July 2003
T3 : Rise of the Machines

Reviewed by Wilson Morales

T3: Rise of the Machines
Distributor: Warner Bros.
Director: Jonathan Mostow
Screenwriters: John Brancato, Michael Ferris
Based on a story by: John Brancato, Michael Ferris, Tedi Sarafian
Producers: Mario F Kassar, Andrew G. Vajna, Joel B. Michael, Hal Lieberman, Colin Wilson
Music: Marco Beltrami
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nick Stahl, Claire Danes, Kristanna Loken, & David Andrews
Running time: 109 minutes

Kristanna Loken as the T-X in Warner Brothers' Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines - 2003

Kristanna Loken and Arnold Schwarzenegger in Warner Brothers' Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines - 2003

Arnold Schwarzenegger as the T-800 and Nick Stahl as John Connor in Warner Brothers' Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines - 2003

Claire Danes and Nick Stahl in Warner Brothers' Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines - 2003

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Warner Brothers' Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines - 2003


Of all the sequels that have come out already and those that have yet to come out, the one film that has waited the longest to make a comeback is the ďTerminatorĒ franchise. When the first film The Terminator came out in í84, it was considered a small film that starred a then relatively small-time actor name Arnold Schwarzenneger. Little did we know that although the film made $37M at the box office, it would become a cult classic with the words, ďIíll be backĒ made famous. Seven years later and with modern technology put to use, the sequel T2: Judgment Day would come out and make ten times more than its predecessor. Arnold was already huge by then, but this film would put him in the $20M payday range. Both films were directed by James Cameron, who had directed Aliens in between the films and would later go on to direct the Oscar winning film Titanic. You would think that this was the end of the series, since everyone involved in the production have elevated their status in the business and wouldnít be going back to do another sequel. Also there was also some bickering with the producers of the film and the studio. Now, a whopping 12 years later, with a staggering rumored $170M budget, including a $30M payday to Arnold, the franchise is back less Cameron. Directed by Jonathan Mostow, T3: Rise of the Machines, lives up to expectations with more action, less dialogue, and more special effects, that although unoriginal, is still captivating.

If you recall the last film, T2: Judgment Day, Arnoldís character was burning in liquid after he had helped a young John Connor and his mother Sara fight off the last cyborg, the T-1000, played magnificently by Robert Patrick, and prevent Judgment Day from occurring. In T3: Rise of the Machines, we meet up with an adult John Connor, now played by Nick Stahl, replacing Edward Furlong. John knows his destiny and lives ďoff the gridĒ, with no home, no phones, and no friends. Heís tormented by nightmares that he will soon come into contact with the cyborgs once again as predicted by his mother years ago. Meanwhile, the latest cyborg, the T-X (Loken), has arrived in town and is more powerful and more advanced in technology than her predecessor. This time itís not John sheís after, but veterinarian Kate Brewster (Danes), who has no clue what the future holds for her. Just as Connor and Brewster meet up with each other and figure out they have a shared past, the T-X destructively makes her entrance towards to Kate. Coming in to save them is an obsolete Terminator (Schwarnegger) who looks like the old one from Connorís last encounter . With his help, John and Kate try to prevent this T-X from letting the inevitable take place Ė that is the end of mankind and a new breed of life, machines.

Although Cameron didnít direct this film, sources say that he was pleased with Mostow's work. Mostow has done an adequate job in directing a sequel thatís all about action and less in dialogue. Letís face it, when itís about the machines, how much can be said. The best and longest part of the film is the car chase scene where Arnold and the prettiest robot I have seen in a long time duke it out to see which one of them can withstand so much abuse on the highway. Arnold, at the age of 55, still proves that he can still be agile and reclaim some Hollywood clout. Itís been ďa minuteĒ since he had a huge hit and this film should put him back in the game. Whatever dialogue there is in the film isnít that great, but still manages to make the story cohesive for you to get an understanding of whatís going on. Itís interesting that the older Connor gets, the weaker Arnoldís character is. Stahl and Danes are convincing enough to make their characters suitable. As the new machine, Kristanna Loken should garner enough attention to be the talk of the summer. She doesnít have much to say, but look at what Robert Patrick made out of his role in T2. Itís been 12 years since he made his entrance in the industry, and heís been on the X-Files and is currently on screen in the new Charlieís Angels film. Loken presents a new breed of machines- female, unsuspecting, and dangerously destructive. The one flaw in the film is that the music lacks emotion. In the first two films, the music carried the emotion the films didnít present since it was mostly action-sequenced. In this film, Marco Beltraniís score isnít as pulling as Jerry Goldsmithís theme to the first 2 films. T3: Rise of the Machine is a fast paced film that will ensure the fans that Arnoldís back.