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Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines

Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines


Title - Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines
My Admission -


One Line Review - And God Said, "Let There Be Franchise!"


Review - Or maybe "What Would James Cameron Not Do."  It's not terribly perplexing to choose between them.  Both statements are true.  Ok, maybe I fudged on the Franchise one a bit but it's soooo the right saying after seeing the new Terminator movie.  The floodgates are open and all bets are off.  You can expect, literally, anything to come down the pipe.  Oh yea!

Moving right along or not.

The first pair of Terminator films never seemed so much like action films to me.  I always saw them as personal dramas.  'Extreme' personal drama to be sure, but there was always a sense of being consumed by what was going on around these characters.  And like their mechanic counterparts, they could not be stopped.  The will to survive is a powerful thing indeed.

James Cameron excelled in portraying that element in the first 2 Terminator movies.  The examples become lengthy but you remember the nightclub scene in the first film and the hospital scenes in the second.  Hard core drama. Terminator 3: The Rise of the Machines pretty much throws all of that out. And still the movie works.  It's just not as emotional an experience. Note - If James Cameron had made this third film; it would have been powerfully devastating.  And by that I mean as good as the other two.

I believe by cutting all of that away Jonathon Mostow (the director) has made a movie that doesn't really beg comparison to what Cameron has already achieved.  So Mostow blazes a lighter trail.  One that's far easier to travel and will most likely be stomped flat and paved, driven hard, and put away wet. Mostow's Terminator 3 has a different objective than Cameron's films and I believe it has fulfilled its mission acceptably.

There's a good deal to scoff at though.  A few too many jokes, the lack of drama, No Theme Music (until the credits roll), and countless others. In contrast there's much here to be enjoyed.  And we're still a ways off from being drowned in all the mythology "They're" bound to create.

Being specific about the cast, I was not really impressed.  Arnold was Arnold and I don't think this film was really WORK for him.  Kristanna Loken is the new, female Terminator.  Not amazingly so but there she is.  The whole female terminator thing doesn't bother me, it doesn't impress me either.  It was just that the NEW terminator is unimpressive.  She's no T-1000.  Nick Stahl (The Man Without A Face, Disturbing Behavior) is a fine John Conner.  It's just that John Conner has little to do emotionally; knowing what he knows about terminators and Judgment Day and all).  But Claire Danes...Claire has the sole (SOUL) emotional role in the film.  That may be over-simplifying (not by much though) but it's true.  If anything, I'd say that it's her film. She's the one who has to suffer the awakening in this film and she does so colorfully.  She really helped me enjoy this film as much as I did.

So treat yourself to Summer Movie Fun. The Terminator is free of it's creator and the franchise is open. "The future is not set. There is no fate but what we make for ourselves".  Famous last words; movies, TV, books, cartoons, my goodness...The Skynet (Ha-Ha) is the limit.


Movie Information

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Turn Down The Lights, Turn Up The Sound.

Matthew Gilbert © 1999-2015 All Rights Reserved

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