"She'll be back"-- The Terminator
a huge fan of both "The Terminator" and
"T2", I had some serious trepidations when it came to
T3. On paper, it didn’t look too promising: James Cameron--MIA, Linda
Hamilton--MIA, Edward Furlong--MIA, the original writers (Cameron, Hurd
and Fisher)--MIA, composer Brad Fiedel’s awesome score--mostly MIA. I
didn’t want this awesome series to be tarnished by a lackluster sequel,
that would’ve ruined my summer and maybe even my year!
I’m overjoyed to report that all of my concerns were quickly
“terminated” as the flick smashed through the screen to give my lowly
existence a much needed hard dose of “smart” summer blockbuster fun.
Was it simply a rehash of T2? AT ALL COMPADRES! Admittedly, some elements
were similar, but T3 brought in enough pizzazz of its own to stand tall and
yell proudly: “I am T3...hear me roar!” Having Jonathan Mostow at the
helm definitely gave this ride an individual aura and made it all come across as more than just another sequel. I knew I was in
for something fresh early in the film when I witnessed the Terminatrix
cruising in a slick car through gorgeous Beverly Hills, going from place
to place popping people. It didn’t fully feel like a “Terminator”
movie and that scared me, but excited me at the same time.
film went on to be true to its roots by displaying competent writing that
not only cleverly continued the storyline established by the previous two
classics (I said it), but that also expanded upon it intelligently. Props
to the screenwriters (John Brancato, Michael Ferris and Tedi Sarafian) on
this one. They wrote a brave,
surprise-laden and fanboy-friendly “wink-wink” script.
relished the sly nods to the original two films (nice Dr. Silberman cameo)
and the witty plays on the more familiar “Terminator” elements (gotta
love those sunglasses). NICE! Much like T2, humor was also abounding with
Arnie’s one liners hitting the mark 99 percent of the time. He had some
gnarly ones here! Thankfully, the laughs still played within a fairly dark
scenario and never watered down the intensity of the situation at hand.
Great show of balance!
movie also excelled on a human level when it came to its layered
characters, their relationships and the engaging twists that came with
them. John’s tie with the Terminator didn’t wind up being a repeat of
their back and forth in T2. It was sweeter than a one minute old “Big
Mac” with quite an endearing dark spin to it. Sarah Connor's replacement
Kate (played by Claire Danes) also took me aback. I was sure that Danes would
stick out like a sore nose and that her character would be useless filler.
But once more, I was proven dead wrong. She worked very well and her role’s
depth-filled courtship with John kept me hooked on
for the cherry on top, a character who had a lot to live up to...The Terminatrix!
Let's face it, Arnold mucho owned with his performance in Part 1 and
Robert Patrick commanded the screen with his brilliant display in T2. But
the Terminatrix beat the odds and rocked the house. I adored what they did
with the female angle, the multitude of skills and weapons she sported and
more importantly, Kristanna Loken’s physical approach to it all. I hear
that Kris took some “mime” classes as preparation for this and let me
tell you, it showed on screen. Her feline, uber-feminine and unique
display gave the character a hypnotizing, eerie and yes...scary disposition.
Think: a Revlon model mixed in with
3 psychotic ex-girlfriends of mine, a pinch of "Species",
a tinge of PMS and you get the Terminatrix…a woman to be feared. Yowser...I think I’m in love!
it was coming through on every single freaking level like Ali in the ring,
T3 also made sure to rocket-launch my melon to “holy shite land” via
INSANE action set pieces that rivaled T2 in terms of scope and ambition.
The extended crane truck demolition derby chase sequence kicked so much
ham! Now that’s a damn original and "out there" action scene! WOW! The
film went on to deliver all kinds of yummy physical shenanigans (those
first Terminator models ruled!) with the exhilarating fisticuffs
between the two Terminators being one of my favorites. I just couldn’t
believe what I was seeing! Congrats to the effects team for making
everything look so realistic. There’s CGI here, but it’s mostly present
to complement “real life” stunt pieces...not to BE the stunt pieces!
Having the physical happenings be so grounded definitely upped their
impact as I repeatedly rammed my head into the seat before me (in joy)
while experiencing them.
On a computer virus downside, T3 did have a couple of minor plot holes, but I easily let them go. My main beef was that for an R-rated movie, it felt too PG-13 for my violent tastes with one too many kills happening off-screen. I know some might not give a rat’s ass about that, but being the violence junkie that I am...I was let down a few times. They should have gone
"all out" with that delicious R-rating. I wanted to see that kid get the bullets in the head! COME ON! I know…I need help. My last pet peeve is that despite so much going on in the film, within its short 1:50 minute time, I occasionally felt that the Terminatrix was left in
the dust for too long. I missed her…sniff, sniff…
I was happier than Richard Grieco getting his welfare check while coming
out of the theater. T3 was a crowd-pleaser with a brain to boot! It had it
all, in quality and quantity! It even put out a ballsy ending that
deliciously set up a potential Part 4. Having said that, I hope they stop
at 3...the trilogy is now perfect. Let's not pull an "Alien: Resurrection"
on this one and muck it all up! Who’s the king of the world now, Cameron? VIVA ARNIE!