Sunday April 6, 2008
Sunday April 6, 2008
Die hard fans of the first two Terminator films seem to always have something negative to say about Rise of the Machines, but honestly if you take the film at face value it's a non-stop roller coaster of action. The Terminator series has always been about two things, blowing things up and Arnold, so to criticize a film that basically blows the crap out of everything and has Arnold throwing out some of the most hilarious one-liners ever, doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
Rise of the Machines takes place many years after T2: Judgment Day. Sara Connor is dead and her son John Connor wanders the country staying off the grid. Since nothing has occurred following the proceedings of the last film Connor assumes they successfully prevented Judgment Day from occurring, or at least so he hopes. But the war is far from over. It seems they still failed in destroying Skynet and now their newest and most sophisticated cyborg the T-X, is sent from the future to murder all those who will become leaders of Connor's resistance. In a chance of fate Connor runs into Kate Brewster (Claire Danes) his future second in command, Brewster is unsuspectingly thrown into a bizarre twist of events when the T-X discovers Connor while looking for her. As it turns out Brewster is closely related to Skynet, and the two spend a majority of the film attempting to escape the clutches of the T-X and discover a way to shut down Skynet once and for all, with the help of an old friend.
Rise of the Machines may not surpass Judgment Day in terms of plot and execution, but it's a great addition to the series. It adds a little more humor and does a descent job of progressing a story that has been in continuation for now three films, plus it contains a well cast group of actors. A female terminator was bound to happen, and I think Kristanna Loken was excellent in the role. Nick Stahl and Claire Danes play well to Schwarzenegger's deadpan terminator, and most importantly the film marks Arnold Schwarzenegger's farewell to movies and what more fitting an exit than the series that truly made his career.
Overall, the script maybe average and the plot maybe thin but you're watching these films for pure action and entertainment, and this delivers both. Schwarzenegger makes this film great, and without him I don't see how it would have gone anywhere. I'm skeptical how any future installments of the series will manage, the newly produced television series (and now canceled) the Sara Connor Chronicles was enough proof to me that a Terminator series or film without Arnold isn't the same. I don't see that show staying afloat very long (it didn't), and unless Christian Bale can make us all forget Arnold with his portrayal of an older John Connor in the upcoming installment, I don't have much hope for that either.