DIRECTOR: Jonathan Mostow
May Contain Spoilers!
Terminator 3 was always going to be a poison chalice. No one beside James Cameron was ever going to produce a film which would be able to live up to the director’s signature work, least of all the director of Breakdown (1998) and U-571 (2000). But I always felt that this film was much better that it was received at the time.
Granted, Cameron’s vision and style was glaringly absent and the tone was refreshingly lighter but as a sequel, this defies Terminator 2’s (1991) success as one of the most honest sequels to date, never shying away from where the story should have gone. But what we do get is a film which visually, at least, packs more of a punch, certainly where the robot vs. robot action is concerned.
But this pretty much all this film has to offer, besides the clichés. The action and pacing are kinetic and are helped along with some decent special effects, certainly for the day and even though this is a shallow sequel, certainly compared to T2, it’s the most entertaining entry of the franchise to watch. We’re not bogged down with any serious time bending paradoxes or psychotic mothers, we just have a lighter version of The Terminator (1984), with a futuristic assassin hunting down members of the resistance and a protector (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is sent to protect John Connor (Nick Stahl) and his future wife, Kate Brewster (Claire Danes).
There’s no doubting the ground breaking natures of both The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, but this is not trying to compete with them, well I certainly hope not, but what Mostow has achieved, is a PG-13 actioner revolving around robots smashing each other to bits. Well, there must have been a market for this because just four years later Transformers (2007) exploded on to our screens.
Recommended, not as great addition to the Terminator franchise but as a very enjoyable action film. And one of Arnie’s last films before entering politics.
*Originally Posted 2013