Saturday, April 6, 2013

All That is Wrong with Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

When T3 was announced it was a shock. Not a shock because a third part was being made even though it was made clear in the last movie and in interviews throughout the years that the story is finished, but because James Cameron wasn't involved. It was like hearing about a new Star Wars movie without George Lucas. Even more so, since Cameron had an even greater authorship over his creation than Lucas over Star Wars. He thought up the concept, wrote the scripts, directed the movies, had his hand in special effects, cinematography, and even designed all the machines in details, everything from endoskeleton to ground HKs. He even storyboarded the first movie himself. Also, absence of Cameron meant absence of such Terminator staples as Adam Greenberg and Brad Fiedel, who were also crucial to the style and look of the Terminator movies.
Still, myself and almost all the Terminator fans I know were completely opened to the possibility, and after seeing first trailers we were all hyped up that its gonna be a great movie, even without the universe's father.It was the movie I anticipated the most ever, as a hardcore Terminator fan since 1989. Carolco studio was reborn, and Vanja and Kassar were producing again, it all seemed to be on the right track. We knew the first two movies were such well regarded classics because of their incredible attention to details (http://www.jamescamerononline.com/Terminator2.htm), depth and artistry (http://www.jamescamerononline.com/T2Complexity.htm) but we were really convinced it's gonna be right up there with the originals. Then we went to see it...and boy, were we wrong. First of all, the writers of the movie didn't even like Terminator movies and admittedly took the job just for the money. In his own blog, John Brancato describes The Terminator as "unpolegetically B" and T2 as "self bloated mess" and says he and Ferris took the job because Ferris wanted a new house. In the same blog he has a pesky attitude towards James Cameron as well. Answering the question about the wrong age of John Connor in T3, these writers simply commented "who cares". If someone's wondering why writers of "Tank Girl" were hired in the first place ("The Game" was credited to them but heavily rewritten), it's upon insistence of Jonathan Mostow. Mostow isn't even familiar with basic concepts of the mythology, since he admitted on the audio commentary that he has no clue why terminators come naked! In-universe explanation aside, Cameron wrote it this way to convincingly explain why no one arrived with weapons. He didn't even know the widely known "name" of the main character! It's virtually impossible for any terminator fan or even passive fan not to know that Arnold was a T-800
All that shows in the movie. The studio wanted to play it safe and copy T2 as close as possible (http://www.jamescamerononline.com/T3special.htm), which is fine, I welcomed the idea. It's not only evident in the movie, but in the audio commentary Mostow mentions T2 at least 10 times, and talks about trying to copy T2's pacing etc But instead, the result was a bland, parodying mess that has some faults, continuity problems and stupidity in every single scene. Let's begin


Lets start with opening titles. The opening titles in the first 2 movies were memorable sequences. Floating and shining steel letters in The Terminator, which passed the screen while the eerie synthesized theme was playing, and in T2 we had the inferno -  nightmarish nuclear fire devouring children's playground. In T3 we get...black screen and white letters


John Connor introduces himself. Minutes into the movie and we already get a gigantic plothole/inconsistency. Ferris & Brancato have already screwed up their first detail, by disregarding the fact that John was 10 years old in T2, not 13.


As John tears down the highway on his motorcycle, we see glimpses of whatever future T3 was trying to go for. We see Nick Stahl dressed as an aging Nazi midget, hollering and waving a weapon in the air--a stark contrast to the stoic John Connor from T2, who was steeling himself for the most costly victory of his life.

Yeah! Halloween! Let's party!

Not to mention that the scene with adult Connor in T2 was a subtle visual introduction to the movie's theme, which is people becoming more machine like and vice versa. Connor scanned the field like a Terminator.

As John Connor rallies his troops, he is standing next to a tattered American flag. This element provides unnecessary nationalism, while also trivializing the plight of humanity everywhere else on the globe. In Cameron's movies, if you notice there are no American flags or insignia, and the novelization mentions all men fighting as one nation. Also,  three billion human lives were said to be extinguished on Judgement Day, which is 10 times the population of the United States. This war isn't about Los Angeles or the USA; it's about the survival of humans as a species. As it is, the novelization and script for T2 established that north of the equator, everybody dies. Most of the survivors would have been from southern hemisphere countries, and that's confirmed in both the novelization and the deleted future war scenes from the script. The future war isn't about the "good ol' USA" saving the day yet again in the vein of 'Independence Day'. If anything, it's the USA that inadvertently created the mess in the first place, and it's up to everyone else to avoid extermination and defeat the machines. Considering how many Americans would have died during Judgement Day, as well as the amount of time the war dragged on, it's safe to say that the USA ceased to exist. There's little point in waving a flag that represents a country most of the survivors weren't a part of.

America! F**k yeah!

As we cut back to present day, we find out that he doesn't feel safe, despite having helped to avert Judgement day way back in 1995. We also find out that John Connor has amounted to nothing. This same person who could hack ATM's at age 10 has settled for being an undocumented manual laborer. And while nothing has been explicitly stated yet, observant viewers might already notice that John Connor has picked a very bad place to live. If he isn't sure Judgment Day won't happen, why stay in the freaking LA?!
John Connor drops a beer bottle into the future, and we see machines that bear little resemblance to the HK's seen in the earlier films, and there's nothing going on. Units are flying around or marching, but we don't see any actual fighting. We see some Terminators fire their weapons, but we see no evidence of return fire. Instead of a future filled with the brutal oppression of humans, we get nothing but robots milling about. The Terminators look good, but the anemic weapon sounds do them no favors, and why do these Terminators have baby teeth?


And why is the war still going on in the first place? Something tells me Brancato & Ferris missed that part about war being won as well...Even if they were unfamiliar with script or novelization, and even if logical deduction wasn't enough for them, Reese even stated in the movie that they had won and that at that point killing Connor in the future wouldn't matter. 
And if Skynet is still holds a crushing momentum upon the human resistance beyond 2029 in this altered universe, what's the point of sending T-X back on the eve of 2004's Judgement Day to kill future human captains as much as possible (including Connor and Brewster) in the first place ?

As we flash back to the present, we see that John Connor really is living like a transient. Living off the grid is one thing, but that doesn't mean he has to be homeless. Illegal immigrants are living off the grid and they have jobs, houses and lives.

Off the grid does not equal homeless bum

We then see him "running from an unwanted future" by driving at night on a winding highway with blind turns at excessive speed, because getting into an accident or getting pulled over by a police officer won't create a paper trail, right? John Connor pays for his recklessness by crashing his motorcycle in an attempt to avoid a deer. What is wrong with this John Connor? At age 10, he was handling a motorcycle far better than he is now. There's a definite line between taking calculated risks and being reckless, and John Connor definitely crossed that line somewhere between T2 and T3.

As John Connor lies injured on the ground, he sees the deer that he almost hit. The deer provides some interesting symbolism. Like Stahl's John Connor, the deer turns out to be a helpless, docile animal that doesn't have enough sense to do anything when disaster comes barreling down like a freight train. Only when it's too late does the animal decide to take action--too little, too late.

[T-X Arrival]

Meanwhile, it's a quiet night on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. The camera pans past a number of store fronts before settling on one in particular. Since Mostow can't wait until the actual appearance of the T-X to annoy us with its dialogue, the window of the store front actually has text that says, "I LIKE this LOOK!" Great, now he have the mini origin story of the first two lines of dialogue the T-X utters.
An electrical disturbance occurs, heralding the imminent arrival of the T-X. Unlike the previous time displacement events, this one radiates a lot of heat before the sphere appears, causing objects to melt or burn. This sphere appears to push its way into present day, instead of annihilating or displacing the matter occupying the area of the sphere. As the sphere materializes, it appears with a tiled pattern etched into it, because a sphere of pure energy is just too boring for Mostow. he missed the point of the black ball being a void.
The T-X has only been in the present for seconds before making its first mistake. It appeared in a store display featuring women's clothing. After stepping out onto the sidewalk, it passed another display of women's clothing. Yet the T-X disregards them, choosing instead to walk around naked!!!!

Clothes AKA disguise is right around you dummy!

 Another thing is, how did T-X travel in time without live elements? T-1000's arrival was done offscreen to hide his nature, but it was confirmed that he arrived in a flesh coccoon. Not only he appeared offscreen, but the flesh cocoon part is in the novelization and confirmed by T2's creative consultant. They decided not to show it not to reveal the character too soon and not to confuse the audience. hence his arrival was offscreen

After a short stroll, the T-X spots a potential victim, a lady wearing a sleek, red naugahyde suit. As the woman returns to her car, the T-X moves in for the kill. As it crosses the street toward the woman (legally, to my surprise), the woman takes notice and expresses justifiable concern. The same T-X that paid zero attention to the women's clothing in the store displays obviously read the text on the glass, because it declares to the woman, "I LIKE your CAR!". The T-X then reaches for her and either rips off the woman's scarf, or her neck. Btw, Mostow actually resigned from shooting a scene which showed the first signs of Skynet taking over when the woman tries to access ATM in order to have more shots of the nude Loken....

