Flicks & Folios – Terminator 3

“OOOOOwwww, my ears! Turn that down!” That was my whiny comment upon my return to a film theatre after five years staying home. I am surely suffering hearing problems now. Thank heavens others have made the same general comment.

The film that prompted our return to the theatre was the third installment in the Terminator series. 55 year-old Arnold Schwarzenegger returns, this time as a T10 model, but the amazing Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor is written out as dead from leukemia. Rats! Her son John is back, but the role is now filled by Nick Stahl instead of Edward Furlong, while new director, Jonathan Mostow replaces the famous James Cameron. Somehow with all the changes, the film manages to hold water and my attention, though I’m not as in love with it as the first two.

The story, too, is slanted differently. The film has better than a half hour of action as an opening and is one frightening smash up after another coming right at you on screen. I know some of you will say, “Wow!” and run to the theatre but I found myself wishing I didn’t have to cower in my seat with my ears covered! The action is literally hard for the writer and director to end. They must have had some real fun with it, but I felt it was the weak point of the film.

My husband said some people had gone to see the film for new body on the scene, Kristanna Loken, who does the same type of entrance as was created in the second film, naked and murdering a human for their clothes. Flashes of breast yield no real looks, so avoid running to the theatre just for an eye-full. Arnold’s entrance is a close copy of his T2 scene into a local bar to get the leather clothes off a pool player, except this time there is a cute, apparently gay, stripper at Ladies’ Night and Arnold takes his clothes – by force of course. When he reaches into the pocket for the guy’s sunglasses, out come some star-shaped glitter shades! Since these are not Terminator style, he crushes them.

During the rest of the film, Kristanna does some serious poker-faced slash and crash as she attempts to kill her rival Terminator. As a T-X, she is of course far superior to Arnold’s outdated model. Yet, despite all this she is still defeated at the end. We smell a T4 in the works anyway.

Plot wise the story is similar story to the previous films. The T-X Terminator was sent back in time to destroy John Connor’s future wife Kate, played by Claire Danes. It’s a shame that Kate and John are having a really hard time liking one another. Since Kate doesn’t even respect him until the final moments of the film, they have a hard time believing that their future children will save the world. Kate becomes a key player in the story when they figure out that her father, played by David Andrews, works directly with Skynet in his high-security military work. This is the beginning of the world of Skynet, when a virus shuts down every computer and satellite link the American government has. Since the government is virtually blind and wide open to attack the father is ordered, against his better judgment, to start up Skynet in the hope it will defeat the virus. Unfortunately that’s what the machines were waiting for. They launch an attack on humans and more than half the earth’s population is rubbed out in a nuclear bomb that the machines launch. We do have the new couple hidden in an underground bomb shelter and ready to fight the dastardly machines to the death though. Fear not.

In the bunker there are no government folk to join them: or to get in their way. When a voice pipes in on a speaker and asks who’s in charge, John takes his future power in his hands. “I am,” he announces hesitantly. And he is.

This film made me wonder – really – whether it is possible for the computer viruses we have floating around in Cyberspace to actually gain that much “awareness.” If you laugh at the idea let me ask you would you have imagined the Twin Towers falling, or the idea of the Internet being so huge or even in our existence thirty years ago? (It was originally a U.S. government invention used for secret communications). I wouldn’t have.

So now we wonder, will there be a Terminator 4? I think so. I don’t know the whole story of why there was so much legal hold up for the last 12 years on the production of a new film but it obviously got sorted out and the next film should therefore be a shorter time away.

Anyway, I want to ask you readers a question: “Any ideas how the machines will be defeated in the next (possible) film?” My guess is if a virus activated the machines then a virus can take them down. Any other suggestions out there? Email The Voice and tell us.

Just don’t tell Hollywood, we don’t want our genius ideas stolen!

Laura Seymour first published herself, at age 8. She has since gone on to publish a cookbook for the medical condition Candida. She is working toward her B.A. (Psyc).