It was once the most expensive film of all time, which could only fail. Nevertheless: “Terminator 3” is not only an action spectacle with a huge fun factor for DashFUN editor Daniel – even after almost 20 years.
Actually, “Terminator 3 – Rise of the Machines” never had a chance. With the two predecessors, blockbuster specialist James Cameron ultimately delivered well-loved milestones in science fiction cinema that are still unsurpassed for many genre fans today. How could a movie ever compete with that? And then under the direction of someone else! Although Jonathan Mostow had already made a name for himself with “Breakdown” and “U-571”, putting him on the same level as James Cameron would still be madness – now as then. And that was just the beginning.
Rise Of The Machines was a gamble of massive proportions that few Hollywood studios would dare to take today (ironically, 2019’s Terminator: Dark Fate is an exception). With production costs of over 187 million dollars, the third “Terminator” film in 2003 was the most expensive film of all time – and that was an R-rated film! In the end, it flushed a respectable 433.4 million dollars into the box office, but still only ended up in the comparatively disappointing 7th place among the most successful films of its year. Especially in comparison to “Terminator” and “Terminator 2”, part 3 was often scolded as unworthy and not just hushed up, but almost smiled at from all sides. Yet: We can only recommend that you tune in today, May 12, when “Terminator 3” airs on VOX from 10:25 p.m. …
… almost 20 years later, “Rebellion of the Machines” is not only at least as good as it was then, but maybe even better. We’ll tell you why.
“Terminator 3”: A spectacle that you hardly get to see today
One of the reasons for the exploding production costs was the handmade special effects. While Mostow relied on a consistently homogeneous mix of CGI and practical special effects, What is striking, especially in direct comparison to today’s blockbusters, is what a force the third “Terminator” chapter unfolds in its action scenes.
It’s not exactly as if the dream factory had only staged action with the handbrake for the past 20 years. Whether it’s the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Michael Bay, and his Mega Robo franchise, or, or. Film technology developed at breakneck speed, and the big action spectacles from Hollywood became more and more expensive and therefore inevitably bigger – at least on paper. Or on the computer. For the author of this article, however, those orgies of destruction are nothing more than a perhaps creative, but in the end hardly tangible mixture of ones and zeros, data from the computer without substance – and ultimately also without relevance.
And of course, a sci-fi blockbuster like “Terminator 3” can’t do without support from the computer. In the end, however, it’s just that: support – for the story and above all for the incredibly complex, time and again and in the most varied of ways escalating action orgy that was filmed on location.
Here the sparks fly, cars are cut in half and wrapped around lanterns, and in what is undoubtedly the most spectacular scenery in the film – a chase with a crane truck – an entire block of street is reduced to rubble! And then, from the backseat of a police car, the sinister Terminatrix, played by Kristanna Loken, uses her robot arm to pierce the thorax of the driving lawman to take the wheel herself. These are peaks of violence that you simply wouldn’t get to see in such an XXL blockbuster these days.
Probably the best “Terminator” movie of the last 20 years
Admittedly, gags such as inflatable breasts as a distraction maneuver during a police check were only partially successful in the early 2000s and, to be honest, have not aged too well either – but in the sci-fi action movie, they are no more than mere accessories. “Terminator 3” is especially fun when there’s a bang.
What should also help the film to experience a little more love afterward than it did in the cinema are the sequels that have been released since then. With “Terminator: Salvation” (2009), “Terminator: Genisys” (2015), and the aforementioned “Dark Fate” (2019), pretty much everything has been done in recent years to breathe new life into the franchise – with conditional success. The different attempts that avatar”-Creator James Cameron justified…