Moments later, the T-X is seeing how fast it can accelerate through all the gears of the stolen Lexus. The T-X takes the cellphone from the dead woman's purse and uses it to dial into the LAUSD computer network. The T-X makes noises to emulate the tones created by dial-up modems and successfully logs in--never mind all the wind and traffic noise that would interfere with the connection. The T-X rapidly downloads photos and relevant data for several targets at a rate that is not possible over dial-up.
Now that the T-X has information on its targets, it is free to start driving as crazy as possible. The T-X weaves in and out of traffic, running red lights and driving on the wrong side of the road while speeding. The T-X has absolutely no interest in maintaining a low profile, constantly risking the attention of lots of police. It's going to be very hard to get close to its targets if the T-X attracts a large number of police cars and news helicopters. But of course we later find out that the T-X is in a big hurry because it has 22 targets to kill in less than 24 hours. There are two major problems with that.

1: If Skynet really wanted all those targets killed, why give the T-X so little time to accomplish its mission? It's time travel, stupid! Send the T-X back days, weeks, months, maybe even years earlier! Why make the mission of the T-X any harder than it needs to be?

2: All these "important" targets are in Los Angeles, because of course, LA is the only place that anyone of importance to the Resistance could possibly come from. So if all these people are in LA, why is Skynet bothering at all? They are all in LA. They are in LA on the day of a massive nuclear exchange. They are GOING to DIE--no matter what the T-X does or doesn't do.
There is no way anyone in Los Angeles is going to survive a surprise nuclear attack. But of course, by ridiculous plot contrivance, these people would not only all survive a massive nuclear attack, but they would all become John Connor's lieutenants. So of course they all have to die. Good thing they all live in the same place, so that Skynet only has to send one Terminator.
Also, Later in this movie movie, Stahl says that one day hes gonna have to send 850 back and all that...well, he wont. TX was sent to eliminate the lieutenants. Well, since she did so in the movie, then they wont exist in the future and there wont be a reason to sent TX after them
Anyway, the T-X unsurprisingly attracts the attention of a police officer, and is pulled over. While waiting for the police officer to approach the car, the T-X notices a Victoria's Secret billboard and decides that it needs bigger breasts, inflating them for the benefit of the three teenagers that haven't figured out how to find porn on the internet. The police officer walks up to the car, and wow! Those somewhat enlarged boobies made that police officer forget all about the reckless driving and almost forget about the speeding, too. As the officer stutters and stammers through the last traffic stop of his career, the T-X notices the his gun. Of course, the T-X can't take something unless it comments on the item first, so it does: "I LIKE your GUN!" Like the first attempt at black humor, this one pales in comparison to the "say, that's a nice bike" line from T2 that they're shamelessly trying (and failing) to emulate. Also, T-X has been promoted as the first female villain, while T-1000 had been two women in T2. And perhaps its a good timing place to mention how much of a step back T-X is in comparison to the T-1000 when it comes to infiltration units

The natural evolution would be:

skeleton with flesh - skeleton with liquid metal - liquid metal alone.

T-1000 could:
- fit through narrow openings
- morph its human arms into solid metal tools (ANY kinds of tools) or bladed weapons,
- walk through metal bars
- form additional limbs. Forming additional limbs is a huge advantage. You can hold 4 rifles instead of one. Or like in T2, he can both pilot the chopper and shoot and reload guns.
- flatten itself on the ground to hide or ambush targets. T-1000 can become a floor, wall, stool, big rock - just about anything and anybody
- If blown up, it could reassemble
- When physically damaged, its capable of reforming itself in seconds, closing up bullet holes and reattaching limbs

T-X couldnt do any of that. She was just another skeleton (even if with hardened chassis) but with appearance changing abilities which were also limited because she couldnt change sizes and could only disguise herself as another person of an equal size. Her solid form got in the way almost constantly and contributed not only to her failure (being trapped under the chopper) but to her death (she was grabbed and held. T-1000 was impossible to even be held or hit). Any of her damage is permanent. Ex:. she hits a truck and her cannon is broken and sparking. She rips her legs away, no more legs. T-850 breaks her hand, no hand working.


She has extra weapons but they're ineffective and only a burden. Flamethrower can be acquired by T-1000 as well. All it really needs is a long range weapon. It isnt really any improvement. Even if it had handguns installed, its simply a difference of having them stuck to the body as oppose to carrying them. Aside from the supposed anti-terminator cannon, she had nothing that couldnt be easily acquired around. Grenade launcher would do the job. Overall, the best choice would be to have the plasma rifle which can easily take out terminators. Amazingly, an anti-terminator doesnt have that

A warrior infiltrator is more than just explosions and firepower. And thats the whole point. T-1000 may not have weapons glued to him, but he can get them if necessary, and he doesnt necessarily need the firepower because of his silent stalker abilities and characteristics. All you need is to sneak up and cut someones throat without him noticing, or simply sneak up close enough to have a shot and shoot a pistol. Targets dead. Thats what infiltrations all about. All terminators need is a handgun or automatic weapon. An Infiltrator is suppose to get inside military base, sneak in and destroy it from the inside. Like Columbu Terminator did, like T-1000 infiltrated hospital. Blasting doors open alarms everyone and begins evacuation and mobilization of forces and alert. Sneaking in, opening doors quietly with keys or holes with crowbar gives it amazing advantage of not being spotted and beginning the slay quietly without anyone knowing until its too late. Thats what infiltration is about, and if he wont sneak in and alert the target, chances are the target will get a headsup or that he'll meet with resistance that will stop or slow him down. Theres a reason why our Delta Force sneaks in quietly at night and uses silencers to take out targets. Barge in shooting and driving tanks and you alert the target and give him time and advantage of getting ready or hide or run. Thats the mistake TX did many times. By shooting the patient at the clinic before IDing her, she alerted Kate and gave her a chance to hide and then escape. If shed walk in, cut patients throat and took her appearance, shed easily come to unsuspecting Kate and break her neck.
T-1000 could not be spotted. He could be like commando in the jungle dressed as bushes. He can BE a bush. And then when soldier passes by he gets his throat slit so he wont utter a sound. No alarm risen, no backup, no warnings. Or he can flatten and become a ground, and then when few soldiers step on it he can form multiple spikes and impale em right there, all at once, no sound.
The way T-800 entered, he alarmed the whole station, Reese got lose, and because of the fight with cops and huge headsup, Reese and Sarah had time to escape knowing hes coming and hearing where he is. T-1000 could just copy Silberman, and come back to the station saying he forgot something.. Then go to Sarah, sit next to her and impale her

T-X also can't change sizes because of her solid form, only something of equal height. T-1000 cant change mass and weight because those are constant, but can change size. An example that Cameron mentioned is that he can become a kid with a backpack. The backpack or a belt with tools can be imitated by any extra mass. That way he can become ANYONE, not only a person of the exact same height. He could be a short fat guard, slimm and tall policeman or very tiny and skinny foster parent. TX is a solid endo with set height, she cant imitate someone shorter than her. T-1000 can become a little dog with slades, a kid with backpack, short woman, fat little guy or tall and slimm man

Besides, she is the only villain in the series which was directly defeated by the hero. In other 2 movies, it was ONLY the situation of right time and right place that contributed to success. The T-800 was a crawling garbage after a hand to hand encounter with the T-1000 while T-850 defeated T-X. He was much stronger than she was because even using both hands she couldnt free herself from his grip. He defeated her with one hand, overpowered with just one hand.. And their hand to hand combat in the bathroom was very evened out.In the first movie, it just so happened that T-800 was under hydraulic press when Sarah was near the controls. In T2, T-100 left T-800 a crawling, armless junk after a hand to hand combat. T-800 couldn;t even land a punch cause T-1000's face absorbed and grabbed his hand. It was no contest. And if Sarah would not fire at him pushing him over the edge, the T-800s grenade would not push him far enough to drop him into the vat. It just so happened he was standing right by the edge with molten steel behind him. In T3, T-850 flat out kicks her ass. She would just continue pursuit after John but T-850 grabbed her (with one hand), pushed her back, delivered one liner (all that while she still couldnt get free while hes using ONE HAND), smiled and shoved a bomb in her mouth (which she couldnt pull away and fight him away with BOTH hands). It wasnt circumstances. He simply grabbed her interrupting her pursuit and kicked her ass with one hand. He even broke her hand!In the first two movies, the heroes did not directly defeat the villain. They happened to stand in the wrong place. In both first two movies, the protagonists are barely alive after encountering the villain. In T3, 850 defeats TX on his own, pulling her back, breaking her hand, shoving a bomb in her mouth and shooting a one liner with a smile


Also, the fact that TX is an anti-terminator is utter ridiculous since one terminator killed her with one hand, and even earlier in single combat they were evened out like wrestling fighters. Not to mention none of her weapons could destroy a terminator, something a regular, field plasma rifle could easily do. But more about it later

[Bloomingdale's]

Kate and her "fiancé" are attempting to create a wedding gift registry. Kate is quick to complain that the barcode scanner isn't working, even though she's not actually aiming the laser at the barcode. Scott, who seems to be having way too much fun shopping for wedding presents, either scans the barcode immediately and teases Kate about it, or he spends less than half a second attempting to scan the barcode before giving up and wondering what's wrong with the barcode scanner. Either way, Kate expresses her hatred of machines. Ooh, foreshadowing. Unfortunately, because of the way the scene plays out, it doesn't actually foreshadow the rise of Skynet. It just makes Kate look like she's incapable of doing what any minimum-wage store employee can do easily.

