The 500 Film Challenge, The Bad Stuff

#1 Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

1 January 2013


I haven’t seen the first two films but I have an idea what they’re like thanks to the number of  YouTube spoofs and Pop culture references to Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton. And quite thankfully this film has a bit of help in reminding us (and Claire Danes’ character) of who the Connors are and the resistance. But watching this one alone doesn’t help much.

It’s definitely a macho film. So macho in fact that it has been  trying to fight the times and relate to it’s perspective new audiences. The original fans are still there, sure. I remember a friend a couple of years ago even telling me the Terminator’s (T-850 Arnold Schwarzenegger) most famous lines thinking I wasn’t born yet in 1997 (although I already was) and showing me more YouTube videos of him being mashed up along with Arnold’s other films.

Directed by Jonathan Mostow

Screenplay by John Brancato and Michael Ferris

Based on characters by James Cameron and Gale Ann Hurd

Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nick Stahl, Claire Danes, and Kristanna Loken


The film begins with an explanation of past events. John Connor (Stahl) has been living off-grid in Los Angeles. According to Wikipedia,

Following the events of Terminator 2: Judgment DayJohn Connor (Nick Stahl) has been living off-the-grid in Los Angeles. Although Judgment Day did not occur on August 29, 1997, the date given by the Terminator in the previous film, John does not believe that the prophesied war between humans and Skynet has been averted. Unable to locate John, Skynet sends a new model of Terminator, the T-X (Kristanna Loken), back in time to July 24, 2004 to kill his future lieutenants in the human Resistance. A more advanced model than previous Terminators, the T-X has an endoskeleton with built-in weaponry, a liquid metal exterior similar to the T-1000, and the ability to control other machines. The Resistance sends a reprogrammed T-850 model 101 Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) back in time to protect the T-X’s targets, including Kate Brewster(Claire Danes) and John.

So, with that valuable information at hand, everything now seems so clear to me as I recall the film. Claire Danes is an effective actress who plays out the panicked daughter of a Lieutenant responsible for the creation of Skynet. Like us she has no idea what is happening and asks most of the questions for me, I mean for us. More surprisingly, Schwarzenegger’s reprise as the reprogrammed Terminator fits well, and all the dead-pan humor you would expect from his previous versions still remains intact, if not, well mastered. The part where he says “Talk to the hand” would be one of my favorites, as well as the part where his system has been corrupted by the T-X in which he decides to shut down himself… His performance is really good.

Not bad for the intimidating T-X played by Kristanna Loken. As the Claire Danes’ character says it, “just die you bitch!” but she just doesn’t.

Although the plot has carefully played its cards in building up the suspense for this much-awaited box office hit of 2003, I’d have to watch the first two to make a clear judgment. If I’d ever be ask to give out stars, I’d give this a 2 out of five great stars.



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