Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines (2003) – movie review

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Movie Review by Nigel A. Messenger

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nick Stahl, Claire Danes, Kristanna Loken, David Andrews

Director: Jonathan Mostow

Back in 1991 a major event in the history of motion pictures occurred – the release of TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY or simply T2 as it was known. T2 was the sequel to a much smaller budget movie, THE TERMINATOR but T2 was much more than another sequel, the budget was massive, the stunts were spectacular and the action was furious, more so than ever before. The film also well and truly put its main star Arnold Schwarzenegger on the map together with TOTAL RECALL which he made a year before and made him everybody’s movie hero, quite an achievement as his character had been the bad guy in the original movie.

Arnie’s T2 catchphrase “I’ll be back” with his unique delivery never faded in people’s minds and those three words must be one of the reasons the TERMINATOR movies stayed in our minds and now finally 12 years on the promise has been kept – The Terminator is back but are we now so used to big budget effects and stunts that we might be less impressed with what was then a more unusual phenomena?

TERMINATOR 3: RISE OF THE MACHINES is itself set 10 years on from T2 and sees another T-800 (Arnie) sent back in time to save John Connor (Nick Stahl) to protect his destiny and allow him to become the leader of the human resistance and the only threat to the dominant machines.

The machines of course have sent back their own assassin to not only kill John Connor but also his future lieutenants one of which Kate Brewster (Claire Danes) will be his future wife, so the resistance will have no hope of leadership.

The machines assassin is a T-X played by the stunningly gorgeous Kristanna Loken, which not only has the shape shifting powers of T2’s T-1000 villain but is this time equipped with weapons and has the power to control other machines.

T3, ten years on, jumps straight back to the style and the format of T2. It’s got just as much power and even bigger stunts – watch out for Arnie being dragged through a building hanging from the end of a crane while the truck the crane’s mounted on is being driven by the T-X in pursuit of John Connor and Kate Brewster! Cars, walls and just about everything gets destroyed as the two Terminators fight each other throughout the movie attempting to achieve their missions.

We also get to find out more about Skynet and what happened to John Connor’s mother.

Quite incredibly Arnie doesn’t seem to have aged a day since T2 and still delivers us the T-800 with the same style as the last movie and at times may be with a little more menace, but don’t worry as the touches of humour are still there.

Finally, without revealing the outcome I will say that the end of the film lays the path for a T4 movie leaving plenty of room for a fresh story line to be developed, and if I had my way there would be a T5, T6 and if they keep this kind of pace and standard up, let’s go for a T10 or even a T20 !

Keep making these kind of movies Arnie – no one does action and destruction on screen better – and with sci-fi babes too. Excellent !

6 out of 6 stars