As Scott gleefully works on creating the wedding gift registry, Kate receives a phone call from her father, General Brewster. We learn that her father was supposed to visit her and Scott this weekend, but is unable to do so because of computer problems. We also learn that Kate is having second thoughts about the wedding, which is perfectly understandable. Marrying a man who would rather have a husband than a wife is probably not the wisest idea in the world.

What closet?

As Kate ponders her fate, General Brewster is briefed on the computer problems. There's a nasty virus infecting a massive number of computer systems, and the General's advisor is lobbying to use their advanced new AI system to eradicate the virus. But General Brewster has misgivings about activating Skynet and putting it in control of absolutely all military systems. As one of the few intelligent characters in the movie, General Brewster is right to be concerned, although one has to wonder why they have no way of isolating the secure military systems from Skynet while it does what it needs to on civilian and secondary military systems.

[The Mojave Desert]

Since people think the desert is always hot, a rattlesnake slinks by--even though it's cold enough that the main characters wear jackets throughout the entire movie. Also, rattlesnakes only rattle when threatened. They don't constantly rattle their tails because making a lot of noise makes it hard to catch a meal. Anyway, the rattlesnake is soon joined by a visitor. It's another Terminator, the T-850, which arrives in the same sort of sphere the T-X arrived in. The sphere is pretty much identical to the one the T-X arrived in and lingers too long.

As the sphere disappears, the T-850 stands up, scans its surroundings, and crunches glass as it steps out of the divot created by the time travel sphere. The T-850 seems to be somewhat hesitant, as it takes small steps to exit the divot.

[Animal Hospital]

John Connor, who doesn't want to risk a paper trail, opts to be dropped off at an animal hospital, where he plans to break in to tend to his own wounds. Here, we see more evidence of just how far John Connor has fallen. He's already injured, yet opts to risk further injury by using his elbow to shatter a glass door, when the animal hospital was full of items he could have used to break the glass. Not only that, but his first priority was to obtain pain pills, rather than actually deal with his injuries. He grabs a bottle of Phenobarbital, and immediately starts popping pills.

[The Mojave Desert]

The T-850 has located a rather busy bar, the Desert Star. The T850 arrives at the entrance and encounters a bouncer perched on a stool by the front door. The bouncer is not the slightest bit surprised to see a completely naked man walk up. He acts as if he was expecting a nude man, and tells it that it's supposed to go around to the back. After scanning the man and deciding that his clothes weren't a match, the T-850 completely disregards the man, hitting the man forcefully with the door the T-850 enters the building--but not before aiming its head at the door prior to moving, as if head movements and walking cannot occur simultaneously.His moves are sudden and jerky, and he moves and walks more like Frankenstein and all the cliche robots and androids.
What made the terminator character different and unique is that it didn't act like 50's robots and didnt walk like one. 850 was everything terminators in the first 2 movies weren't

The T-850 enters the bar, and immediately discovers that it's Ladies' Night at the Desert Star. Undeterred, the T-850 begins scanning the patrons. We see the first sign of the T-850's stupidity here. As the T-850 is scanning the patrons, it encounters a large woman. The T-850 determines "INITIAL MATCH UNSUITABLE". That makes sense, so the T-850 disregards the woman, right?

Wrong. The T-850 performs a more detailed scan of the woman, which includes a picture-in-picture display of the woman's breasts. After this more detailed scan, the T-850 determines that the fit probability is 0.29% and that the subject is "INAPPROPRIATE". No shit, Sherlock! The T-850 ends up sacrificing common sense for the sake of a lame gag.

Suddenly, the T-850's head whips around, spotting what appears to be the only man in the entire bar. A gay stripper clad in designer leather is strutting on the stage, no doubt a worthy adversary to the T-850. The T-850 orders the man to take off his clothes. The man, who is busy trying to fulfill every gay stereotype on his checklist, says to the T-850, "Patience, honey," before tossing a glove at the T-850's face. After being briefly stunned by the bizarre display of over-the-top homosexuality, the T-850 steps onto the stage. The stripper becomes hostile, exclaiming to the T-850, "Whoa, bitch! Wait your turn!", and checks off a couple more entries on his gay checklist. The Terminator again demands the clothes, setting up the infamous "talk to the hand" gag. The stripper tells the T-850 to talk to the hand, and the T-850 is stupid enough to actually do so! It grabs the stripper's hand and speaks into it as if it were a microphone. Sadly, this is just the first of many times the T-850 takes things too literally. Where an earlier model would have remained silent, this one says dumb things. A male stripper tells him to talk to the hand, so he does?! When the Terminator in T2 is told that it "forgot to say 'please'," it didn't rephrase its request. It just started laying on the violence. The whole ladies' night event was over the top as well. The whole scenario seemed to be designed to make the T-850 look like a total dork. And the designer jacket that he's wearing looks like something Biff from Back To The Future II would wear

The most retarded cyborg in movie history, the T-850

Having convinced the stripper to remove his clothes faster than originally intended, the T-850 exits the bar.The mocking of the character continuous, since his scan reveals that the stripper was wearing G strings.

So now terminator wears strings...

Btw, the termovision is wrong. The vision of the Terminators from the first two movies really did look like a display of some digitized mechanical device, with slightly diffused vision and strong whiteouts. In here its exactly like human vision just in red
As "Macho Man" plays in the background, the T-850 suddenly notices something in a jacket pocket. It pulls out an iconic pair of sunglasses and--WHOA!!! Wrong icon! The Terminator actually puts on the pair of Elton John sunglasses, and only after showing them off for the camera does it decide that they are not appropriate and crushes them. James Cameron had previously said that he didn't want to make jokes at a Terminator's expense. That rule obviously doesn't apply for Mostow with T3, as he wastes no time in making the T-850 as clueless as possible. It seems as if Mostow's intent was to make the T-850 seem as harmless as possible. Also, in Cameron's movies the sunglasses are an important story device in The Terminator and T2. In the first movie they meant to dehumanize T-800 more and more as the movie progresses and as he takes on more damage, becoming less and less human-like in appearance. In T2, the meaning of the sunglasses has an even deeper meaning and message. The sunglasses symbolizes his gradual transformation - he wears the sunglasses in the beginning when he is nothing more than a killer with a blank mind and looses them when he's starting his journey to become more human. T-800 looses glasses to reinforce beginning of humanization of the character from the hospital scene to the end of the film.

Despite the bar being populated almost entirely by women, and despite the movie taking place in California, the T-850 manages to find a redneck icon, a 4x4 pickup truck with a gun rack in the back window. There is no way a person could get away with driving on public roadways in California with a shotgun visible in the back window, and how many women looking to get drunk need to bring a shotgun with them?

The T-850 breaks into the truck and disables the alarm. Despite having apparently no understanding of human behavior, the T-850 somehow knows a trick that was taught to an actual Terminator--not the T-850. The T-850 flips down the visor, apparently in search of keys. It doesn't find any, but it does find a wristwatch that it uses to confirm that it has arrived in the correct time period. Unlike the first two movies, where Kyle and the Terminators hotwire vehicles by breaking the ignition on the steering column, the T-850 reaches down somewhere in the middle of the console to hotwire the truck with one hand. Before it leaves, it puts on a pair of sunglasses found on the dash, completing the T2-ripoff look but designer style.


[Los Angeles]

The T-X has managed to start driving a bit more conservatively, and pulls into a drive-through to take out its first target. It seems the T-X must have hacked a lot more than just the LAUSD computers, because it not only knows where its targets live and work, it magically knows what their work schedules are. The T-X pulls up to the drive through speaker, and says nothing more than "Jose Barrera?" This is a very stupid method of target acquisition for several reasons. One, there really shouldn't be any way for the T-X to be certain of Jose's presence at the restaurant tonight. Two, pulling into the drive-through to locate him minimized the chance that it will actually acquire him, since Jose could conceivably be working anywhere in the restaurant. Three, doing nothing more than phrasing the person's name in the form of a question greatly reduces the odds that anyone will volunteer information the T-X needs. Four, trying to kill the target through the drive-through window maximizes the difficulty of achieving a good kill. Going inside would have given the T-X plenty of opportunity to look at most of the staff, as well as maximizing the odds of figuring out a way to pull off a quick and sneaky kill. Lucky for the T-X, Jose Barrera is not only working tonight, but is actually manning the drive-through, and is so helpful that he confirms his identity without asking the voice on the other end any questions first. The T-X pulls up to the window, where Jose Barrera says absolutely nothing, because questions like, "Do I know you?" are just to difficult to think of when dealing with a stranger. Jose's confusion gives the T-X plenty of time to analyze Jose's face, read his nametag, and do a retina scan. Who is providing Skynet with biometric information on all these people?

