Science fiction and fantasy
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
directed by Jonathan Mostow
Nick Stahl plays John Connor, who has not exactly grown up to become your typical action hero. He's a bit of a hobo, moving from place to place without leaving records, and failing to shave. It's an interesting piece of casting.
Connor happens on the veterinary surgery of Sarah Brewster (Claire Danes) in search of painkillers, and she likes him so much she locks him in a cage. But the new Terminator has arrived and is out to kill them both. Fortunately the earlier model of the Terminator has arrived, with a mission to protect them.
A lot of chase scenes and narrow escapes ensue as Connor and Brewster try to stay alive and save the world once more.
This film has its moments, but they are too few because too much has been cribbed from the first two movies. It also ends abruptly, at least twenty minutes before it should. The ending leaves so much yet to happen that it makes the whole film more like the start of something than the conclusion of a trilogy. But who knows if a fourth Terminator film is likely to be made?
Stahl plays a likeable John Connor, and Sarah Brewster is full of fire and hidden strengths. But their relationship moves too quickly, it isn't given enough time to develop so the way they behave doesn't ring true. More could have been done to flesh out most of the human characters. We barely get to meet them before most are sliced and diced in various ways. The Terminator machines are robotic and terrifying, as they should be, although Schwarzenegger's Terminator has one dire scene of humanlike indecision. Nevertheless he looks good, considering it's been 12 years since the previous movie in the series. The effects are competent, although audiences may well expect more from such a high-profile film.
If you enjoyed the previous Terminator movies, this is more of the same. It's repetitive, and some of the jokes are not as funny the second time around, although there are some good ones, like this line from Schwarzenegger's Terminator:
"Your levity is good. It relieves tension and the fear of death."
Usually though the dialogue tends towards the pathetic and the plot is quite predictable. Nick Stahl, as the reluctant leader John Connor, is this movie's saving grace. But he's not nearly enough to save this film from its scriptwriters.
If you like this, try:Equations of Life by Simon Morden
The London Metrozone is being torn apart by warring gangs and the New Machine Jihad. Can a young man with a bad heart save the city?
Terminator Salvation by McG
The fourth movie in the Terminator series takes place during a brutal war in which man is on the verge of being wiped out by the machines.
Terminator 2: Judgement Day by James Cameron
The second film in the Terminator series sees the young John Connor fighting for his life against another robot from the future.
Review © Ros Jackson
Read more about Jonathan Mostow
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