see, Hollywood? Now was that so very hard? Making an enjoyable
action movie , one that isn't the laziest, lowest common-denominator
excuse for explosions? I mean, hell, we're not talking about a
genius here, but at least Terminator 3 isn't the drooling
kid who fingers himself in the special class. No, it's just smart
enough not to insult my intelligence while it crashes shit into
other shit. The beauty is that it has fun doing it.
I never saw
either of the first two Terminator movies and I don't have
plans to. Maybe this one's a retread, or maybe it completely undermines
what the first two did. I don't know. More important, I don't
give a monkey's dimpled ass. That won't stop some annoying fanboy
from licking the Cheeto residue off his fingers, taking a long
swig of his Mountain Dew and firing off an e-mail to me declaring
I have no right talking about the Terminator 3, let alone
having an opinion about it, without his encyclopedic knowledge
of the relevant mythology. Trust me, I get a lot of e-mail from
fanboys who take themselves so seriously that they can't ever
ignore a dissenting opinion.
But fuck the
fanboys. Not literally. I wouldn't wish a fate that sweaty, slobbery
and unpleasant on my worst enemies. Well, maybe on Dipshit Suzanne,
but she needs it where she can get it. And she'd probably want
two or three of them (Note to Fanboys: do not ask me for Dipshit
Suzanne's e-mail address). For the rest of us, Terminator 3
is really fun for more than an hour. Then it goes as ooky, limp
and squishy as the dicks at the end of a Candy Bottom's threesome.
Up to then, though, it's pretty fucking exhilarating.
is the Terminator, a robot from the future, who was originally
sent back to the present to stop a revolution that will keep machines
from ruling the world. Somewhere along the line, Schwarzenegger
stopped fighting for the robots and tried to protect the humans
from them. That's where the story picks up in this sequel. A young
man (Nick Stahl) is destined to be the leader of a resistance
against machines, so the future machines send their best-looking
girlbot (Kristanna Loken) to kill him. Seriously, this leather-clad
robot is hot. If all robots looked this good, I'd have rusted
out the internal parts of Radio Shack's inventory a long time
is a homeless burnout who breaks into vet clinics to steal painkillers.
The clinic he breaks into is the one where an estranged childhood
crush (Claire Danes) works. Loken tracks him and Danes to it.
See, Danes is destined to be a lieutenant in the resistance that
Stalhl will lead, foreshadowing some deeper relationship between
thetwo. Schwarzenegger is back to save Stahl and Danes and, in
the bargain, humankind.
The vast majority
of the story is action, with two nearly indestructible objects
beating the shit out of each other and everything around them.
For a sci-fi story, though, the vast bulk of the targets are everyday
objects, which is nice and with a lot less CGI. The movie's best
scene is about a half hour in when Schwarzenegger commandeers
a fire truck and Loken drives a 100-ton crane through the streets
of Los Angeles. It's a shitload more entertaining than your average
car chase, and a hell of a lot more imaginative. Yeah, stuff blows
up, and cars crash, but different. A fight and hearse chase in
a cemetery is both exciting and funny, especially when Schwarzenegger
rips a coffin from the mausoleum wall. The rest of the action,
until the last half hour, is fast-paced and better than average.
What I liked
most about this movie is that it's different from the belabored
spectacles that Hollywood craps out its boring ass week after
week. Movies like The Hulk and The Matrix take themselves
so God damn seriously that they forget that movies are like infomercial
psychics or sports predictions: for entertainment purposes only.
Hollywood jackasses like the Wachowskis think their juvenile,
self-important mythologies actually matter. They don't. What matters
is not the horseshit mumbo-jumbo. It's a story that logically
connects action sequence A to B with characters we care about.
Beyond that, for Christ's sake, make it amusing ad exciting, not
coated in pretentious moodiness.
3 is amusing. Surprisingly so. When a naked Schwarzenegger
lands on earth, his only way to get clothed is by disrobing a
gay stripper at a honky-tonk's ladies' night. When you've woken
up naked in the middle of nowhere as often as I have, you know
to plan ahead and pack an extra shirt and shorts up your ass before
you leave. But I guess Schwarzenegger's new at this. His dead-pan
schtick works well. Unfortunately, the comedy groove gets disrupted
by a desperate attempt to attach a catch-phrase to the movie.
A few old ones are rehashed ("I'l be back," and "Don't do that.")
and a few new ones are futilely attempted. They're bad, so bad
I imagine even the whoriest of quote whores would feel awkward
wrapping them into their blurbs.
The kids are
pretty fucking boring and whiny too. Danes and Stahl sound more
like two brats who aren't allowed to go to the arcade than heros
in peril. "I don't waaaaaant to." "You can't make me." "Mr. Filthy
took my quarterrrrrrrs." The story is smart to make us care about
their survival not for themselves, but rather because mankind
depends on it. I realize the Schwarzenegger character is indestructible
and the star, but it still would have been nice for Danes and
Stahl to have something to do other than react. Danes mostly does
this by screaming and acting scared.
is as lame as the horse at a summer camp for bestialists. The
thrill of the beginning is sapped in five minutes and never comes
back. It's as though director Jonathan Mostow was forced to do
two things. First, have a generic climax full of Bruckheimer-like
cliches, and second, shoehorn in some sort of poignancy. It kills
the buzz faster than Roy Boner stopping to say the Pledge of Allegiance
during the orgy scene in Red, White and Screw.
3 was a damn enjoyable action movie. The premise of nearly-indestructible
robots from the future may be nearly exhausted. That could put
hundreds of aspiring screenwriters back to square one. But it
was a good ride. There are few better premises for big fights
and smashing shit up, and for that Terminator 3 gets Four
to tell Filthy Something