Anyway, the T-X has positively identified Jose, so it's time to kill him. The T-X is loaded with built-in weaponry, so naturally the prudent course of action is to pull out a pistol and make as much noise as possible, and then drive off without later changing appearance or vehicles. Why is it that a Terminator that can adopt any appearance it chooses and has an assortment of on-board weaponry decide that it must not take any advantage of its capabilities? If the T-1000 had been performing the same task, it would have gone inside, disguised itself as one of the staff, shanked the target when he was vulnerable, and hidden the corpse so it would not be immediately discovered. By the time anyone discovered the corpse, the T-1000 would have been well on its way to the next target. It's as if the T-X wants to be inconvenienced by the police. After shooting Jose multiple times and making quite the scene, the T-X drives off.

[The Anderson Residence]

The Anderson kids are at home getting drunk with their friends, proving themselves just as responsible and capable of leading a Resistance as Stahl's John Connor. To illustrate how drunk they are, their beer bash involves watching the local news (exposition about the supervirus! ) and playing with one of those stupid robot cats that most kids get as Christmas presents and are already tired of them before December 26th.

Yeah, that's how teenagers party...

Upon hearing a car pull up, William "Bill" Anderson fears that his mom is home, and rushes to intercept as he has everyone hide the beer. Of course, his mom probably wouldn't be suspicious at all of a house full of kids with alcohol on their breaths, because if there are no beer cans sitting around, the drunk kids couldn't have been drinking, right? Anyway, "Bill" runs to the door, and upon opening it discovers the T-X. The T-X apparently thinks it's at another restaurant, because again it rattles off only the names of its targets, as if it were ordering food items from a menu. Now, despite it being a post-9/11 world, it's nighttime, he's drinking underage, his friends are drinking underage, and he has no idea who this woman at the front door is, "Bill" decides to just tell the T-X not only who he is, but also where his sister can be found?! Come on! There are a lot of reasons for this kid to worry about being in trouble, so honesty is obviously not the order of the day. Maybe he should find out who this person is first, so he can get an idea of just how much trouble he might be about to get into.

As for the T-X, it's lucky that the shooting spree earlier didn't end up on the news so that the Andersons would have had a chance to hide more than just the beer. Also, why is the T-X even asking for William Anderson? He's standing right there. Whatever happened to all that retinal scan nonsense and downloaded photos? Since "Bill" has so helpfully signed his own death warrant, the T-X shoves him to the floor and starts shooting. Again, the T-X makes sure there are plenty of witnesses.

[Kate and Scott's bedroom]

Kate and Scott are awakened by Kate's phone as it vibrates to announce an incoming text message. Kate has to go to the animal hospital for an emergency, even though it's 4:30am. Why Kate would give customers her personal number is beyond me. For that matter, 24-hour animal hospitals do exist, so Kate really doesn't need to be on-call. Besides, if it's a real emergency, in the time it takes for the staff to get to the hospital it may already be too late, hence the benefit of animal hospitals that are staffed around the clock. But hey, why let details like that get in the way of the plot? Anyway, Kate gives Scott a couple of kisses on the neck, and his reaction proves that he still thinks girls are "yucky".

[Animal Hospital]

The scene opens with John Connor just laying in the middle of the floor. Everything about the shot screams carelessness. The blood he didn't clean from his leg, the poorly applied bandage that is soaked with blood, the spilled container of scissors (how many pairs did he think he was going to need?!), the overturned bottle of hydrogen peroxide (he didn't need the whole bottle--he sure didn't use the stuff to clean up the blood), the unopened packaging, the bloody pieces of gauze and cotton, and the fact that he's PASSED OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FLOOR IN A PLACE HE BROKE INTO all conspire to show just how careless Stahl's John Connor really is. Could this guy really not find any more comfortable spot than the middle of the floor? Did he really need to make the signs of intrusion as obvious as possible? Did he really need to tend to his wound right then and there instead of taking what he needed and patch it up somewhere safer? Did he really need to break into an animal hospital and risk imprisonment and a paper trail for some supplies he could have paid cash for at a decent 24-hour store? This guy is just asking to get busted.

Kate's arrival is announced by barking dogs, and John Connor just begins to realize that he's in trouble. Kate lets herself in and gets ready for the arrival of a patient. She notices an empty bottle on the ground (can't John Connor hide or throw ANYTHING away?) and recognizes it as a sign of junkies. Why did John Connor think he needed to take so many? Was he trying to take a fatal overdose? Anyway, Kate begins to call the police, and John Connor stumbles out of hiding to warn her against the idea. When Kate doesn't immediately comply, John pulls out a gun and tells her to put the phone down. Kate does, and that was pretty much the extent of John's plan. He's in trouble and he knows it. He needs to get out of there and he knows it. So instead of doing anything to get out there, such as order Kate to get on the ground or something, John attempts to justify his breaking and entering. Naturally, Kate isn't buying his excuse and points out that there was an emergency clinic not far away. John's not formulating any plans at this point (good thing you popped a couple hundred pills, huh John?), but Kate is. Kate tells John that he took an overdose of pills used for chemically neutering dogs. John Connor doesn't seem to buy it, but his guard is obviously down, so Kate tosses the heaviest empty bottle in the world to John so he can see for himself. As the bottle hits John Connor in the chest, he reacts as if it were a bowling ball. As he desperately tries to catch the empty bottle--THE SAME EMPTY BOTTLE HE DROPPED ON THE FLOOR EARLIER--Kate springs to action. She goes straight for his gun, pushes him away as she takes control of it, and shoots him twice. That's it folks, the movie is over. John Connor is dead.

Wait a minute, no he's not. He's doubled over in pain, so Kate grabs him. John Connor does absolutely nothing to resist as Kate runs him out of the room, through a closed door, into a different room, and runs him into a Marmaduke-sized cage that she locks him inside. This isn't pro-wrestling, John. When someone is doing something to you that you don't like, you're supposed to resist immediately--not wait for her turn to end so you can start yours. But wait a minute! John Connor's supposed to be dead! Nope. It turns out that he somehow managed to find a paintball gun that looks like a real pistol. This is pretty incredible, since at the time nobody was making such a product. There is one company that does so now, but even then they only make a few models, and none of them look like the pistol John was holding. Realistic paintball guns are almost unheard of, so it's quite fortunate for Kate that she could somehow recognize John Connor's gun for what it was. A BB or airsoft gun would have been easier to accept, since both types are available in a multitude of realistic offerings. But there's another problem. Even if we take for granted that John Connor's just was exactly what the movie depicted it as, he's still taking another stupid risk. In California, committing certain crimes with a firearm results in a significantly extended prison sentence even if the firearm is just a replica. This means that if John Connor uses his paintball gun to rob someone and gets arrested, upon conviction he will have an extra 10 years added to his sentence for using a gun in the commission of the crime, even though it isn't a real gun. He also has the same risk of getting shot by police that he would if he had a real gun, but with no actual ability to defend himself. From John Connor's perspective, having a fake gun is worse than having a real gun. If he's not going to carry a real gun, he's better off not carrying one at all.
John gets shoved by a veterinarian and the conversation starts.

Ass kicked by a female veterinarian

Getting back to John Connor, he spouts the classic "It isn't what you think!" Yeah, as if THAT line ever works. We're quickly learning that John Connor never knows what to say. Lucky for us, Kate's "emergency" is at the front door, so we don't have to hear the conversation carry any further. John Connor, demonstrating continuing confusion, suddenly acts as if he cares about his appearance, looking for something to wipe his hands on. I guess he doesn't want to get paint on the clothes that Kate already shot up with paint.

Kate lets in the T-X's next victim, who will soon learn what a real emergency is. No time is wasted in making the character instantly annoying, so that nobody cares when she ends up bleeding on the floor. Meanwhile, Kate excuses herself so that she can start making stupid decisions, too. We'll pretend that Kate already called the police, even though I'm pretty sure she didn't--especially since she's not still on the phone with them. She goes back to check on John Connor, who has nothing to say. At this point, fast-talking is the only option he has, and he didn't even try. Instead, he just stares at Kate while she paces around the cage. The first thing she says is Mike Kripke's basement, which confuses John Connor even more. Finally, she kicks into exposition mode, where we learn that she knew John Connor and went to the same school as him. John Connor doesn't recognize her of course, and when Kate mentions "that thing" with his foster parents, he sees fit to mention that they were murdered. It's a good thing he did, because I'm sure the media forgot to mention that the Voights were dead when talking about them on the news. Then he says that he didn't do it. Well, that clears everything up, because no guilty person professes their innocence. Now Kate has no choice but to trust you, John. He's blowing a golden opportunity to explain that he's terrified of the return of the serial killer that tried to kill his mom, murdered a police station full of cops, and killed his foster parents in the effort to come after him. Yes, we know it didn't quite happen like that, but it's a great way to explain why he's trying to avoid a paper trail of any sort. If he manages to present himself as a person consumed by the fear of being hunted by a seemingly unstoppable killer who's never been brought to justice, Kate might actually find a way to feel sorry for him and maybe let him go instead of having him arrested. But no, he just sits there and gives Kate more reason to believe he's a junkie.

