Terminator movies, except for Terminator Salvation, are more about fighting for the future than about staying in it. What the concept we find is often obscured: human civilization is weighed down, reduced to rubble by Skynet’s deceptive tactics, which possess a vast amount of nuclear material that you can use in a pre-treat attack: humanity. That’s the point of these movies: we’re always working on our destruction. Terminator Hammers 3 this point is much harder than most. The darkest film in the franchise, Rise of the Machines is all about what happens after avoiding our pending destruction, and the answer is that things are not going very well. At the beginning of Terminator 3, John Connor (Nick Stahl) was not free to stop the T-1000 that was sent to kill him in 1995, and he has no peace of mind knowing that the nuclear apocalypse predicted in 1997 did not happen. Instead, he is struggling with the frustrations and challenges of war. Which means, until then, in the form of a new Terminator, TX (Kristanna Loken). Unaware of Connor’s whereabouts, Skynet sent TX back in time to kill all of Connor’s fans the day before its operation. John Connor’s survival does not prevent disaster – it is just a setback.” Judgment Day is inevitable,” the Terminator played by Arnold Schwarzenegger told Connor when he arrived, sent from the future to protect himself and his future wife Kate Brewster (Claire Danes) on T-X. And, despite their best efforts to shut down Skynet, the human-made machine proved to be perfect. The end of the movie means and explains John and Kate, locked in a basement, as nuclear arrows hit the ground. The future leader of the antichrist is not intended to postpone Judgment Day, but to survive.
The road to Terminator’s third film was long and arduous – a combination of rights disputes, planning, and budget disputes made what seemed to be a downfall in the 90s. By the time the film arrived, more than a decade later, it had no writer/director James Cameron, and star Arnold Schwarzenegger’s career was in crisis following the delayed release of his Collateral Damage terrorist hunting group. For two years at the beginning of the century, there were no blockbuster movies paid for by one of the biggest stars in the last decade. Soon, he would be collecting not only movie articles but also his own impossible and successful campaign, which began shortly after the release of Terminator 3. In the minds of many, Rise of the Machines was defined by what it lacked: not only Cameron but all the Terminator stars except Schwarzenegger. None of Linda Hamilton, who refused to return, was killed outside the screen. And Edward Furlong, the young actor who played John Connor in T2, didn’t come back – he was thrown out, but a studio was set up due to drug abuse problems. There is also the issue of ten years between instalments – ten years in which Terminator 2 was one of the most influential and most talked about films in history. How do you follow that? The answer is simple: you don’t. Nathan Rabin, writing for The A.V. Club, said Rise of the Machines was precisely what the first Terminator was: “B overspending on B budget was a thing of the past. T3, though far removed from the classic, is an extremely successful, anti-fun short poem, but surprisingly craves laughter and surprise.” A little reading of a film presentation might mean the same thing, but not with warm words. A. O. Scott in The New York Times called it “loud, dumb and obvious”. Most people are likely to walk out of the stadium somewhere in the middle, like E.W.’s Lisa Schwarzbaum, who admits the movie isn’t essential, but it’s still a good time – especially compared to another big summer blockbuster, Ang Lee’s Hulk.
Finally, the dark end of Terminator 3 makes it worthwhile to shine now, in 2020. Rise of the Machines has no interest in stepping on a new world – nothing more, except for a good 2019 Terminator: Dark Fate looks forward to exploring the things James Cameron didn’t do in his first two films – but the emptiness of his story takes on a whole new meaning. The world ends in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines because it should; apart from nuclear annihilation, there is no Terminator franchise, nothing can create an alternative. A few of its fictional characters are featured in the signatures on the signatures: there is nothing wrong with the phrase, “I will return.” It is noteworthy that Schwarzenegger said so, and that he spoke of a culture that was not equally religious and that was ridiculed for his nationality for decades. And, of course, it is an integral part of the Terminator formula. In Rise of the Machines, Arnold prepares: he will be back. In other movies like Dark Fate, it was Sarah Conner who said it. And, like a robot that is somehow ageing in the way a man works, we spread a thin layer of flesh and blood on franchise cinema machines, and then we get confused about what it looks like and behaves strangely. You can get many miles without fear. While there are a few new ideas in any Terminator movie, there is only one, Sindiso, the slogan for viewing. Perhaps it is the product of narcissism; in the movie world of Terminator, we have to keep moving, we have to keep new things to take a big piece of the world, we have a lot of control so that we can finally be the builders of our extinction. The Rise of the Machines unknowingly says the point is this: while we watch them see human victory, in movies we enjoy the end of the world. At the time of writing, two potential blockbusters – The New Mutants and Tenet – were opening theatres, which, given the coronavirus epidemic that was devastating the United States, should not have opened up.