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T3: RISE OF THE MACHINES.

BACK in the dim and distant past of 1991, Arnold Schwarzenegger famously promised 'I'll be back!' in his familiar guise as the gun-toting hero of Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

True enough, more than 12 years later, the leather-clad cyborg travels through time once more to avert Armageddon and thwart Skynet's most sophisticated killing machine yet, the T-X (Loken).

The T-X is beautiful yet deadly, capable of taking on the form of anything or anyone she touches. But first, there is the problem of locating her primary target.

John Connor is a phantom - he has managed to erase his entire existence; no credit cards, no mobile phone, no bank accounts and no steady job.

Despite all his careful planning, John is located by the shape-shifting T-X but he escapes with his life thanks to the last- minute intervention of a T-800 (Schwarzenegger).

However, John isn't the T-X's only prey. The Terminatrix has also been programmed to kill veterinarian Kate Brewster (Danes), an old school friend whose future lies with John if she can only elude her indestructible assailant.

T3 is a $170m eye- popping thrill ride which delivers carnage and mayhem by the truckload, glued together by John and Kate's romantic sub-plot.

As sequels go, this is pretty derivative stuff, concerned primarily with slam bang thrills rather than plausible narrative.

Schwarzenegger thankfully has the bare minimum dialogue, but makes the most of his tongue-in-cheek one-liners.

Director Jonathan Mostow orchestrates the big action set-pieces with breathless verve, accelerating from an explosive car chase and a firefight in a graveyard to one-on-one fisticuffs between the two terminators.

Schwarzenegger and Loken cope well with the physical demands of their roles while Stahl and Danes attempt to inject some human drama.

The unconventional and affecting ending will doubtless divide fans, but does leave the series on standby power for Terminator 4.

Arnie may well be back. Again.

MOVIE CONTAINS...

Swearing

No sex

Violence

KAT'S RATING...

7/10
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Aug 3, 2003
Words:322
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