The awkward reunion is interrupted by a crash. Kate decides to investigate, leaving John Connor alone in the cage. Kate soon finds out that she was not the first person to investigate the crash. As she approaches the main hallway, she hears gunshots and sees the cat lady fall to the floor. Kate wisely decides to run away. We see the T-X walk up to the cat lady and ask if she is Katherine Brewster. What's the point in asking AFTER firing multiple bullets through her lungs? The T-X then proves that not only was asking unnecessary, but that Skynet seems to have everyone's blood sample on file. The T-X moves in to sample cat lady's blood. In a bizarre move, the T-X dips a finger into the blood pooling on cat lady's chest, and then licks the blood-soaked finger as if to flirt with cat lady. What possible reason could there be for requiring samples to be tested by the tongue?! Disregarding the whole ick-factor of it, the tongue is in such a recessed location that it makes it difficult to sample anything. Plus, the tongue is just more of the liquid metal. If the liquid metal can process samples at all, then why not use liquid metal at the fingertip to do it?

Yeah, that makes sense...

Then, the T-X determines that cat lady is not Kate and petulantly announces that fact to every pending corpse in the room.

Meanwhile, John Connor recognizes the gun shots for what they were, and is desperately attempting to escape from the cage. Unfortunately, he is attempting to do so by jamming a multitool into the lock, which only works in movies. Lucky for John Connor, he's in one of those, too.

Kate is hiding from the T-X and is desperately attempting to control her breathing. The T-X enters the silent room and manages to not hear Kate's heavy breathing. The T-X walks into the middle of the room and looks around a bit, as if trying to not find anyone. The T-X then starts scanning random items right in front of it, until it settles on a patch of bloody gauze on the floor. It's an animal hospital. Not only is bloody gauze not an odd thing to find at an animal hospital, but logic would dictate that any blood on it is probably from a cat or dog. Apparently, one of the targets the T-X has been assigned to kill was a German Shepherd, because for no apparent reason the T-X decides to sample the patch. When the T-X identifies it as John Connor's blood, the T-X goes into... orgasm?! What the hell? You'd think it was the T-X that just got licked, not the other way around. Does the T-X have an oddly-located G-spot that is stimulated by positive blood samples?

Orgasming robot

And damnit John! When Skynet holds a blood drive, you DO NOT take yourself and your entire damn army to donate blood samples to Skynet! Kate is about as freaked out at all this as the audience is, because now she has an irresistible urge to run, even though she knows the T-X has a gun, and even though she's going to be dangerously exposed for a few seconds. Kate manages to get out of the line of fire just before the T-X fires a couple of shots at her, and she rushes for what's left of the front door. She pushes through the completely intact door, avoiding the gaping hole where the broken door used to be. Strangely, most of the broken glass is missing as well as the door handle. The glass that remains in the door frame is not safety glass at all, and the pieces are of such an exaggerated jaggedness that it looks somewhat comical. Kate finds no amusement in that, and rushes for her truck. Kate actually seems to be thinking, as she already has her keys in hand as she dashes for the truck. As she fumbles for the correct key, there is evidence of remote on her key chain, so she may have had the presence of mind to unlock her vehicle remotely instead of leaving it unlocked.

Kate fumbles with the keys, performs the classic "drop the ignition key" maneuver and reaches down to retrieve them. The T-X, not to be outdone, performs the classic "scary villain at the window" maneuver. To conclude the slasher movie moment, Kate screams at the top of her lungs. At this point Kate should already be dead, as the T-X should have shot her as soon as it had a clear shot. But the T-X seems to have disposed of its pistol, and despite attempting to kill her just seconds ago, now wants to interrogate her about John Connor. The T-X punches out the glass and rips the door off the truck, then grabs Kate and flings her across the parking lot. The T-X steps on Kate's neck and demands to know where John Connor went. Things are looking pretty dire for John and Kate.

[Animal hospital parking lot]

Kate's situation is looking grim, but "lucky" for her the T-850 had a plan. It actually arrived at the animal hospital hours ago. While there, the T-850 placed two small ramps (visible in the movie) near the curb so that it could return later to jump the truck dramatically over the chain barricade surrounding the parking lot, instead of turning ten feet sooner and taking the PARKING LOT ENTRANCE. But of course, it needed to jump the fence in order to minimize control of the truck and maximize the risk of injury or death to Kate. In some remarkably bad compositing, the front driver's side tire actually does come down on top of Kate's legs and runs her completely over instead of appearing behind her as it should have.

Ouch!

But even if one ignores the shoddy 3D work, the 4x4 truck depicted has a differential on both axles (the bulbous gearbox commonly found on the rear axle of rear-wheel-drive vehicles). This is a problem, because there is much less ground clearance directly under the differential than there is elsewhere on the axle. As it turns out, the T-850 had the truck perfectly centered to hit the T-X. Since the differential is usually in the center of the axle, and since the T-X was standing directly above Kate, this means the front differential was exactly where it needed to be to strike Kate. With the front end of the truck coming back down to the pavement, the compression on the tires would have allowed the differential to come down a bit lower, increasing the risk even more than if the T-850 had simply driven in the parking lot entrance.

Anyway, both the T-X and Kate have time to hear and then see the truck coming. From the time it first noticed the truck, the T-X had a full three seconds to react, yet specifically chose not to move out of the way of the truck. Since the T-X doesn't know the meaning of the word 'dodge', the T-850 is able to crash squarely into the T-X, causing it to sprawl out on the truck hood with an expression of feline irritation. Kate rolls over to watch the mayhem unfold. As the truck continues on its collision course with the animal hospital, we see the car the T-X stole. The T-X must like exercise, because it parked the car as far away from the hospital entrance as possible. Not only that, but it parked at such an odd angle in the corner that there would be no quick way to drive away after the attack. But there was a good reason for the poor parking skills of the T-X.

Gratuitous pyrotechnics!

That's right. The remote parking space placed the stolen car right next to a large propane tank and a rack full of smaller propane cylinders, and the 45 degree angle of the car guaranteed that a glancing blow would knock the car right into the propane tank. As the T-850 drove the T-X right through a wall, it delivered just such a glancing blow to the stolen car. Despite the amazing durability of propane tanks and propane cylinders, the slight sideways movement of the car was enough to cause a massive--yet harmless--propane explosion. The only point of the explosion was to liberally sprinkle the scene with decorative fire. Conveniently, the massive fireball did zero damage to the large crane parked right next to all that propane.

As Kate trembles in shock at the over-the-top chaos, she witnesses the T-850 exit from the truck and walk toward her, shotgun in hand. As she struggles to get to her feet, the T-850 stops in front of her. Stealing one of the T-X's own lines, it asks, "Katherine Brewster?" Demonstrating a few more brain cells than the other targets on the list--or perhaps due to shock--Kate does not respond. But of course, the T-850 already knew that this was Kate Brewster. It only asked because the T-850 likes to hear itself talk. It grabs Kate and tosses her onto its shoulder. Instead of trying to twist her way out of a one-handed hold, Kate decides to throw a temper tantrum and limply pound on the back of the T-850 while demanding to be put down in the most shrill voice she can muster. She seems to have forgotten that the T-850 is carrying a shotgun and that it could quite easily "put her down" in the way that animal shelters routinely put animals down.

The Terminator tosses Kate into the back of her own pickup truck, and demands to know where John Connor is. Kate, revealing more intelligence than most of the characters in this movie, decides to bargain for her freedom. She agrees to reveal John Connor's whereabouts if the T-850 promises to release her. She tells the T-850 where to find John Connor, but instead of freeing her, the T-850 grabs a tire iron and just stands there for a moment. Kate points out that they had a deal, and like a stereotypical cartoon villain and as an homage to Commando, the T-850 says, "I lied." Any real Terminator in the same situation would have just locked Kate in the truck without comment, but not the mouthy T-850. After using the tire iron as a heavy duty twist-tie to lock Kate in the truck, the T-850 heads off to annoy John Connor.

As John Connor continues to demonstrate a complete lack of understanding of lock picking, the T-X punches a fist out from cinder block rubble that improbably formed itself into a large, neat pile right on top of the T-X. The T-X is in no hurry, gently waving robotic fingers around as it slowly collects the liquid metal that has separated from the main body for no reason at all. John Connor finally figures out that he's not going to unlock a padlock with his multi-tool, so he just kicks the door open--even though the cage itself is built as tough as the padlock. What need is there for him to escape from the cage on his own, anyway? The T-850 is about to find him, and John being helpless in a cage would make more sense than being free to run, but freezing at the sight of the T-850. Anyway, as John Connor attempts to make his escape, he glances at the arm of the T-X, which is still taking form and gently waving about in the breeze. The T-X has been under the rubble for over a minute now. Is it drunk or something? Is it still coming down of the orgasm John Connor gave it with his big, manly DNA sample?

