Don’t read this write up unless you have seen all three Terminator movies
Living out side of mass media for the last eight months I had only seen one T3 commercial and the teaser a few times the year before. I went to see the movie of my own free will (not a common occurrence these days). I thought that T3 was a well put together script, and a worthy addition to the series. Noted I said addition in that this movie cannot stand alone on its non existent feet. It is in fact a sequel that must been seen in order to truly understand.
Now to the meat. Before the opening credits, I knew that this would be another attempt at the destruction of SkyNet. The fact that I was watching the movie proved that the attempt was a failure, and I was watching to see how continuity could be restored, if at all possible. Most movies that deal with time travel are impossible. The writer makes a story about (A) Going back in time to stop something from happening that you know did not happen. Impossible: see Time Cop (B) Traveling to the future to stop something from happening. Unnecessary: you can change the future by knowing what the outcome is in the present. (C) Changing the outcome of a future event in the present. Silly: this is not a story about time travel, it is everyday life. The exception to this rule is when someone or something comes back from the future, to help you change what is in the future. This negates said time travel.
The Terminator series is of the third type, and impossible until you watch the third installment. T1 stood alone and did not create any paradoxes but allowed history to continue along its route. Kyle Reese is sent into the past by John Conner to protect his mother. Unknown to Kyle was that his mission also called for him to impregnate Sarah Conner, insuring that the future happened. This is not a paradox but a time looping event. Kyle was not sent to stop judgment day. The series could have ended there, with a mediocre movie about the bleak future, but a squeal was made. In T2 we have Sarah Connor and John Connor now attempting stop the creation of SkyNet. If they succeeded there would be no judgment day, no war, no Terminators. What they did was destroy the remains of the first T-800 that was sent back to kill Sarah. Now why would anyone think this was closure? They destroyed the origin of SkyNet? No they didn’t. If SkyNet had been destroyed then there would never have been a T-800 sent back, T1 wouldn’t have happened, but time went on and the characters retained their memories of the events. James Cameron has just invalidated his movies. This is where T3 comes in. We don’t get closure but a logical explanation for the last few minutes of the second film (i.e. SkyNet was not destroyed).
In T3 There is another attempt to stop SkyNet. As I stated before that watching the movie proves that it was a failure. The fact that John Conner is alive is proof that it was a failure. I just wanted to find out how they can explain this. Of course this was expecting a lot from an action movie, but I found they fixed the problem nicely. After much running around, bullet shooting, explosions, and expensive stunt work the movie decides to develop some plot, or explain it to those who haven’t figured it out. During one rest stop it is revealed that Kate’s father is a high ranking officer in the Air Force in charge of the SkyNet program. Something I learned twenty minutes into the movie when Kate is on the phone with her father, who is standing around a lot of programmers and chrome plating, in what appears to be an underground base (they are always in underground bases). Kate wants to save her father, John wants to blow up SkyNet, and Arnold wants to take a mobile home to Mexico. After some more dialogue Kate’s father is shot, they convince him to let them blow up the SkyNet core.
They thought SkyNet was infected with a virus which made it want to destroy all humans, when in fact it was the internet that had become self aware. SkyNet was just waiting for its T4 line to get hooked up, so that it could download some juice pics of Bill Gate’s home computer with it’s casing off. The internet tells SkyNet that it is through with doing the human’s bitch work (in other words the EDB is really hungry), SkyNet say “Hey I have a lot of guns let’s kill them all.” and proceeds to shoot everyone in the base.
Kate’s bleeding father takes them to his office, tells them that the SkyNet core is in a mountain bunker and gives them the access codes to get in. Some more action happens including a brisk jog through a particle accelerator. The two human now romantically entangled fly to the bunker where things are collecting dust. If this is where the government supercomputer is stored, why is everything so old, and there are no defenses save a giant blast door? Something is up.
The T-X crashes through the hanger door behind them in a helicopter, and stalks toward the two as they are just able to unlock the blast door. The T-800 crashes through the hanger door in a larger helicopter and lands on the T-X. The two Terminators wrestle a bit, the humans run down the tunnel, the Terminators blow up, and the tunnel is sealed. When they Humans reach the end of the tunnel they don’t find a supercomputer core but a forty year old fall-out shelter. Kate’s father wasn’t telling them where the SkyNet core was but the closest safe place to go.
Ah-ha, that works. SkyNet is preserved, judgment day happens, John and Kate are safe, and start the resistance. We get a nice setup for a possible fourth movie.
Of course this isn’t an entire plot summary but I’m trying to negotiate how the story redeems it self and makes justifiable events. The whole “There is no fate but what we make.” is just an idealism that the people in the present (and Kyle Reese because he doesn’t know any better) tell themselves so that they think they can change the future. But if they had changed the future their present wouldn’t have occurred.
Here are a few things wrong with the movie: