'Ahnold' back in stride
Published: Wednesday, July 9th, 2003
“Terminator 3” is an intriguing movie that even had me in a state of confusion. In some ways it follows the tradition of the older movies and at the same time it follows the same steps as recent computer-generated films, but in the end it is the Terminator pattern that hooked me. The dialogue is simple and full of puns, the plot is basic and sometimes overly predictable, but the action scenes are worthy and the acting is enjoyable. Although I was confused about my final take on this movie, I was never indifferent about the acting or action scenes. Arnold Schwarzenegger is at home in this movie; out of all the characters he’s ever played the Terminator suits him the best. Schwarzenegger plays a machine and he does it wonderfully — his monotonous tone ambushed by his heavy accent is perfect. Kristina Loken comes in as the other main robot, the T-X. She arrives in a bubble in a department store window and immediately steals a nearby woman’s wardrobe and Lexus. Her acting is flatlined also, but it isn’t as comforting as old Schwarzenegger’s. Loken doesn’t kill the movie, but I’m not sure where her status is on making the movie likable. I think she’s there for sex appeal only and personally I think she would be better suited in a romantic comedy. The human characters are played by Nick Stahl and Claire Danes. I enjoyed these two actors and I think they added depth to their characters in a realistic manner. Stahl can play tormented characters extremely well, and although it’s a shame to have Edward Furlong leave the Terminator series, I was excited about Stahl taking his place. Claire Danes also can be tormented but loveable. Together, these actors create characters and a plot we care about. The action scenes in “T:3” are strong enough to compete with “The Matrix Reloaded.” One scene in particular, involving a gigantic crane and several cop cars, is stunning to say the least. Just when you think the action is lasting a little to long and you won’t be able to continue on the same predictable path, something new will occur and you’ve started over again. Considering this is an action movie, there are several action scenes and each of them are worthy of being in an action movie. This movie had me confused and I couldn’t figure out whether I really liked it or not. The reason I was confused is the movie is predictable and usually I hate that in a movie; the predictability in “T:3” was to be expected, but I cannot hold that against the film. Just as everyone recalls “I’ll be back” more than any other line Schwarzenegger has said in his entire career, the Terminator will always be full of puns and straightforward plots of obvious continuity. I enjoyed this movie and think its suitable to the Terminator legacy. It is not the best movie ever made, but neither was the first one. Schwarzaneggar, in this role, makes me think he’s awesome once more. I doubted him in his last few movies, but now that I see him as the Terminator again I’m relieved. The ending to “T:3” is open to a fourth movie; whether that will happen or not I don’t know, but I wouldn’t cringe to see another made and I would probably see it without hesitation.
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