Ballet

John Connor rushes out into hallway. In the background, the pickup truck is now farther into the building than it was when the T-850 first got out of it. John Connor limps a few paces, and runs into his worst nightmare--a Terminator with basic psychology routines. Unlike the John Connor in T2 who could instantly recognize trouble and start running, John Connor just stands there while the Terminator strides toward him. The basic melodrama routines of the T-850 take effect, as it announces to John Connor that "it is time." John Connor is actually dumb enough ask if the T-850 is there to kill him. Yeah, sure John. Terminators always tell their victims when it's time to die, because shooting them in the face is just too subtle. If John Connor had any brains, he'd realize that he doesn't know what the T-1000's voice sounded like, because it didn't talk to people it was trying to kill. Instead of just answering John Connor's question, the T-850 immediately starts messing with John, postponing the response as long as possible while stepping right up to him to draw out as much fear as possible. Finally, the T-850 announces to John Connor that he must live, but suddenly grabs John Connor as if he got caught throwing rocks at cars. Meanwhile, after spending over two minutes buried under rubble, the T-X finally decides that it should get back to its mission, and emerges from the debris.

Bad John! Bad!

Outside, as John Connor starts asking important questions he'll forget to ask later, the T-850 shoves him into Kate's truck and tells him to leave. The T-850 stupidly decides to remain behind to fight the T-X, even though it knows the T-X is supposed to be far more advanced than the T-850 is. But hey, why bother sticking close John and Kate when it can risk failing its mission instead? How did it expect to find John Connor once he drove away? What did it expect to do to the T-X? Why was the crazy cat lady so elaborately dressed for a late-night veterinary emergency, with a long skirt, braided hair, earrings, but no car of her own? As the T-850 fails the first rule of being a bodyguard (have a body to guard), the T-X prepares to wow us with a weapon that has a slower rate-of-fire than the Death Star superlaser. While the T-850 fires at the T-X ineffectively, the right arm of the T-X undergoes a painfully slow transformation into its most powerful weapon--a plasma cannon capable of causing minor inconvenience to Terminators. Like the T-X, the T-850 doesn't have any basic dodge routines, so the T-X has no problems hitting the T-850 with the cannon. The impact sends the T-850 flying all the way across the parking lot and into a building. The shot also causes the sort of cartoon-styled electrical interference that acts like a temporary x-ray.


The T-850 is temporarily stunned, so the T-X converts the cannon back into a normal arm.
As John Connor flees, emergency responders are seen travelling the opposite direction. They arrive at the scene of the explosion, and EMT's quickly locate the T-850. Discovering that the T-850 has no pulse, one of the EMT's attempts to move the T-850 while the other stands there doing nothing. The EMT is unable to move the T-850, because "this guy weighs a ton". Of course. Terminators need to blend in with humans, so naturally they should be built so heavy that they can shatter asphalt and concrete on impact, and react like a stone statue when manipulated by humans. Contrast this with T2, where a 10-year-old boy was able to help a Terminator to its feet.

Meanwhile, the T-X has done nothing except be completely ignored as a possible witness or suspect. None of the police can be bothered to notice that she's an exact match for the suspect of multiple murders earlier that night. Maybe thin, blond women wearing red naugahyde suits at night are a dime a dozen in LA. Now that there are a bunch of emergency vehicles available, the T-X decides not to steal any of them. Instead, the T-X starts to use a nano-injector gizmo to take control of the cars--even though cars are mechanically operated. They don't have a bunch of electronics to control the brakes, gas pedal, shifter, and steering wheel. Those cars would be stuck in park without steering control. And of those cars, only the police cars have any provision for seeing (the dash-mounted camera). Even in that case, they wouldn't be able to see anywhere except directly ahead, and the non-police vehicles wouldn't have the benefit of even that one camera. This doesn't stop the T-X from using magic to take them over anyway. Also, why didn't the T-X do this with the first car it stole? Having an automated car might have been useful during the encounter at the animal hospital or for dealing with some of the other targets on the hit list, and it allows the T-X to focus on tasks other than driving.

Another troubling question is if the T-X has the ability to take over machines, why has it been ignoring the T-850 this whole time? The T-X had plenty of time to reprogram or finish off the T-850 while waiting for emergency responders to arrive. But instead, it loitered around doing nothing, giving John Connor as much opportunity to escape as possible.

As John Connor looks for someone to rear-end, Kate calls 911 and reports her kidnapping, only to have the call disconnect due to network failure. Meanwhile, red naugahyde blends in so well that NOBODY is noticing the T-X casually strolling about the crime scene, poking her head into every vehicle at the scene. The T-X walks right past the wreckage of its stolen car and into an area with flaming debris, as nobody bothers to notice. It climbs into the slowest, least agile vehicle it can find--a Champion crane. What better vehicle for pursuit than a vehicle that could never hope to move fast enough to make up for John Connor's huge head-start? The T-X finally gets around to sending the emergency vehicles on their way, but refuses to leave until the T-850 is awake to witness the departure. Finally, the T-850 regains consciousness and snaps its eyes open. The completely incompetent EMT's recoil slightly and stand there stunned, instead of identifying themselves and/or asking questions to determine the extent of any potential injury. The T-850 gets up in time to see the T-X leave in the crane. Nobody in the parking lot seems to care about the leather-clad individual carrying a shotgun, especially not the motorcycle cop who is riding straight at him. The T-850 punishes the officer for his inattention by throwing him off his motorcycle and stealing it. Good thing the suspension can handle 2000-pound Terminators. The T-850 tears out of the parking lot to join the chase...

[Streets of Los Angeles]

John Connor is attempting to evade the T-X when he discovers that Kate is in the back of the pickup truck. Kate is understandably very angry about the situation and demands that John stop the truck. He's unwilling to do so, and after a brief argument he closes the window at the rear of the cab. In the two seconds it takes for him to do so, the red car far ahead of him has magically switched lanes, and now there's a Ford POS stopped in the middle of the road for no apparent reason. The traffic light up ahead is green, and there is plenty of empty road between the car and the intersection. There is absolutely no reason for the car to be there except to blow John Connor's sizable head start.


If John Connor had been paying more attention to driving, he probably would have been able to avoid this accident, but the other guy definitely shouldn't have been parked in the middle of the street. With inadequate time to swerve or stop, John Connor plows right into the stationary car. Meanwhile, the remote-controlled emergency vehicles are trying to catch up to John Connor.

The retard who had parked his Ford POS in the middle of the street for no reason whatsoever actually has the nerve to be pissed off at John Connor, as if the guy himself had no blame whatsoever. Oh, it's his company car. So the guy's a high-rolling business man cruising around in an older model Ford Taurus. If anything, the fact that it's a company car should make him less bothered than he is, because his personal car insurance should be unaffected, his personal car wasn't affected at all, and the company will almost definitely provide him with a replacement. Considering how little that car would be worth, you'd think the guy would almost be happy about needing a replacement. It's strange that the guy is far more concerned about a car he has no personal stake in than he is about any injury he may have sustained.

As crazy as the guy is getting over such a lousy car, it's understandable that John would try to get away. As he tries to restart the pickup truck, the guy orders him to get out of the truck. The guy doesn't seem to bright, as he doesn't instantly recognize John Connor's obvious attempt to flee the scene. John Connor attempts to use his poor communication skills to defuse the situation and acts like a complete p***y, but the angry man just yells at him to shut up. As soon as Kate realizes that there is someone else out there, she starts screaming for help. The angry guy hears Kate's screams for help, so he demands to know what's going on. But as soon as John Connor opens his mouth the angry guy screams at him to shut up. This guy is getting stupider by the second.

Great military leader

Meanwhile, the remote-controlled vehicles that couldn't possibly have known which way John Connor went, have magically located him. John Connor resumes his efforts to restart the pickup truck, as Angry Guy tries to flag down the "police". Realistically, John Connor should have had no hope of escape in that vehicle, since the front end damage should have wiped out the radiator and inflated the airbag, and the impact was hard enough that if the Toyota Tundra has an emergency fuel cutoff switch, it probably would have triggered. How convenient that the equipment that should be broken is working just fine, and the equipment that should be working is broken.

Angry Guy is amazingly stupid and staggeringly irresponsible. He knew (or should have known) John Connor was trying to flee the scene, and that he had a hostage. Yet, Mr. "I'm going to rip your balls off" just let John Connor drive off with a hostage. There was no driver's side door and John Connor wasn't wearing a seatbelt. Also Connor demonstrated hes a little p***y. The guy could easily have pulled John Connor right out of the car. But no, I guess the life of a woman or his precious company car isn't worth the effort needed to restrain a fugitive. Angry Guy is so oblivious that he doesn't even notice that John is getting away until its too late to do anything about it. Angry Guy screams impotently at John Connor to get back there, but to the surprise of absolutely nobody, John Connor doesn't give the slightest shit about what Angry Guy wants. As The Man With No Balls watches John Connor making his escape, he keeps pretending that the world revolves around him, as if the police would be too stupid to figure out how to do their jobs without Mr. Neuter there to point at the bad guys. Even after all the emergency vehicles pass him by, he just stands in the middle of the road gazing at his precious $500 company car. Hasn't this brain-damaged individual ever heard of traffic? Unfortunately, T3 opts for another comic moment. Instead of moving eight feet to the left and turning the guy into genuine California Road Pizza, the T-X rams into his car instead. We see the guy cower as the car he tried to take as his wife is smashed by the crane.

