Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines
This one is all about classic Hollywood marketing strategy. Revive a decade-old reel life icon that still rules popular psyche (thanks to frequent, repeated reruns of the first two Terminator films on television channels worldwide), beef it up with extra doses of the formula that worked (in this case, bombastic action and snazzy special effects), and of course, let big, brawny Arnie say “I’m baaackh”.
This is one monster sequel that works – in as much that Terminator 3 (or T3, as they’re calling it) gives you exactly what you expect to get for your ticket’s worth. If hardcore action is your ball game, don’t think twice. Forget an inspiring storyline. If Arnie’s in full blast – what’s more, this time he’s fighting the sexy Kristanna Loken – are you left with much to complain about?
Of course, director Jonathan Mostow, best known for the thrilling World War II submarine drama U-571, is prudent enough to know that he needed a coating of a narrative to pack the action razzmatazz that he sets out to unfold. So, here goes the ‘script’: On the verge of Judgement Day, the most advanced Terminator unit ever, the T-X (Loken), is sent from the future to eliminate John Connor (Nick Stahl), who is fated to lead the human resistance against the rise of the machines in the years to come. Connor, indeed humanity at large, is defenseless against the state-of-the-art terminating capacity of the T-X. The only hope now is a new upgraded T-800 unit, the T-850 (Schwarzenegger), sent back in time to defend Connor. Together with Connor, the T-850 must stop the rise of the machines or humanity will be destroyed.
If James Cameron has gotten too busy to tackle something like the Terminator series after his Titanic glory (the first two Terminator films were his babies, after all), Mostow doesn’t disappoint the fans with T3. His packaging of Schwarzenegger as the beefed up (literally and technically so) T-850 is perfect and he lets his star’s brute force speak for him, rather than give him too many lines. Indeed, he takes the sci-fi series to an almost epic proportion with this film.