Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003, Jonathan Mostow)

What’s interesting about Terminator 3-besides the “I’ll be back” references-is the lack of cheap homage to the first two. It’s an all new Terminator movie.

It’s crappy, but it’s its own thing. Though sometimes being its own thing just hurts it-Brad Fiedel’s awesome Terminator theme isn’t used at all. It’s also way too short. Running 108 minutes, there’s just not enough time for it to make any real impression. The second one established the franchise as epic; this one is only a minute longer than the first one (with twenty-six times the budget).

Speaking of budget, while director Mostow had the highest one ever greenlit (at the time), he’s an indifferent director. He brings no style or vision to the film whatsoever. I guess the car chases, while stupid, are pretty well-handled.

It’s sort of funny to see Claire Danes in the film; I remember when she was an indie actress. Though I guess Terminator 3 is actually an indie production.

The writing’s terrible. The revelations of how the franchise’s events come to pass are idiotic. The plot moves on serendipitous events and not much else, except some dumb revisions of what was going on in the second movie.

While it’s terrible, I do hope Nick Stahl kept a picture of himself in awful old age make-up as the scarred future leader, who’s really dumb, which is kind of funny.

Oh, the female Terminator-it’s never explained why they make a gender specific model.

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