Terminator 3

If you decide to waste your money, try not to roll your eyes or sigh out loud as much as I did.

For a movie in which plot expectations are already low, Terminator 3 is surprisingly bad, merely filling in the footnotes of the film’s two (great) predecessors. And not only are the main characters disappointingly generic, but the writers just couldn’t resist packing Schwartzenegger with worn-out one-liners (“I’m back,” “she’ll be back,” “You’re terminated,” etc.).

Most offensive, though, are the action sequences, which are excruciatingly dull, with special effects you’d expect from a movie made in, say, 1996.

Terminator 3 is a B-movie, a made-for-cable flick, and it only makes me appreciate seeing The Matrix more. (With that movie, unlike this one, I never felt like yelling “Don’t go down there!” or “Don’t just stand there, run!”)

But it’s silly to compare every action movie to The Matrix, and I’m not really bothered by the fact that Terminator 3 doesn’t measure up. Rather, I’m irked because part 3 squanders the groundwork laid by its predecessors, muddying a storyline that has a potentially profound message of its own.

If you’re bent on seeing big-budget films, do yourself a favor and see The Hulk instead. There, you’ll find some semblance of personality and plot amidst all the destruction. Director Jonathan Mostow just doesn’t come close to Ang Lee.

Terminator 3 is unimaginative, graceless, plodding, and old, old, old. Never before has the buildup to Armageddon been so boring.

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