have the same memorable punch as the others did in the first two movies,and have been quickly forgotten.The film has much too much detail to tell and should have been kept on a straightforward line like the previous two;so it lost a little bit of ground there with my ratings.However what really gives this movies its' chutzpah,are the improved S/FX,far superior than the first two.It would be neat to see what they could do today with Ah-nold in a new Terminator film.
Technically speaking the film is clear and crisp in its w/s a/r of 2:35:1.Extras abound in this two disc collection.There is commentary by all the main stars,a gag reel,featurettes on every aspect of the films making,both major and minor,right down to the video game and figurine off shoots.
All in all a nice return to the Terminator franchise.Ah-nold is on game,but the film just gets a little too busy and even Ah-nolds comeback lines don't pack the same punch as before.However the incredible improvement in technology helps hide alot of the films flaws.4 solid stars.