I had huge reservations about seeing Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, because it would not be helmed by original writer/creator/director James Cameron. A pleasant surprise, it actually turned out much better than expected. Where Matrix Reloaded disappointed, T3 delivers in spades. In two areas, it actually manages to surpass even T2 (but not the original... no sequel ever could!): 1) The new Terminatrix (played by Kristanna Loken) was even more ruthless (and far more beautiful!) than Robert Patrick's T-1000, and 2) Nick Stahl adds new depth to the John Connor character thanks to a haunting performance that makes me cringe when thinking of the whiny portrayal we had from Edward Furlong in T2. In fact, Stahl's Connor echos nicely the masterful performance by Michael Beihn as his father (Kyle Reece) in the original, which was the part that was so woefully lacking in the first sequel. Yes, it does have a few logical flaws (the Terminatrix should have been able to much more easily dispatch the leads given her vast superiority over Ah-nold's T-100 model) but hey — the action, special effects, performances... just about everything... were high entertainment value, and well worth the $6, which is rare for an action flick now-a-days.
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