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ZJW's Movie Reviews (28)

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Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines 
Back Yet Again
2.5/4 stars

It was thought after the events of T2 that we succeeded in escaping judgment day. Of course that could never be the case as the terminators could only exist in a post-judgment day world. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines takes place several years after T2 and follows John Connor as the machines have sent a new cyborg back in time in an attempt to eliminate him and his future lieutenants. As before, Arnold Schwarzenegger returns to ensure the survival of John Conner at all costs.

The film’s main flaw is how closely it follows the formula of T2. It also doesn’t help that its star is a rather unlikable and annoying character. Our enemy terminator here is portrayed by Kristanna Loken. I suppose the idea to have a female terminator is in an attempt to add sex appeal to the franchise. How she is supposed to be a more advanced machine than the T-1000 of T2 is a bit of a mystery. The ace up her sleeve it the ability to control other machines and she has a liquid metal exterior but she is still more susceptible to damage.

Arnold does a solid job in the film as he spits out one-liner after one-liner with vague explanations of mankind’s future. It’s neat to see the terminator has retained several tricks taught to him in T2 but how exactly would this specific terminator remember them? Perhaps it’s not worth getting caught up over small details like that. A few less not-so-subtle references to Arnold's famous “I’ll be back” would be welcome though. When it seems all hope is lost in the films final showdown Arnold returns from the metaphorical ashes to say “I’m back” and it hurts.

These details aside though there are many solid aspects of T3. The characters are rather boring and the story familiar but this film certainly knows how to deliver great action. The majority of the action sequences are phenomenal, especially the extended car chase that makes for some interesting uses of a Crane. The films conclusion paves the way for a post judgment-day terminator which will hopefully bring fresh life to the franchise and remove the head-scratching time travel. While a bit of a rehash at times, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines is certainly a very entertaining film.


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