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T3: Rise of the Inferior Sequel

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Instead of the actual title, or the alternate one (above), the latest chapter in the ‘Terminator’ franchise could have just as easily been subtitled…

T3: Kate Brewster Has A Really Really Bad Day

The animal clinic where Kate (Claire Danes) works is destroyed by a rampaging Terminatrix, her fiancee is killed, she finds out it’s her destiny to marry a drifter loser named John Connor (Nick Stahl), her dad bites the bullet, and if that’s not enough heartache… the world is gonna end in a few short hours.

In comparison, it kinda makes that “bad hair day” she had last week seem pleasantly refreshing.

The first ‘Terminator’ had some nifty ideas – about time paradoxes and the like – to wrap your mind around, T2 had cutting-edge special effects, but T3 displays little of the panache nor the eye-popping “I’ve never seen anything like this!” FX spectacle of its predecessors.

The plot is more or less a retread of T2 – top-of-the-line Terminator sent back in time to kill Connor, obsolete T-800 model (in the form of Schwarzenegger) sent back to protect humanity’s leader in the upcoming war against the machines – and, while the special effects are serviceable, they simply don’t have the impact they did in T2. The CGI “machines” have left us jaded in the intervening twelve years.

Some plot points were way too obvious. Was it just me, or when the T-800 threw one of his battery packs out the truck window and it blew up, taking a large chunk of desert roadway with it, was your first thought also, “I guess we now know how he’s going to destroy the T-X. Thank god he still has one good battery pack left, huh?”

The lack of twists and turns in the plot are filled with too many tired, wink-wink-nudge-nudge in-jokes that mostly reference the first two films.

Yes, we know the T-800 model likes to wear a lot of leather.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, as Seinfeld would say.

We know he has a thing for cool sunglasses.

And if I wanted to “talk to the hand” I’d rent a bad Fran Drescher movie, thank you very much.

T3’s villian, the female T-X model (Kristanna Loken), might’ve looked like a good idea on paper, but doesn’t translate well into film. Whether it’s the script, Loken’s acting style, or both — she lacks the menacing wit of the original film’s bad guy and doesn’t possess the steely-eyed charisma of T2’s T-1000 model (Robert Patrick). Heck, the Jetson’s Rosie the Maid was more riveting.

Not that the movie was all bad. There are some spectacular chase scenes and car crashes. And, as a rule, things blow up real good in T3.

Although, personally, if that’s all I wanted to see in a movie, I’d go see “Bad Boys 2″.

I won’t be seeing “Bad Boys 2″, and not just because I missed the original and, therefore, wouldn’t understand the complicated plot points and deep characterization that was all set up in the first one.

However, I just expected something… more… from a “Terminator” movie. Although die-hard fans, or moviegoers looking for an above-average action flick, will enjoy T3, frankly I was a bit disappointed.

Schwarzenegger has said in interviews that the reason he decided to finally make T3 was because, for years now, the first things his fans on the street have asked him was, “When are you going to make another Terminator movie?”

So, for god’s sake, people, if you happen to run into him from this point on, never ever ask him when he’s going to make “Terminator 4.”

Please. Don’t make me beg here.

The “surprise ending” of T3 cries sequel and, while it may take another decade to come to pass, if the movie’s philosophy is right I guess we can’t cheat fate — only postpone it. So a T4 might very well be inevitable.

If that’s the case, I pray the machines really do take over before T4 goes into production.

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About Pete Petrisko

  • http://www.temptationwaits.com visualsimplicity

    I thought Kristanna Loken did a good job playing a soul-less killing machine. Maybe it was the deep voice, but it worked for me.
    As for the ending, yes it cries sequel, but I believe a completely different sequel. It put closure on the travel back in time and kill John Conner while he’s weak movie. It leaves room for the actual war against the machines though.

  • ?

    who has a good photo of kristanna loken’s hair in t3?

  • Matt

    T3 was one of the best, if not THE best movie ever made. Damn, I cannot believe there is someone that would actually NOT like this movie. It blows my mind.