Tuesday, January 15, 2013

No, I am not shitting you

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)
Apparently I've not seen this since the theater, as I remember very few details aside from the Terminator Chick, and that Arnold was in stupidly, crazy-good shape for the 55-ish year old dude he was at the time.  Upon re-watch, it's still not a particularly memorable movie.  Nothing specifically wrong with it, just doesn't have the thought-provoking aspects of the first one or the coolness factor of the second.  When you get down to it, I mostly noticed it obviously wasn't made by James Cameron.

Certainly plenty of fun action to be had and the early chase sequence with the crane truck is a nice cringe-inducing good time.  The long rear shot where the crane goes by taking out telephone poles and cars is damned impressive.  Problem is that, even in an Arnold movie, it takes more than a couple of decent action sequences to make a movie.  Past that, there's effectively no character building, very little humor, and an unfortunate complete whiff of a story opportunity.  Showing how Judgement Day came about was what the trailers promised and what the show is obviously leading up to, but instead we get a pretty standard chase movie with a few cool shots of humanity getting taken out tacked onto the end.  I do like that they didn't try to radically alter the future yet again, but seems like there was so much more potential than was actually realized.

Biggest issue aside from the yawner of a story is the supporting cast.  Claire is just fine and the standout of the bunch, but the dude playing John is just ugh and the Terminator Chick is horrible.  I get that she's trying to go all Robert Patrick, but all she does is show how damned good he did at the role by comparison.  She's not menacing, she's not all that convincing as a machine, and really brings squat to the table. 

Arnold is predictably great in his 3rd outing as the Terminator.  As I mentioned, it's truly staggering how good of shape he's in nearly 20 years after the first movie.  He's not quite as massive as his previous outings, but that took some kind of crazy bravado to go around in the buff at age 55 and he completely pulls it off.  Aside from looking a little bit older, particularly once half his scalp is melted off, he's perfectly believable as the same Cyberdyne model from before.  Much like T2, he didn't feel quite as robotic as the first, but it's not to the point of distraction.  He definitely seems to have been having more fun with this and he at least put in honest work on his part and didn't just phone it in.

Ahnold Quotient - 8
Back in his iconic role, some fun one-liners, showing off the bod, and blowing a hell of a lot of shit up.  Some fun play on his famous lines with "She'll be back" or the Elton John sunglasses at the beginning.

Rewatchability - Rarely
It's another one that I really don't need to see again anytime soon.  It was fun, but I'd have to have watched the hell out of the first two and be tired of them before I'd go to this one.  Just doesn't offer up much fun beyond the good chase sequence early on.

Up next, another I missed out on in the theater:  Expendables 2!  Almost there!!  With any luck, I may coincidentally be caught up before The Last Stand comes out on Friday!

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