Terminator 3: The shameless leg-humping of the movie industry

Okay, so that might not have been its original title, but it might as well have been. What a completely shameless series of abuse of an otherwise excellent concept. Cameron would have turned in his grave if he saw this. Oh, he is still alive. If I was Cameron, I would probably be wringing my hands in pleasure: I would be asked - nay - begged - to come back aboard to save the scraps of whatever T3 left behind, to see if T4 (the erection of the New World Order, perhaps?) can make the movie moguls some more cash.

Harsh? Perhaps. But true, nevertheless. However, there are just so many things that doesn't work.

T1 and T2 - the latter in particular - were hailed as the greatest action films of all times. People have written theses on T2's philosophical impact (!) into mainstream culture, on T2 seen as a gothic work (!) and on the two movies as an analysis of the dynamics between man and machine (!). Granted, T3 puts the man and machine thing into focus, as it strives to explain some of the questions raised in T1 and 2, such as how SkyNet could get to power in the first place.

For me, T1&2 were good action movies. Arnie leaves the air pregnant with testosterone, and every now and then, a movie like that seems to be necessary to keep the human race on its right trail. Or something. To accredit it with any further philosophical impact seems ludicrous, but whatever floats your coffin.

I have a few grievances.

1) What did they do with the money?

It was bassooned to high, wide and sundry that T3 had the largest green-light budget of any Hollywood film - ever. Which automatically sends the spit glands of all movie buffs into overload, leading to puddles of drool everywhere where such people might convene. Such as in movie theatres. However - as has already been introduced by the title of this part of the article - What did they do with the money? Okay, so the CGI stuff is decent, but Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl - a movie with a significantly lower budget - uses it to a much smoother effect.

Sure, Arnie ran off with a fair share of the money (He'll need it for his California Governor campaign - may the deities have mercy on our souls), and it looks like they did destruct a few city blocks in the process of making the film (okay, and the sequence with the crane - especially the bit leading to its destruction - is pretty nifty), but by today's Matrix-CGI and Battle Royale gore-standards, T3 falls in the trap of offering absolutely nothing new to the world of movies. Entertaining? Sure, but it makes no sense if you haven't seen T2. And T2 makes little sense if you haven't seen T1. For a movie of this calibre, you would assume that they would have come up with at least something new, yes?

2) I didn't want to kill T-X!

Kristanna Loken is a very hot woman, no doubt about it. But - paraphrasing one of the aforementioned movie buffs - You don't want to run away from her, you'll want to fuck her. What good is the most high-tech terminator in the world if she cannot embody the sheer menace of the predatorial Terminators of T1&2? She tries her best with her cold stares, but she is too damn sexy and too unpsychopathlike to be able to be of any consideration when it comes to terminatorial skills. Add that to the fact that her primary weapon is out of commission after a good whack to the head, and - for the love of all that is holy - of all the high-tech metal alloys that must exist in the world, that they couldn't make her of one that is non-magnetic?

Hell, the recorded voice on the London Underground that informs you that the train will terminate at the next station is scarier.

3) Why, oh why did they have to sell their souls?

In the UK, the film got a rating of 12a. Which is kind of similar to PG-13, except that you can be 12 years old. Or younger, in company with an adult.

The most mind-bending scenes from the previous terminator films include the Terminator doing graphic surgical operations on himself. T3? Not a drop of blood. Okay, so he cuts himself in this one as well, but you can tell it is foam rubber, and lacks the impact because a) it doesn't seem realistic and b) it has been done before.

Here's a message to the movie industry: If you want to cast the huge Schwarzenegger in a huge action movie where he is toting huge guns and eliminates (but doesn't kill - oh no - cause killing is bad, as a different terminator learned in T2) a huge amount of people - by god, we want to see a huge amount of blood!

T3's major fault, however, is the complete and utter lack of the testosterone. That's right - the stuff I have to clean off my DVD shelf every month, because it is seeping out of the other two Terminator movies at a ridiculous rate (I am surprised they didn't come with rags for the purpose. Or zip-loc bags). Arnie is 50-something in the new movie. Good body, though, I must say - regardless of age. The problem is that he is too friendly. He has lost much of his robotic quality (on the other hand, he has somewhat learned to act, but I am not sure which one I prefer), making him seem more at home in the Girls' Night in the strip club than straddling a motorcycle or riding T-X (ah - if it only were that kind of riding).

With the ending of T3 smelling more like a sequel coming up than any of the other Terminator films, I guess we are re in for another 'treat'. Except this time I hope they put the money where it is needed - more stuntmen, huge pyrotech, copious amounts of T&A, lots of blood, bigger weapons, louder sound, darker atmosphere and a voiceover by the guy who does The Tube - rather than the purse of California's future governor.

Kinda cool that they finally grasped the potential of distributed computing, though.