Now that the emergency vehicles have caught up with John Connor, it's time for bumper cars. They ram him repeatedly, causing the truck to spin around several times. Out of the multitude of impacts, there are at least three solid hits to the rear wheels of the truck. Despite all this, the truck does not flip over, veer off the road, or crash into anything. John Connor manages to regain control of the truck, even though the rear wheels should have been destroyed.

The Champion crane must be the first utility truck to ever feature an afterburner, because somehow the T-X has no problem catching up to vehicles with much higher top speeds. Is John Connor keeping the chase under 40mph to avoid a speeding ticket or something? That's still not slow enough for the T-850 however, who is still lagging behind and running lights and sirens in order to be as conspicuous as possible. Using a pointless tilt of its head, the T-X directs the police cars to box in John Connor, waiting until John Connor is boxed in before bothering to start the excruciatingly long warm-up sequence for its plasma cannon. Why didn't the T-X already have the cannon charged and ready to go? The T-X can automagically control vehicles, so using the plasma cannon shouldn't have interfered with its ability to drive. As it turns out, the only thing slower than the plasma cannon charging is the actual plasma projectile. Right after John Connor stomps on the brakes to break free of the police cars, he sees a tractor trailer carrying gas cylinders. Even though the T-X fires BEFORE John Connor begins to swerve, John Connor manages to maneuver completely around the tractor trailer before the projectile hits it. The same explosion that it powerful enough to cut through the thick steel girders of the trailer is also weak enough that most of the gas cylinders remain on the truck, only to be scattered when the T-X plows through the wreckage. The T-850 finally catches up to the crane, dodging around the tractor trailer wreckage the T-X created. The fire truck that has been lagging behind in the chase attempts to drive though the huge opening created by the crane, only to explode for no reason whatsoever. This is definitely not a case of the fire truck hitting anything, because the explosion occurs at the REAR of the truck, flipping the back end of the fire truck up and over the front end, causing it to land upside down.

Now, up to this point in the chase, the crane hook has been secured to the front bumper of the crane via a loop of steel cable. Even crashing through the tractor trailer wreckage failed to dislodge it. But the T-X has plans for the crane boom, so the hook is suddenly free of the loop. John Connor, deciding that he hasn't done enough to jeopardize his chances of escape, swerves onto a sidewalk. What a brilliant move! Aside from having nearly zero maneuvering room to avoid potential obstacles such as power poles, newspaper vending machines, signs, light poles, fire hydrants, sloped driveway entrances, utility boxes, traffic lights, and pedestrians, it's a great place to gain some extra speed! Sidewalks are so much better than open roads when driving that it's a wonder anyone bothers driving in the street. It obviously hasn't occurred to John Connor that if one of the police cars manages to get onto the sidewalk in front of him, he'll have no place to go, since the sidewalk he's on is lined with walls and fences on one side, and a sea of parked cars on the other side.

Now that the T-X is aware of the presence of the T-850, it deploys the crane boom sideways in order to make it difficult for the T-850 to follow. Of course, doing so also means that the crane is going to move even slower, since the crane boom and outriggers will be hitting every single multi-ton obstacle in the way. It's a wonder that this crane could ever be used for construction, because the hook at the end of the boom has more destructive power than a wrecking ball. By merely touching a car, it can make it flip end over end and/or explode spectacularly. In at least one case, just having the tip of the hook graze the top of a car is enough to cause it to explode in a massive fireball. None of the destruction is enough to shake the T-850. Somewhere during this segment, one of the police cars just vanishes, never to be seen again. As for John Connor, having accomplished nothing by driving on the sidewalk, he returns to the street. All this time, the T-X could have been charging that stupid plasma cannon in order to shoot at John while he was stuck on the sidewalk, but instead decided to wait until after he was back on the street before even thinking of charging the cannon. All the T-X had to do was shoot at some parked cars in front of or right next to John Connor's truck, and he would have been trapped/dead. But that would end the movie pretty quickly, so of course the T-X gives the T-850 every opportunity to interfere. The T-850 decides to start shooting out the tires on the crane. It starts with the tires that are both the hardest to hit and the least likely to affect the handling of the vehicle. Even though the extended outriggers should make the shots impossible, the T-850 shoots at the middle tires on either side of the crane. Also, the T-850 shoots at tires on both sides, instead of focusing on one side to destabilize the crane. Rather than risk killing its primary target, the T-X decides to abort the plasma cannon shot and focus on dealing with the T-850. It swings the hook at the T-850, which has thoughtfully chosen the exact following distance necessary to make that possible. Rather than swerve, hit the brakes, or accelerate, the T-850 actually reaches out and hugs the hook, losing both the shotgun and the motorcycle in the process. Luckily for the T-850, the explosive hook doesn't work on Terminators, so the T-X has to settle for swinging the T-850 back and forth into various obstacles. The T-X swings the T-850 into the ambulance, doing nothing to the T-850, but overturning the ambulance and taking it out of the chase. Out of the four vehicles the T-X took control of, the T-X has inadvertently destroyed half of them so far.
When the T-X is driving the crane and swinging the Terminator around, that is mechanically impossible. All mobile cranes are designed to run only when they are in neutral. The T-X would have burned out the hydraulic pump within seconds.
Meanwhile, John Connor has turned into a residential neighborhood. Rather than stick to the relatively empty street, he swerves onto the sidewalk again, where he now has to content with trees, parked cars, lawn furniture, low-traction surfaces, an assortment of random objects, and of course pedestrians. Multiple pedestrians dive for cover as the savior of humanity nearly runs them over to save his own skin. John Connor even rams a parked car, but of course Kate's Toyota Tundra has the optional 'god mode' package, which renders the entire drive train impervious to damage. SQUEAK!!! John Connor hits an inflatable playpen. It turns out that there were no children in it, but he'll never know that. The police car hits the playpen as well, knocking into the street with a resounding BOING!!!

Meanwhile, the T-850 is still hanging onto the crane hook. The T-X keeps ramming the T-850 into every obstacle it can find, instead of doing something crazy like shoot it with the plasma cannon that was supposedly built specifically for destroying Terminators. With the T-850 hanging off the hook, it's a can't-miss situation. If the T-850 lets go, it's out of the chase. If it doesn't let go, it's out of the chase. So of course, the T-X can't be bothered. The T-850 helplessly clings to the hook until the T-X spies an oncoming fire truck. Even though the occupants of the fire truck can't help but see the obstacle coming right at them, the driver can't be bothered to swerve.

CLANG!!! Squeak, squeak. Looney Toons homage. The T-850 is plastered right into the front of the fire truck, leaving an empty hook on the crane. That's enough to elicit a Chesire Cat grin from the T-X. It's interesting that the explosive hook didn't hit the fire truck at all, even though the hook was low enough to destroy the fire truck the way it destroyed every other car so far.


Back inside the fire truck, a quartet of individuals trained for life-or-death situations can do nothing except stare dumbly at the guy clinging to the front of the fire truck. The T-850, looking like Wile E. Coyote after using an Acme product, disposes of the broken glasses sitting haphazardly on its face, and wastes time telling the firefighters that it will drive before actually grabbing the steering wheel and forcing the fire truck into a skid.


The same T-850 that could do nothing but hang onto the crane hook has already climbed in the window and is pushing the driver out the door. Having traveled the wrong direction for several seconds, the T-850 now has to catch up to the T-X using a fairly slow vehicle. That won't be a problem, because the fastest vehicles in this movie are the ones with the heaviest vehicle weight and the lowest top speeds.

Meanwhile, John Connor's evasive maneuvers were so poorly thought out that the T-X was actually able to intercept him. John Connor sees the wall explode right next to him, and swerves to avoid the crane. The crane instead takes out the last remaining police car. Out of four vehicles taken over by the T-X, three of them were destroyed by the T-X, with the fourth MIA. One would have expected the T-X to share positional data among all the vehicles to avoid this sort of situation, but then John Connor might have to work to survive.

As the T-X charges up for a shot on the world's toughest pickup truck, it realizes that the T-850 has rejoined the chase. The T-850 rams the crane multiple times, much to the annoyance of the T-X. It decides to shoot at the fire truck, but before it can do so, the T-850 jumps over to the crane. The fire truck must have been carrying flammable water, as the fire truck explodes into a spectacular ball of flame. Unfortunately, there was a fatality. Instead of a Dalmation, this fire truck had a mountain lion as a mascot. It's final roar can be heard as the truck explodes.

The basic etiquette routines of the T-850 kick in, as it says "excuse me" before using a fire axe as a hook to yank the T-X from the crane. The T-X is so heavy that upon impact it leaves a woman-shaped divot in the asphalt. The T-X then instantly rolls to the left and snags one of the outriggers on the crane. To signal the climax of the mind-numbing chase, some shrill music begins to play. The T-850 sees a manhole cover and releases the hook. Even though there's no way the explosive hook could drop fast enough to do it, it nevertheless manages to shatter the manhole cover, fall all the way down the shaft, and then get snagged so securely that the cable eventually starts ripping through asphalt, earth, and reinforced concrete. The T-850 makes its escape, kicking out the window and jumping onto the Tundra. The T-850 seems to have forgotten that Kate was still inside the pickup truck. Lucky for Kate, the shell of the Tundra had a thin layer of plot armor--just enough to prevent the T-850 from squashing her. What a weight too. None of the previous terminators even made a slight indent jumping on the hoods or trunks of the cars

The T-X makes it back to the cab of the crane just in time to find out that it's about to crash. The cable goes tight, but instead of snapping, it causes the crane to pole vault into the air. The cab is driven right into the ground, with the T-X inside.

