Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines 2003

Director: Jonathan Mostow
Writers: John D. Brancato, Michael Ferris, Tedi Sarafian
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nick Stahl, Kristanna Loken, Claire Danes
Budget: $170 000 000
​Worldwide gross: $433 000 000
Genre: Science Fiction

A cybernetic warrior from a post-apocalyptic future travels back in time to protect a 19-year old drifter and his future wife from a most advanced robotic assassin and to ensure they both survive a nuclear attack.

James Francis Cameron was originally asked to direct Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines but declined since he thought he told the complete story with 1984’s The Terminator and 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Cameron being absent from this film was noticeable from the start as Mostow couldn’t match his ingenuity or give the film the heavy tones seen in the previous two films. If I were to describe Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines with one word it would be myopic, that’s not saying it’s a bad movie…far from it, it’s fun, really fun eye candy but it doesn’t break new grounds, it wasn’t inspiring and other then Schwarzenegger the casting really bummed me out. Linda Hamilton was offered a throwaway roll and because of that she declined. Why on earth they would write Hamilton as mostly a meaningless character is beyond me, when you get an actor of her pedigree, and a multi-layered character fleshed out and amazingly fantastic as Sarah Connor you don’t just kill her off unceremoniously you knuckleheads!

The future scenes were really cool, some of the best in the franchise actually but they were missing that tank tracked Hunter Killer which was a drag because that think is awesome looking. Yet another thing that differentiates this film from the others in the series is that it mostly takes place during the day. Driving down the long road while trying to escape a heartless killing machine at night gave it so much atmosphere which Terminator 3 sorely lacks. what Terminator 3 does have is a naked Schwarzenegger walking into a strip club, talking to someone’s hand, wearing sparkling Elton John sunglasses and driving down a street and hitting a bouncy house that makes a cartoonish BOING, BOING noise which didn’t fit the franchise at all.

Don’t get it twisted, I do enjoy this movie and I watch it maybe once a year. Had Schwarzenegger also opted out of this then that might be a different story but he showed up…to an unprecedented thirty million dollars and twenty percent of the backend on almost everything which allowed him to leave as an extremely rich man raver then a very rich man. There was also really cool special effects, nothing really ground breaking or that memorable but there was lots and they were cool. Stan Winston was back as well and had created much of the movies practical effects. In particular the T-1’s were my favourite things in the movie and especially when Schwarzenegger twisted the head and ripped the gatling gun off of one while shooting another with it! Such a boss. I also enjoyed the ending a lot and don’t worry…I won’t spoil a twelve year old movie.

Would I recommend this movie? Sure, but only if you have seen the previous two and don’t have high expectations and are just looking for simple entertainment. Terminator 2: Judgment Day has always been my favourite movie ever since I saw it in theatres, I can’t remember how many times I have watched it and I have owned pretty much every version of it released on VHS, DVD and Bluray, I couldn’t wait for Terminator 3 and to this day that is the most anxious and excited I have been towards a movie and it bummed me out…big time but that could just have been from all the praise I gave it’s predecessors.

Thanks for reading, check this movie out if you’re bored and hungry for some popcorn…Brandon “Thunder Lips” Taylor.