of the "Friday the 13" type slasher movies that
flooded the market in the mid eighties. "The
Terminator" was a suprise box office hit in 1984 and
Arnold Schwarzenegger earned respect as an actor.
Swazzenegger, actress Linda Hamilton and
Writer/Director James Cameron returned for "Terminator
2: Judgement Day," which presented Arnold as a kinder
more gentler Terminator. While lacking the creative
coolness of the first movie, the sequel had some
phenonmenial action sequences, a 100 million dollar
budget and a larger box office gross.
"Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" had all the
earmarks for being another Summer 2003 flop along the
lines of "The Hulk" and "Hollywood Homicide." James
Cameron did not return to helm the new opus and Linda
Hamilton's character, Sarah Connor, was written out of
the storyline. Musician Marco Beltrami, Swarzenegger
and Earl Boen as the befuddled Doctor Silberman are
the only returning cast members and it has been 12
years since "Judgement Day." New Director Jonathon
Mostov managed to take what was successful with the
first two movies and has found a way to ressurrect the
The new movie is set in the not to distant future.
Sarah Connor's son, John Connor (Nick Stahl) has been
living a nomadic existence. Thanks to his mother's
preparation, John does not have any birth records,
social secruity or credit cards. Despite having
prevented a robotic holocaust in 1994, John is a
rolling stone who gathers no moss and he has
nightmares about his future.
The nightmares turn out to be justified. The most
sophisticated Terminator ever, TX (Kristiana Lokken)
has arrived. TX plans on killing John Connor and his
future security counsel. The old model terminator 800
model (Swarzenegger) arrives in an attempt to save
John Connor and his future wife (Clare Danes). As
the machines engage in a titantic struggle between
destroying and saving humanity, John Connor learns to
accept his destiny.
The new film has some original action sequences laced
with humor. While not in the same league of the car
chase from "The Italian Job," there is a spirited
chase involving a rugged toyota pick-up truck, a
crane and a fire truck. There is some gallows humor
in a cemetery shoot out as the Swarzenegger Terminator
rescues John with a coffin.
Despite his age and revealing a few crows feet around
the eyes, Schwarzengger gives an energized performance
in his signature role. In his 19 years of portraying
this role, there is a twinkle in Swarzenegger's
delivery laced with humor. Kristiana Lokken is a
worthy adversary who lacks humor. Nick Stahl and
Clare Danes are likeable characters who should be in
This new movie does lay the groundwork for future
Terminator movies, with or without Scwarzenegger. Even
with the humor and action packed entertainment,
"Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" is a cautionary
tale about humanity reliance on machinery.