Skip to comments.'Terminator 3' to Open in 2 Days (Review)
Posted on 06/30/2003 8:58:39 PM PDT by GulliverSwift
"Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines," opens in theaters on July 2.
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - In football terms, the first two "Terminator" movies, written and directed by James Cameron (news), were akin to a brilliant, wide-open offense, mixing a strong ground game with a flamboyant aerial attack and bewildering trick plays.
"Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines," directed by Jonathan Mostow, resembles offenses at many Midwestern schools, where coaches grind it out three yards at a time, resolutely but mechanically pulverizing the opposition as the team lumbers toward the goal line. Where "The Terminator" and "T2" wowed audiences with exciting action and knock-out effects -- remember when you first saw "liquid metal?" -- this new edition relies on wanton mayhem and a blitz of visual effects. Both methods rack up points, but "T3" lacks the wonder, surprises and supercool attitude Cameron achieved.
"T3" is no weak sister, though. With Arnold Schwarzenegger (news) back as the iconic title character and an often witty, fast-paced script by John Brancato, Michael Ferris and Tedi Sarafian, audiences worldwide will embrace the new film. Just be prepared for a movie determined to wear a viewer down with over-the-top mass destruction rather than innovation and cleverness. That R rating may also prove a handicap at the box office.
Schwarzenegger looks as physically buff as ever, and he's willing to kid the Terminator image. Coming back from the future, his cyborg arrives naked once more, so he must assemble his wardrobe. He swiftly acquires the black leather jacket and boots, amusingly, from a male stripper. But when he dons the guy's rhinestone glasses, this causes one of the movie's first big laughs.
A major plot hole, which no one even bothers to paper over, is why his cyborg returns at all. Schwarzenegger's Terminator readily admits he is obsolete compared to his new adversary -- T-X (in the curvaceous and athletic form of Kristanna Loken (news)), a much more sophisticated killing machine that is faster, stronger and smarter than his T-1000 model. So if the fate of mankind is at stake, why do humans of the future send back an archaic model? Well, do you really want Robin Williams (news)' Bicentennial Man showing up?
"T3's" basic setup is that the premise of the first two movies failed to materialize, that Judgment Day, the day Skynet's network of machines becomes self-aware and launches an all-out war against humanity, never happens. Which leaves the supposed leader of the humans against the machines, John Connor (Nick Stahl (news), fine as a somewhat dazed everyman), at loose ends. He lives in a seemingly purposeless, twilight existence without any connection to computers -- no credit cards, cell phone or job -- where he might be traced.
From the future comes the femme fatale (news - web sites) cyborg with a hit list that not only includes Connor but other comrades-in-arms in the future rebellion against the machines, especially veterinarian Kate Brewster (Claire Danes (news)). Striding through the movie like a bratty teen determined to get her way, Loken's T-X makes a delightfully erotic killing machine that occasionally is forced to strip down to her metallic death's-head.
It turns out Judgment Day looms in a matter of hours. So the Terminator returns. The race against time and the chase between the relentless T-X and Connor, Kate and their Cyborg bodyguard devolve into set pieces of stunt choreography and complex visual imagery. One has a 100-ton crane and a fire engine rampage through downtown Los Angeles, smashing cars, knocking over telephone polls and tearing through a glass building. It's astonishing and at the same time too much. Equally as astonishing are the mismatched shots, where camera angles switch from postdawn dimness to bright daylight and back again.
Other stunts include a chase with a recreational vehicle and a climatic showdown between the two cyborgs, an almost surreal battle of carnage and devastation. Comic relief comes in the crisp one-liners from Schwarzenegger in the "I'll be back" mode.
Special makeup, robotics, animatronic techniques and CG effects have advanced visual imagery so significantly as to make the first "Terminator" movie, made in 1984, child's play. But therein lies the paradox: The first film, and to a lesser extent the second, play into a viewer's childlike sense of awe and wonder. The new one appeals to one's appreciation of movie stunts and technology, a more adult outlook and therefore a less fun and playful mode. "Terminator 3" does all the right things, but the subtitle -- "Rise of the Machines" -- proves all too prophetic.
