Thursday, 13 July 2017

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) - Film Review


*Originally written July 13th, 2017*
"Fuck destiny"

Believe it or not, but Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines was the first Terminator film I'd ever seen after recording it onto a VHS tape off channel 5 when I was around 10 years old. I then did the same with 2 and 1. Yes, I watched the original Terminator trilogy in the order 3,2,1. I took what I could get as a kid.

Anyway, Terminator 3 is nowhere near as good as it used to, in fact, it's pretty poor for the most part, but it still holds a small place in my heart as I get a lot enjoyment out of it.

The biggest problem with T3 is its lack of freshness. James Cameron himself said the story was finished with T2, and I'd have to agree, it finished things beautifully on a note that still makes grown men cry to this day. Arnie and Linda Hamilton refused to be apart of this sequel, but Cameron eventually convinced Arnie that the character was as much Arnie's as it was Cameron's, so he took the biggest fee he could get and went with it.

Arnie is still wonderful as the Terminator, although some of jokes he's forced to due are pretty lame at times and extremely unfunny, but the Elton John sunglasses scene is still gold and him walking naked through a womens night at a bar to the tune of Village People's 'Macho Man' is equally as amazing.

Nick Stahl is sadly extremely irritating as John Connor. He plays the whole film as a whiny little bitch, making me wish he really did kill himself at a scene towards the end. Edward Furlong obviously couldn't reprise his role because he was another washed up and fucked up child star grown up at the time, but shit, he would have been better than this.

I always forget Claire Danes was in this, she's fine I guess. She does that annoying scream every now and then, while we also get a brief hint at her scrawny crying face she's known for in Homeland these days (She's great in Homeland though, but just an observation).

Despite being the first 12 rated film in the UK for the Terminator franchise, there is some pretty spectacular set-pieces, including an excellent car chase towards the end of the first act and I'm amazed they managed to get away with some of the grizzly scenes we get here. The TX punching her hand through a cops stomach and steering a wheel is not the image of a family friendly film. It surprises me that a film this violent can be rated the same as the much tamer 4th and 5th films in this series. What a flawed rating system the UK has.

I wasn't a huge fan of Kristanna Loken's TX (Terminatrix), her performance was weird and all over the place, it's more the writings fault than hers, as her emotionless robot for some reason, displays needless emotion for no reason. She smiles at her own satisfaction and makes weird orgasm noises when she finds out John Connor is nearby. The design of her character also lacks the charm of the simple Terminator or the T1000 of the previous film.

I do enjoy Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, but there is no denying the whole exercise is pretty stale overall as they cover the same ground the previous film did, but without the heart at the core of it or James Cameron's mastery of action. The ending is excellent though.

6/10 Dans

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines is out now on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK
Watch the trailer below:

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