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Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nick Stahl
Director: Jonathan Mostow
Rated: R
RunTime: 109 Minutes
Release Date: July 2003
Genres: Action, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

*Also starring: Kristanna Loken, Claire Danes, Mark Hicks, Alana Curry, Matt Gerald, Jerry Katell, Mark Famiglietti, Brian Sites, Matthew Bonnar

Review by Steve Rhodes
3½ stars out of 4

Governor, oops I mean actor -- got a little ahead of myself there -- Arnold Schwarzenegger is back in his signature role as The Terminator in TERMINATOR 3: RISE OF THE MACHINES, one of the few blockbusters this summer that is more than worth the money spent on its production. And, unlike the disappointing HULK, T3 is a serious action film that's also both funny and fun. When you leave the theater, you'll be pumped full of adrenaline without a hint of the buyer's remorse that you've felt so often this summer. Arnold may be in his mid-fifties, but he's got a body that any twenty-year-old would kill for.

In something of a dj vu plot, a T-850 Terminator (Schwarzenegger) is sent to retrieve John Connor (Nick Stahl) and Kate Brewster (Claire Danes), who are destined to lead the Resistance in the future, as mankind fights one last cataclysmic battle against the machines who rule the earth. Sexy, confident and long-legged Kristanna Loken plays a T-X or Terminatrix, a more advanced terminator sent to thwart the Terminator's mission and kill humanity's salvation in Connor and Brewster. She is easily one of the best villains in any action picture in some time. Expect to see a lot more of Loken in the future. All of the supporting casting is perfect and even better than in T2. Arnold doesn't miss a beat. He can still kick major butt.

As always, the demolition derby action pieces are the most fun. The dialog is a hoot. "Drop your weapon -- and the coffin," the cops order the Terminator as he exits a tomb with more than a chip on his shoulder. In another scene, the Terminator, in his usual humorous deadpan, tells Connor, "Anger is more useful than despair." There are funny visuals too with the best being a convertible hearse, which, of course, doesn't start off that way.

Even if he has to film it between legislative sessions, I hope Schwarzenegger returns for a T4. But, if he doesn't, well, Stahl and Danes could carry on without him. I want to know more about the Connor saga. And, based on the strong box office results, so do the rest of you.

TERMINATOR 3: RISE OF THE MACHINES runs a fast 1:49. It is rated R for "strong sci-fi violence and action, and for language and brief nudity" and would be acceptable for teenagers.

My son Jeffrey, age 14, had a blast and gave the picture a full ****. His long list of superlatives went to all the cast, especially Arnold, the realistic machines, the graphics, and the story. He said the TERMINATOR series was one of the few in which all are great films.

Copyright 2003 Steve Rhodes

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