Viewed on 11 Jul 03  Though devoid of new plot, TERMINATOR 3 did maintain a story line satisfying to even the pickiest of science fiction buffs.  Industrial Light & Magic orchestrates the SFX-CGI and rides herd over a host of lesser smoke-and-mirror companies - thereby guaranteeing millions of white knuckles on tattered armrests.  Transfixed viewers believed the film to be no more than 45 minutes long, instead of 1 hour and 48 minutes.  Afterward, we expressed disappointment that the movie was so short - until we looked at our watches.
If Hollywood doesn't have much going for it these days (and it obviously doesn't), it at least reigns supreme in the "car chase" category.    Only last month, we saw The Matrix 2, and what had to be the car chase scene of the Millennium.    But don't get too set in your convictions; many are already saying that TERMINATOR 3 has pulled the car-chase-scene rug out from under 'Matrix', and left it in its dust (to mix a metaphor, or two).    If you are prone to hyperventilation, you may want to miss this one altogether.  If there were an Oscar for "Best Car Chase" (and there obviously should be), TERMINATOR 3 would be this year's shoe-in.
Having said that, TERMINATOR's kitsch is beginning to catch up to it; "I'll be back !" now exceeds even "Shaken, not stirred," as Hollywood's biggest -and most expected- one-liner cliché.  There would be rioting in the aisles if it weren't in the movie.  Also, is it just me who wonders how a stumblebum 18 year-old drifter raised in a small Mexican town and hooked on enough barbiturates to neuter every dog in town knows all about the US Government's computers, top-secret communications networks, the gamut of military weaponry and the latest computer viruses?   One also wonders how a young woman who has just seen her fiancé and her father murdered is inclined to reminisce with an old schoolmate about their first kiss.  Nevertheless, if you can stomach these irritants, TERMINATOR 3 should remain on your must-see agenda.
Enduring Line or Phrase:  "Put down your weapon......and the casket."
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