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(Review originally written at 20 March 2006)

This was a real 'middle of the road' movie. It was not as good as I had hoped but it also was not as bad as I had feared at the same time. Like most other people, I was skeptical about this movie. I mean Terminator 3 without James Cameron and Robert Patrick as villain but an yet inexperienced director and girl as villain instead? I feared the worst but at the same time I hoped that the movie might become as good as it's predecessors "Terminator" and "Terminator 2: Judgment Day". It surely had the potential and budget for that. In the end "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" might not be as good as the previous two Terminator movies but at least it's just as enjoyable.

Basically this movie is just a great action-flick. I already knew that Jonathan Mostow was capable of directing a good action movie after seeing "U-571", so I might not had been as skeptical as most others about Mostow directing this movie. "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" also is a wonderfully directed action movie that has some highly memorable and well constructed action sequences in it. It really is due to Mostow's skills that this movie is better than the average action-flick. The movie features so great shootouts, fistfights and car chases, of which the one with the large crane truck the most memorable one. The high budget is notable in the movie and lots of stuff blows up and gets demolished. Budget well spend in this case, I say!

It's not the story that makes this movie a good one. Even though it by no means is a bad story, it just lacks any real depth and emotion. The movie however sets things nicely up for a "Terminator 4" movie. I for one, am really looking forward to this movie, if it ever gets made. I also certainly wouldn't mind seeing Jonathan Mostow returning to direct, if James Cameron is not available/won't do it.

The movie is well cast. Arnold Schwarzenegger reprises his role of 'The Terminator'. He however is given a lot more dialog this time, which perhaps was not the most wise choice, since Arnie's acting skills are highly below average. But perhaps that's also part of the charm. He yet again delivers some cheesy one-liners and the movie as a whole is surprisingly comical at times, especially when compared to the previous two Terminator movies. I think it's great that they actually picked an actor to play John Conner, who actually looked like Edward Furlong, who played John Conner in "Terminator 2: Judgment Day". Nick Stahl is a great new John Conner. He also has some nice chemistry with his love interest played by Claire Danes. Kristanna Loken tries very hard to surpass Robert Patrick's performance from "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" but she unfortunately hasn't got enough charisma for that.

The movie is just nothing more than an awesome action flick. Action movie fans will absolutely love this movie. But the movie does get a git unnecessary violent at times. The movie features lots of killing of innocent persons. It's a bit too much and over-the-top perhaps at times, even for my taste, even though I'm used to seeing a lot worse in some movies. This movie simply just didn't needed that. The special effects of the movie are just great and work convincing. The nice action musical score is from Marco Beltrami. Marco Beltrami is a great and talented action movie composer that hasn't yet got the recognition which he deserves.

Perhaps not as impressive and good as the previous two Terminator movies but as an action-flick this movie is just totally awesome!

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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