The latest Saturday movie review wraps up a trilogy. Will there be a Terminator 4? Well, probably, yes. Should there be?

Cast, Crew, and Other Info

Arnold Schwarzenegger as the T-101
Nick Stahl

as John Connors
Claire Danes as Kate Brewster
Kristanna Loken as the T-

X
Screenplay by John D. Brancato and Michael Ferris, who share story credit with Tedi

Sarafian.
Directed by Jonathan Mostow

Complete information is available from the IMDB.

Buy from: Amazon.com
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Past movie reviews can be found on this extraordinarily out of date page.

Premise

Judgement Day wasn’t

stopped, but merely postponed. John Connor is once again hunted by a new Terminator,

and protected by the T-101. Why Skynet isn’t sending all their Terminators back to the

same time as the original to improve the odds is beyond me.

High Point

Actually having the guts to end it that way. Granted, it’s the easiest way to leave

room for another sequel, it’s still not the kind of tone and attitude you get from a

typical Hollywood action flick.

Low Point

The extended banality before

the ending. The TX just made too many bad decisions, starting with killing the cat’s

owner, and continuing with morphing out of camoflage well before the target is anywhere

close enough to be attacked. I see one mistake after another, and considering that I

find Final Fantasy Tactics to be the hardest game I’ve ever owned (including

the original Castlevania for the NES, Impossible Mission for the

Commodore 64, and the original Mega Man) because I’m such a lousy tactician,

the threat of the T-X just isn’t there.

The Scores

How

original can you get in part three of a series? It’s hard; if you try to get

really original, you’re probably going to have to stray far enough from the original

movie that you’re not really making the same type of film anymore. (For reference,

watch Alien 3.) We’ve got an attempt to drag out a series that worked with an

artistically vague and open ending, with typical Hollywood action tripe filling the hour

and twenty minutes between the effective opening monologue and gutsy conclusion. I give

it 3 out of 6.

The effects were admittedly great. They

are, in fact, the only truly remarkable part of the movie. I give it 6 out of 6.

The story was weak. They wrote just enough of a plot to string the action sequences together. I give it 3 out of 6.

The acting was limited by how little the script gave people to work with. The only growth we saw was when John Connor regrew the backbone he grew in the first sequel, and lost at some time between the movies. Reusing a character growth arc isn’t the best way to set your sequel apart from those that came before. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response got off to a good start with the monologue about the nightmares and life choices, only to have that foundation rapidly eroded by inflatable breasts and Elton John sunglasses. The formulaic action did nothing to boost things before the surprising upturn when the true nature of the ending was revealed.
I give it 3 out of 6.

The production went back to Hollywood formula, without even recycling the established blue filtering for night scenes that works so well when you’re looking at robots. I give it 3 out of 6.

Overall, this is a movie that should be reserved for those who enjoyed the first two, but didn’t enjoy them enough to be bothered by a loss of quality. I give it 3 out of 6.

In total, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines receives 25 out of 42.