T3 low on brains, high on action— but no Sarah Conner
OK, straight out of the starting gate, T3 loses a level of popcorn box for one reason alone: no Sarah Conner.
It seems that Linda Hamilton, who played Sarah Conner—the mother of mankind’s future deliverer from the cold clutches of robotdom—opted out because ex-hubby James “King of the World” Cameron wasn’t at the helm of this third entry in the franchise he created. The Sarah Conner character was the heart and soul of the first two films, such as they are, evolving from airhead workaday to survivalist to finally a buffed-out human equal to the Terminator. To casually dismiss her character (here, in a completely candy-assed toss-off) is a misstep.
Lose another popcorn box because in this outing the tin man lacks a brain. On a narrative level, the absence of Cameron is sorely emphasized. Standing in for Cameron is Jonathan (U-571) Mostow, who does manage, however, to ape the man’s style capably. Unfortunately, the handful of writers involved give Mostow nothing more to work with besides slam-bang action set-pieces.
Coming off of the last two entries, one would also expect the mythos to be expanded and enriched. However, in a summer of well-crafted no-brainers, T3 does its best to weigh-in with the expected sturm und drang.
Starting with a bang and blasting away non-stop throughout, as it happens this is the puppy to go to if you want two hours of the cinematic equivalent to a Metallica album (old-school). Ah-nuld returns as the cybernetic organism from the future dropping by to suffer the abuse of yet another cyborg upgrade (this time around, model Kristanna Loken, in a leather get-up that almost makes one forget Hamilton’s absence) as he covers the now-adult John Conner’s ass again. And the ass of Claire Danes to boot. Mmm … that’s about it. Lots of spectacular mayhem. And, since it’s hard to think while you’re bangin’ yer head, no plot to get in the way.
Seeing a trend here, folks?