Terminator 3: Rise of the - Seriously, That Guy's Going to Save Mankind?

No, everyone, calm down.  Terminator 3 isn't on the Top 1000 List.  Fear not.  But I couldn't really stop after just the first two, come on.

John Connor is now in his early 20s, living off the grid, when an evil terminatrix shows up, hell bent on killing him and all the kids who will grow up to become his best generals.  Bummer.  And all this time he thought he was safe, because he and his mummy managed to stop judgment day.  Or, as it turns out, postponed it to 2003.  Which is still, you know, good, but unfortunately problematic for mankind.

Luckily for him, he's got a brand new Arnold bot in his corner, as well as the twenty something version of his future wife (played by a very shouty Claire Danes).  Together, they're going to try to stop Judgment Day.  Again.

Only this time, Claire's army dad takes one for the team and sends them to a secret bunker in the middle of the desert.  They think that he's sending them there because they can somehow stop the robo-pocalypse, but once they get there it immediately becomes clear that they are meant to survive the nuclear blast, and not prevent it.  Sucktown, population: you, bro.

Random Musings:

  • I grew up pretty close to Niagara Falls, and I will never forget when I was in 7th grade, my teacher scaring the shit out of me about bombs.  She said that if we were ever at war, Niagara Falls would be an obvious target, because of all the power it generates.  And if a nuclear weapon hit Niagara Falls, we would all be disintegrated in our seats.  Bombs are scary, yo.

  • Yeah, how awkward is it if you raise a kid to believe he's the messiah after a nuclear holocaust, and then the date for the nuclear holocaust comes and goes.  And you've got nothing to show for it but egg on your face.

  • OK, obvious attempt to appeal to the male audience is obvious.

This is the new Terminator.

  • Can we just briefly discuss how ridiculous it is that Arnold Schwarzenegger can still manage to make his body look like that in 2003?  Dude was in his 50s when they made this!

  • I'm a big fan of Nick Stahl, I really am.  But I'm not sold just yet that he's the rebel leader, soldier type.  He seems more like the quiet hacker sitting in the corner than the leader of the resistance.  But hey, I have an entire film to be convinced.

  • OK, I've had enough of this ridiculous 20 minute chase scene.  Can we get back to the story now, please?  Girls watch these movies too, you know!

  • I've never been to a gas station that had little shopping baskets.  Now I wonder if I've just been shopping at the wrong ones. #jealous

  • OK, I'm so over Claire Danes being all hostile and shrill.  Yeah, it's realistic, but it's also really annoying.

  • I like the twist that the new Terminator is trying to take out all of John Connor's lieutenants.  It's weird to think that all those normal kids are going to be gun-toting badasses in a few years.  And it's cool to think about what would happen in a nuclear holocaust.  What types of people would be the ones who had what it took to survive?  I'd like to think that I'd be able to keep my shit together, but who am I kidding?  Those terminators would be eating me for breakfast.

  • WTF, Sarah's dead?!  And how sad is it that after all that time, it wasn't some scary robot from the future who took her was cancer. Sad face forever.

  • Also, seeing her grave made me realize that I've been spelling their last name wrong for the past two reviews.  Oops.  AND retroactively fixed via the magic of the internets.

  • Wow, between her fiancee, her father, and the destruction of mankind, Kate's having a pretty rough day.

  • "You remind me of my mother." Ew.  OK, I realize that everyone ends up marrying people who are like their parents, it's psych 101 or whatever.  But does he have to be so obvious that he's sexually aroused by her acting like his mother???

  • It concerns me that I'm an hour and a half into the movie and I have yet to see John Connor, the savior of the human race, do any ass kicking.  It's just weird that Kate seems to be way tougher than the guy who supposedly leads mankind through the robo-pocalypse.  Maybe Kate is really the hero, and John Connor just steals all the credit.  Yeah, that's probably it.

  • Everyone hold on just one second.  I'm having major timeline overload.  The first movie takes place in 1984, the second in 1995.  So John is presumably 10 or 11.  But in this movie, he says that he was 13 when the Terminator came for him.  Also...John says that his mom was diagnosed with cancer and lived for three years, and her gravestone says that she died in 1997.  That means that she had to have already been diagnosed with cancer when the events of the second film take place.  No...something about this doesn't add up at all!

  • "There's my father's plane, I trained on it!" Holy convenient, Batman.

And that's Terminator 3.  I guess I enjoyed it, because I'm a fan of the franchise, but it's just not in the same league as the first two movies.  As much as I do like Nick Stahl, I'm not sure he really worked as John Connor.  The thing that's frustrating about it is that there is a way for Edward Furlong and Nick Stahl to believably be the savior of mankind, if it had been written differently, but they just didn't go for that.  I could see John Connor being the type of character who lives because he's skilled at survival, because he's prepared, and because he's quick thinking.  They've already established him as being smart, good with technology, but not necessarily the tough, army soldier type.  That's a John Connor I would like to see...but I have seen some of Terminator: Salvation, and it's safe to say that their vision of John does not mesh with mine.

And look, if they do want John Connor to be this tough guy bad ass, they could have at least tried to make Nick Stahl show some hints of growing into that.  But honestly, for the lead role in the film, they really didn't have him do much of anything.  Which is kind of a problem.

So yeah...that's Terminator 3.  The third installment in a series of diminishing returns.  Thanks for reading!

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