Terminator 3

By Mark Ramsey | 2003/07/02

Maybe the future keeps sending Arnold back to the past because they’re trying to tell him something.

Hey, Schwarzenegger has a new nemesis!

Besides Father Time!

She makes her first appearance naked in Beverly Hills. There, she appropriates a fast car and a sexy outfit, proving that while humanity may go extinct, shallow and superficial taste shall reign eternal.

t3_skintrouble.jpgI don’t know if science has perfected this bootylicious new Terminatrix, but nature certainly has. Forget T3 – this is T&A3. And this new model is designed to make more than machines rise!

And she’s not just easy on the eyes, she’s also short on the resume, light on the budget, and thrifty on the dialogue. All the better to dispense with idle chit-chat and focus on the facial expressions that will secure her fame and fortune: Determination, anger…uh, determination.

And anger!

Check out all the cool stuff this Terminatrix can do with that Swiss Army Knife hand of hers: She can fire off pulsar missiles, throw flame, even morph it into a spinning buzz-saw.

“Dat’s a hand-job you don’t fahget!,” cautioned Arnold.

Listen! She can open her mouth and imitate the sound of a dial-up modem! Remarkably, this is the only sound an actress can make which isn’t all about her.

t3_winstonoutofcontrol.jpgT3 is the year’s first feature length campaign ad. Can you picture it: Governor Schwarzenegger!? It doesn’t have much of a ring unless you count the one in Arnold’s ear. Then again, eventually Arnie’s gotta say “hasta la vista, Terminator.” After all, he’s going through aortic valves the way Christina Aguilera goes through emotional baggage.

John Connor is destined to lead whatever’s left of humanity to victory over the machines. But right now, he’s “living off the grid,” which is what well-read homeless guys call “homeless.”

And who will aid the homeless guy in this revolution? Why, the kid down at the fast-food drive-thru, of course. After all, even Kofi Annan launched his career in international diplomacy by negotiating the territory between a Big Mac and a super-sized fries, right? Beware! These rag-tag heroes will lead us to victory only if by “victory” we mean a vacant refrigerator box over a cozy grate.

Here and there we catch a glimpse of the man/machine war, post-apocalypse. There’s John Connor waving his tattered flag like he’s posting mail with Kevin Costner. Over there are swarms of cold steel robots with glowing eyes lumbering around so slowly they must be wondering who lost the instructions on how to make a wheel.

Machines definitely don’t keep a clean world, I can tell you. “Humanity tried to clean things up,” said our hero Connor, “but when we put stuff in piles the robots complained they couldn’t find anything.”

In the wake of this year’s state-of-the-digital-art Matrix: Reloaded, a new Terminator movie, modeled so closely on the first two, seems downright quaint – especially the high speed chases. T3 is like an epic from days gone by – they should prop up Arnold on a giant Sphinx next to Elizabeth Taylor and roll them through ancient Egypt together.

Here’s what I don’t understand: If they can send back one Terminator, why not send back a thousand? Then they can get the job done, knock off Connor, and put us all out of this sequelitis-induced misery. It’s getting really hard to root for the homeless guy when the alternatives are a limber vixen in a skin-tight suit and the next Governor of California. Come on, people!

t3_losingmind.jpgLook out, there’s Claire Danes – in her future so-called life she’ll be John Connor’s so-called wife. It seems they kissed each other in somebody’s basement when they were kids and now they can’t stop obsessing on it during every single lull in the action. At least you can check your watch by the light of their nostalgic reminiscence.

“Just die, you bitch!” Claire yells at the Terminatrix with a mouth that opens so wide you could stuff the last remnants of humanity inside for safekeeping – and all their chickens and sheep, too.

T3 is all well and good, but you’ve been there before, you’ve done that already – and better. Save the road rage, Terminator. Turn around and take the Cameron exit on the franchise highway.

Next stop: Interminable.

Photos Copyright ©2003 Warner Bros. Pictures


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