115 minutes approx
John Connor -
Marcus Wright -
Blair Williams -
Kyle Reese -
Kate Connor -
Bryce Dallas Howard
Dr Kogan -
Helena Bonham Carter
Written by -
John D. Brancato and Michael Ferris
Directed by -
Judgement Day has come and gone. The machines, led by the Skynet artificial intelligence system, have risen up against the humans who made them and are exterminating a whole species. There is only one man who can stop them and his name is John Connor. He has a weakness, however, and that is his father. Kyle Reese will one day be sent back in time to become his father, something that has made Kyle Reese a target for Skynet. Fortunately, he has hooked up with Marcus Wright, a human who was put to death by lethal injection decades before. The end begins...
The underrated TERMINATOR 3:RISE OF THE MACHINES brought the Terminator saga to Judgment Day, the nuclear holocaust and the day the machines took over. Its lukewarm reception also seemed to mark Judgment Day for the franchise as a whole, but its rebirth on TV as THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES and the news that this film was going to be made has restarted interest.
On a scale of how much destruction you get for your ticket, then this sets the standard for the year and it is likely to be outdone only by the sequel to TRANSFORMERS due out later this year. The explosions come from a variety of killing machines. In the water there are the eel-like hydrobots, on land there is a giant collector (straight out of WAR OF THE WORLDS which drops off a couple of motorcycle terminators when it's angry, and in the air there are the familiar hunter killers. The more familiar endoskeletons are also seen with the clunky T600s and the....ah, but that would be telling. On the side of the good there are tank busting jets, nuclear submarines and lots and lots of guns.
Since this falls somewhere between TERMINATOR 3:RISE OF THE MACHINES and John Connor sending Kyle Reese back in time to experience the events of the original TERMINATOR movie, the film has to deal with the fact that neither of these pivotal characters can die and so it has to introduce new ones to put in peril in order to come up with any tension. Marcus Wright is played by Sam Worthington who tries to make something out of his conflicted and mysterious character, but never really manages to give him any real depth in between all the running and jumping and blowing stuff up. He's in good company because the film's major star Christian Bale also fails to invest John Connor with any sort of depth beyond the man who runs around and blows stuff up.
This film exists for the action (hey it does have McG as the director after all) and so to expect any real depth or characterisation was perhaps always being a little optimistic. On the action front, the film delivers. There are fast, frenetic and exciting action sequences that occasionally tip over into silliness (Wright on the hunter killer whilst it's in the air for example), but which are equally exciting and seem pretty bruising on the human members involved.
The effects are fine (although the collector is perhaps a terminator too far) and it all rattles along at a good pace.
The story isn't going to strain anyone's brain (unless you're playing the 'which film did they nick that bit from' game which can be played throughout the whole running length), but for switch your brain off, explosive action then it's perfectly good stuff.Top
If this page was useful to you please sign our