Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Movie Review: "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" (2003)

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Movie"Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines"
Director: Jonathan Mostow
Year: 2003
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour,49 minutes

Another decade has gone by and judgment day hasn't come. John Connor (Nick Stahl) figured it was prevented by blowing up Cyberdine many years ago. However, when another Terminator known as the T-X (Kristanna Loken) comes back in time to kill him and his lieutenants, he knows judgment day is still coming. Another T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) has been sent back to protect John and his future lead lieutenant Kate Brewster (Claire Danes). They hope to, once again, try and stop judgment day with the help of the T-800. 

Here we go again. Every decade has to have a Terminator movie, right? Wrong.

"Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines," once again, has a similar plot to "The Terminator" and "Terminator 2: Judgment Day." Arnold Schwarzenegger returns as the T-800, and much like in T2, is the protector of John Connor, only this time, he is much older and is played by Nick Stahl, who doesn't do the character any justice. The Terminator that was sent back to kill John and his lieutenants is called T-X, because in the year 2001, people like anything with an X because X is more extreme than simply putting a petty number like 800 or 1000 behind a T. The T-X is played Kristanna Loken, who plays the character like a robot, which might seem ideal because terminators are essentially robots anyways, but the point of a terminator is to be indistinguishable from humans, and this she is not. The T-X also has some added features like the ability to control other machines, as well as a built-in plasma cannon, as well as the shape-shifting abilities of the T-1000. While all of these bells and whistles seem like they might be good ideas, it really detracts from the overall aesthetic of the terminator because they are used so willy nilly.

Despite thinking he had prevented judgment day, John Connor has been living off the grid, making him difficult to track. This is why his lieutenants have been targeted. Hoping they could provide the location of John Connor, the T-X visits each of his lieutenants one by one until there are none left. Luckily, or rather unluckily, he stumbles upon his future lead lieutenant and future wife Kate Brewster, played by Claire Danes (who has one of the best/worst crying faces in Hollywood) because you know, fate and shit. But we thought in T2, they narrative said "no fate but what we make for ourselves?" Well apparently, fuck all that! The future is inevitable, and you may be able to delay the future, but you not change it......then why do you keep sending terminators back if the future is inevitable?!?! Because shut-up, that's why! WHAT THE HELL, MAN?! Besides, when has the Terminator series ever cared about plot holes or paradoxes?? In this third installment of the franchise, with James Cameron now gone from the project completely, the writing is very weak and the humor is laid on a little thick to the point where it comes off as ridiculously cheesy. All the classic one-liners we have known and loved from the previous films are dead and gone and now, we get rehashed cheese-bombs like, "you are terminated;" and "I'm back;" and "talk to the hand." *cringe* Thinking about it now makes us angry because the first two movies are so good and this sequel is so bad. In true early 2000's fashion, the special effects are a bit of a CGI-bomb, and where T2 was a groundbreaking film, this movie's CGI is barely passable and extremely video game-esque. In our opinion, even though on paper this movie is rated R, gone are the days of R-rated action as "Rise of the Machines" seems to be mulled over with a fine-toothed comb and stripped of most of its fun, action, and essence. Sure, there are some decent action sequences in that are fun and sometimes a bit over the top, but it just doesn't feel like it did when T1 and T2 first came on the scene. One thing we do like about this movie is its ending. We genuinely enjoy how this film ends, and though it stumbles to get to its conclusion, it ends where and how it should. Overall, though, this is a laughable sequel and the beginning of the end for the Terminator franchise. If only they had stopped here.

My Rating: 5/10
BigJ's Rating: 6/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 70%
Do we recommend this movie: Meh.

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