Las Vegas Film Society

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

I saw T3 today (at least it was playing here!) and I have to tell you, it was one of the best movie going experiences I have had in a long time. I remember seeing the 1st Terminator film on VHS when I was younger (during the time when just about any fairly recent movie was quickly ported to video, back when Vestron Video was king!) and thinking it was a terrific movie. Then, years later, I remember seeing T2 in the theater with white knuckle anticipation.

Even though Edward Furlong had that annoying squeak to his voice, "Put him down, NOW!" I really enjoyed it. I remember the 1st time I saw the T1000 crash through the railing and jump a diesel tow truck into the Las Angeles wash, the first time we saw his liquid metal morph, etc.. Truly a movie going event.

Well, was T3 just such an event? I think so. I mean, it is different, I am older now, movies move me in different ways, and have different meanings now. The universe of the Terminator is no longer new, it's weird thinking that some of the people in the audience with me today never knew a world without the Terminator. What was very clear is that T3 is by far a superior movie to both predecessors, a very rare movie event, indeed. The loss of Cameron really is no loss at all, and I really never liked Furlong anyway. Linda Hamilton was a little missed, but really there was no reason for her character to be in this movie.

The story, plot, and quality of writing are far above that of the first two. Cameron is a lot like Lucas, he has a fantastic imagination, an eye for creating atmosphere, but is not necessarily the best writer. The director, Jonathan Mostow does a fantastic job recreating the universe of the Terminator, and the opening chase scene blows away that infamous Matrix Reloaded freeway chase. It's funny, I was expecting little or nothing from this when I first heard about it a year ago, but I had high expectations for the Matrix Reloaded. As it turns out, T3 was a very satisfying movie experience whereas Reloaded was almost annoying.

I found myself smiling almost like a silly little boy 10 minutes into the movie, and totally forgot about any negative stuff I had read about the movie. Using a female Terminator seems fairly logical to me, since most Military Leaders are men, and men are always easier to sway with sexuality then women. Although this aspect wasn't fully explored, it made sense. Besides, who doesn't believe that woman are the source of all evil, anyway (just kidding!!)

The only partial complaint I might have is that the movie is paced so quickly, almost like Total Recall, which I also love. There really is no time to stop and catch your breath, like the Mexico scenes in T2... this movie just rocks from the beginning to the end, I found myself almost out of breath a couple of times (Mostow does a great job of conveying urgency and uncertainty.) I'm not sure if the executive producers (Mario Kassar and Andrew Vajna, the original owners of Carolco) had much to do with the feel of the film, but it is ironic that they were the two who successfully bid for the Terminator rights after the fall of Carolco.

I hope you get some free time and can get yourself to a nice stadium theater with all the bells and whistles... I guarantee you will not be disappointed!!


Another proud member of the Emperor family.