Deep Dive - Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
Updated: Nov 24
Film: Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
Release Date: July 2, 2003
Rotten Tomato - TOMATOMETER: 69%
Rotten Tomato - Audience: 46%
Opening Weekend: $44,041,440
Gross US: $150,371,112
Gross Worldwide: $283,000,000
Synopsis: A cybernetic warrior from a post-apocalyptic future travels back in time to protect a 25-year old drifter and his future wife from a most advanced robotic assassin and to ensure they both survive a nuclear attack.
Analysis: Create an epic chase film and add in a splash of an exciting time travel twist. These are the core elements that make a great Terminator movie. This film didn't hit upon either of those categories. The chase scenes were chaotic at best, and offered none of the suspense that kept audiences glued to the screen during the first two films. Outside of Judgement Day being innevitable, there wasn't any exciting new reveal that fans walked away with.
Analysis: You're not John? Well, that's at least what we were thinking the whole time we watching this movie. T2 did a great job of building the foundation of the John Connor character. We can understand taking some liberties with the character given the time difference, but there wasn't anything about this character that resembled what fans would expect at this age in John's life. We didn't expect this casting to be a perfect resemblance of Michael Edwards, the actor who played the adult version of John Connor in T2. At least start your casting in the same ballpark, maybe with, oh I don't know, someone with the same color hair.
Bio: The Cyber Research Systems Model T-X, or T-X Terminatrix, is a highly advanced model of Terminator, succeeding the T-1000 and produced by Skynet in an alternated timeline created from the first attempted assassination of John Connor.
Evil Plan: One unit was dispatched by Skynet into the past in order to terminate John Connor, his lieutenants and other Terminators while ensuring no one in CRS could interfere by shutting down Skynet during its activation.
Analysis: We went from Arnold, to the T1000, to this? Despite having all of these upgrades, this character still felt like a step back from the iconic T1000.
Analysis: Arnold had a few great lines while reprising his famous character, but it was still a steep drop-off coming off of the last film. Outside of Arnold, this film fields a very thin roster of characters.
Analysis: Arnold is a major part of every Terminator film, but the X-factor is always come down to how they handle the time travel aspect. These are the revelations and theories that rattle around the audiences minds as they come off the movie. Outside of John eventually having a girlfriend, there wasn't much to contemplate after the ending credits.
He said he would be back...
Analysis: There aren't a lot of great moments to write home about in this film. This franchise is so rich with the world that it has built, that I feel like there are still unexplored parts of the timeline that fans are interested in. The execution of Judgement Day could fall into that bucket, but this film offered nothing that would build upon the iconic first few films.