Saturday, July 19, 2003

Terminator 3: Rewind & Replay

Was it worth spending 170 million dollars to make another Terminator sequel? A month ago the answer would have been a resounding and unanimous yes. But two weeks after the release of the film, I am sure the producers must be wringing their hands in worry and self-doubt. It is highly unlikely that the film will repeat the financial successes of its predecessors, but that is not because it is a bad film. In fact, it's a very good film, but you come out of the theatre with a distinct feeling of deja vu. It is a rehash of T2:Judgement Day, with a bit of added spice in the form of Kristanna Loken playing the evil Terminatrix. Whereas T2 brought ground-breaking special effects to the action film genre, T3 lacks anything innovative to speak of. Its the exact same formula used in T2 - John Conner must be saved from the assassin sent to kill him by the machines, hence enter Arnold Schwarzenegger.

I must admit though, I thoroughly enjoyed the spectacle. This time round the Terminator is edgier, angrier, displaying more emotions than it did in the previous films. Quite a stretch for Arnie. And the Terminatrix...well, she's there because we need someone to destroy. Claire Danes holds her own against Arnie - obviously she is miles ahead in the acting department, but she has enough screen presence to give any big star a run for his money. Nick Stahl as John Conner is just passable.
Without giving too much of the plot away, I can safely say that the Terminator manages to save John's life in the end (surprise surprise!!).

T2 fans have to see it because its there - if you enjoyed T2, you'll enjoy T3, just don't expect anything breathtakingly different. Without James Cameron's writing and Linda Hamilton's acting the film lacks the emotional punch, but the action sequences pack quite a wallop and the dialogues are snappier. I wouldn't say it's a must-see, because you wouldn't really be missing anything if you don't watch it, but one thing's for sure: it's worth the money you pay.