2003-07-18 / Columnists

MovieScope By Robert Snyder

MovieScope By Robert Snyder



It had to happen. After having a bad terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger), then a good one (Arnold Schwarzenegger), what’s left? A female terminator (not Arnold Schwarzeneg- ger, thank God).

Short of having a gay terminator, the franchise that filmmaker James Cameron created two decades ago is running out of steam as well as ideas. However, under the direction of Jonathan Mostow ("U-5771"), "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" is a money-making machine that, while long, is entertaining…largely due to Arnold and expert stunt/special effects crews.

Feminine cyborg T-X arrives from the future in the naked form of
super-Barbie Kristanna Loken. The scene is Rodeo Drive, Los Angeles, with T-X quickly stealing a silver Lexus coupe and a red leather pantsuit from an unfortunate Beverly Hills matron. Now, she’s off to find John Connor (Nick Stahl) and his unbeknownst-to-her-and-him predestined spouse, Kate Brewster (Claire Danes).

Arnold shows up as a good T-1 robot, that is programmed to save the fledging Mr. and Mrs. Messiah (the Connors are destined to rescue the human race in the upcoming robot-vs.-mankind Armageddon).

After Arnold arrives, the prerequisite crash-and-burn car-truck chase
erupts, which seems to last the entire length of the movie. It probably goes on for 20 minutes tops, but after an out-of-control construction crane tears up half of Hollywood, it gets repetitive, to say the least.

Arnold and his two cohorts go on the road after surviving the interminable chase, as T-X follows in hot pantsuit pursuit. Schwarzenegger spices up his monotonic lines with cyborg wit ("My database does not encompass the dynamics of human pair-bonding;" "You’re terminated;" and his trademark, "I’m back"), while the action becomes bogged down in the inevitable end-of-the-world exposition about a high-tech weapons system that is going to cause the destruction of the human race (except for the Connors and company).

Nonetheless, relative to other films in this summer’s series of blockbusters, "Terminator 3" is a notch higher than "The Hulk," while not as slickly sexy as "Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle."

Will there be a "Terminator 4?" Even if Arnold runs  for governor of California, she’ll be back.

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