Warner Bros. Pictures. Mario F. Kassar and Andrew G. Vajna present an Intermedia/IMF (news - web sites) production in association with C2 Pictures and Mostow/Lieberman Prods.
Cast: Terminator: Arnold Schwarzenegger; John Connor: Nick Stahl; Kate Brewster: Claire Danes; T-X: Kristanna Loken; Robert Brewster: David Andrews.
Director: Jonathan Mostow; Screenwriters: John Brancato, Michael Ferris; Based on a story by: John Brancato, Michael Ferris, Tedi Sarafian; Producer: Mario F. Kassar, Andrew G. Vajna, Joel B. Michael, Hal Lieberman, Colin Wilson; Executive producers: Moritz Borman, Guy East, Nigel Sinclair, Gale Anne Hurd; Director of photography: Don Burgess; Production designer: Jeff Mann; Music: Marco Beltrami; Costume designer: April Ferry; Editors: Neil Travis, Nicolas De Toth; Makeup/animatronic effects supervisor: Stan Winston.
I saw T1 on I think TNT a few months ago and the scene where ahhhnold has all his skin ripped off looks very pathetic compared to today's standards. It looked like a pathetic animation superimposed into the film.
......but I enjoyed the movie and its dark qualities. Unfortunately, with too many neat effects, stuff like that can be lost.
Anyway.....I love the Terminatrix, she's easier on the eyes than T-1000-- although having a female T may be less intimidating to viewers.
Actress Kristanna Loken (news), one of the stars of the futuristic action thriller 'Terminator 3 Rise of the Machines' who portrays T-X in the film poses as she arrives at the film's premiere in Los Angeles June 30, 2003. The film which stars Arnold Schwarzenegger (news) at the Terminator opens July 2, 2003 in the United States. REUTERS/Fred Prouser
Maybe she is intimidating--making some of us weak-kneed.
Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger (news), center, is escorted by Col. Lee H. Farmer, left, Chief of Staff at Camp Pendleton, and Maj. Curtis Hill Thursday, June 26, 2003, at Camp Pendleton, Calif., where he held an early screening of his new film, ''Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.'' (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
Terminator's enlisting, ready to kick some Iraqi butt. (Of course, some RPGs would be the end to him real fast.)
Isn't that what he used against T-1000 in the final scene of Terminator 2? When the nice police officer falls into a bat of hot metal?
"Vote fuh me!
I haven't seen many commercials for the movie. They might realize that everybdy already knows about it and has been anticipating it. T2 was such a classic. For a long time, it was the number one selling DV-D.
I think Sylvestor "Puddy cat" Stalone is a bad actor--even with a gun in his hand.
Of course, the woman in T3 seems to have more intensity and doesn't have the irritating personality of many, many, hollyweird women. Most of them marry wimp husbands.
Presumably, because they had only managed to find ways to gain control and reprogram the older "Arnold" model, but not been able to successfully "hack into" the more advanced models.
So the Arnold model was all the human rebels had to work with.
How is it that Charlize Theron can completely ditch her Afrikaaner accent after only being in this country for a few years and Ahnuld --who has lived in the U.S. since the 1970s still talks like a drunken Austrian?
Seriously? I can barely understand a word he says!
Gonna see this one on the Big Screen though!!!
Be prepared to laugh. Arnold is pretty funny.
Arnold always wanted to be in comedy. T3 was excellent
There's a lot of beat downs in the film. One fight scene in particular left me awed and giggling. I enjoyed T3. The reviewer is right that there's a lot of mayhem and something is lost with all of that. But the effects were great; a lot of the liquid metal stunts were good enough that I didn't think too much about Robert Patrick's character from T2. It's a nice story and a little sad with the ever-present 9/11 on our minds now. Lots of comic relief from Arnold. The T-X is relentless and has her own funny quirks that keep the movie interesting. I'd see it again.
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