The T-850 climbs into the cab of the pickup truck. As soon as John sees the T-850 he recoils in horror, before looking out the passenger window to survey the results of the crash. As the T-850 takes over driving duties, it makes an obvious human-like effort to settle into the seat, because of course Terminators need to be comfortable when driving.

Despite the dozens of tons of steel involved, the T-X is not damaged at all, and easily extricates itself from the wreckage. But instead of grabbing another vehicle and continuing the pursuit, it watches angrily as it allows its targets to get away.

[Streets of Los Angeles]

Having finally escaped from the T-X, John Connor can relax--for about two seconds. Just as he's catching his breath, the T-850 whips its arm out, latches onto John Connor, yanks him toward it, and starts wrenching John's head around. After inspecting John Connor's head and left eyeball for several seconds, the T-850 shoves him back into his seat. At this point, we learn that the T-850 was checking John Connor for injury.

Of course.

If one is worried that someone is hurt, the best course of action is to wrench them around violently, grab their head and try to cause or aggravate a neck injury, and stare into one of John Connor's eyes as if it were some sort of status indicator. Naturally, the injury check overlooks the various injuries that John Connor actually has. Even the most incompetent med student knows that checking someone in such fashion could cause additional injury or death. We know Terminators aren't inherently bad doctors, as the Terminator in T2 stitched Sarah's cut in the garage while using only one hand. The T-800 never had to violently thrash people about to check them for injury. The T-850 is quite the medical downgrade.


It is ironic that the T-850 determines that John Connor exhibits no signs of brain trauma, since John Connor almost immediately displays the kind of confusion that could only be justified by a concussion or some other sort of brain injury.

John Connor:
Do you even remember me?

Sarah Connor? Blowing up Cyberdyne?

"Hasta la vista, baby." Ring any bells?

What, do you come off an assembly line or something?


John Connor remembers those details, but he forgot that the T-800 was horribly smashed, barely saved John and his mother from the T-1000, and then was lowered into molten steel to protect everyone from a shitty sequel like this one? How could he possibly think it's the same damned Terminator? Clearly, there is some misdiagnosed brain trauma involved, making the T-850 just as much of a quack doctor as it is a quack psychologist. And getting back to John Connor, how could it not occur to him that these things come off an assembly line?! The one that tried to kill his mother looked just like the one sent to protect him ten years later! And it's a machine! Why wouldn't it be produced on an assembly line? Kyle even told Sarah that the machines were built in automated factories!

Then there's the infamous "T-101" line. With the dedication to research exhibited by Ferris & Brancato, it would not surprise me if they couldn't get through a magazine article without someone to help them turn the pages.

And on to the next lame skit. The T-850 again whips out its arm, startling John Connor. But the T-850 merely opens the window separating the cab of the pickup from the shell. The T-850 asks Kate if she has any injuries, which ironically the chatterbox Terminator felt was too much effort to do with John. And of course, the T-850 must respond to everything, so when told to drop dead, it announces that it is unable to comply. Didn't these people watch T2? Terminators don't respond to every single stupid thing said to them. And whatever happened to economy of motion? There's no benefit to all those sudden, brutish movements. They're inefficient, they're not human-like, and they look stupid. It's not as if Kate was going to die if the T-850 didn't get that door open NOW. Cameron spoke with Arnold in the Terminator documentary that his smooth movement had a purpose. Not only it looked shark like, but also conserved energy. Sudden jerky movements are not only reserved for cliche robots, but also burn more energy.

And the T-850 says that it is taking John Connor to a safe location. That will be relevant later.

[Desert highway between Palmdale and Victorville]

As the T-850 drives John and Kate through the desert, Kate stomps incessantly on the wall. Amazingly, it doesn't occur to her that at least one of her kidnappers has previously demonstrated a willingness to kill people and had a shotgun, so she's not the least bit worried about annoying her captors. Apparently she thinks she's too likable to kill. John Connor finally has enough of Kate's pounding and tells the T-850 to drop her off at the next exit. The T-850 refuses, stating that Katherine Brewster must be protected. Kate thoughtfully stops pounding on the back wall of the cab so that the following exposition can be heard more clearly. It turns out that John Connor actually managed to hide successfully from Skynet, so Skynet had to settle for attacking John Connor's lieutenants, who all conveniently could be found living in Los Angeles just hours before the city gets wiped off the map by a nuclear-tipped eraser. Why is the T-X wasting time killing all these walking dead again?

Continuing with the exposition, John Connor cannot accept that the war wasn't averted. He points out that they took out Cyberdyne over 10 years ago, placing T3 in or after 2005. The T-850 tells John Connor that Judgement Day was only postponed, and that it's inevitable. Amazingly John Connor doesn't seem to interested in finding out exactly how the war unfolds, when the new Judgement Day is, or why Judgement Day is supposed to be inevitable. The T-850 doesn't seem too eager to volunteer the details, yet more irony from such a talkative machine. Quite a lazy way to answer the biggest question as to how did the development continue if the crucial mind behind it is dead and made sure everything has been destroyed. he and a machine from the future were absolutely certain that would surely stop the development of Skynet. Even Dyson's death alone couldve done that

Then we move onto the part where the writers realize their Terminators are unkillable with modern technology, so they come up with a bit of future technology that's conveniently exploitable for just that purpose. It's amazing that a machine that undoubtedly has a slew of internal sensors doesn't notice anything wrong with its fuel cell until it starts smoking. Equally amazing is the fact that the T-850 decided to wait until the fuel cell was about to go critical before even contemplating how to remove it. What if John Connor didn't have that multitool? They would have long since missed any opportunity to pick up the necessary supplies.

While the T-850 is talking about the T-X, it takes the opportunity to cut into itself to extract the damaged fuel cell. The T-850 must use T-600 parts as a cost-saving measure, as the chest was suspiciously rubbery and did not bleed at all. Based on the sound, I think the flesh is fastened to the T-850 with velcro. John Connor flinches somewhat at the sight of fake flesh and blood, quite a change from the young boy who had no problem poking a finger into bullet holes on a Terminator, assisting that same Terminator in stitching up a large gash on his mother's back, later applying emergency first aid to Sarah's bleeding leg wound, and witnessing a Terminator with shredded flesh. It's odd that John Connor is squeamish now, when he wasn't as a child.


As the T-850 talks about the T-X, it makes a big deal out of the T-X being designed for extreme combat. Um, isn't that what all Terminators are designed for? The bunker infiltrator T-800 in the original movie sure had no problems holding its own inside a base full of armed Resistance troops. How much tougher does a T-X really need to be?

And don't look now--here comes the dramatic foreshadowing/comic irony. The T-850 tells John Connor that it is unlikely to find a way to destroy the T-X, while tinkering with the very items it will use to do so. Not to be outdone, John Connor reaches for inappropriate optimism "You'll find a way to destroy her", even though his entire life has been prophesized to be anything but a happy ending.

"I'm an obsolete design." Finally, something the T-850 said that not only isn't stupid, but it's absolutely true. The T-850 seems to be the worst infiltrator design ever. Not only are its communication skills lacking compared to every other Terminator, but it wastes no time in receiving hard-to-conceal damage that reveals its true nature.

We also learn that the T-X is an anti-Terminator Terminator, which is impressive since we've seen it's total inability to neutralize the stupidest Terminator ever built. Here it is just now having to deal with damage the T-X inflicted hours ago.
Once again, moronic statements for the T-850, as when John claims, "you've gotta be shitting me," the T-850 responds with, "No, I am not shitting you." Couldn't the T-850 just shut up, or simply say, "negative"? Did this T-850 really think John Connor believed that he was being forcibly expelled from the T-850's ass? Are John and the T-850 competing in some sort of stupidity contest, because they sure seem to be preparing for starring roles in the next 'Dumb and Dumber' sequel.

Then, we have the T-850 littering. I understand that the T-850 isn't the most environmentally-aware entity on the planet, but shouldn't an item as extremely powerful and unstable as a fuel cell get some sort of special handling, like maybe throwing the thing as far as inhumanly possible? That fuel cell has enough destructive power to lift the side of a mountain. Maybe a casual over-the-shoulder toss isn't the best way to get rid of something that can destroy a Terminator and its precious cargo. The Terminator should have thrown that fuel cell like it was trying to knock the moon out of orbit with it. At least toss it behind a hill or an embankment or something. In fact, the T-850 should have been specifically looking for a place to stop and remove the fuel cell, where it could easily throw the fuel cell behind some large, protective landmass. After the fuel cell explodes, the Terminator offers up a strong contender for understatement of the year. The fuel cells become unstable? Really? I had no idea that nuclear explosion had anything to do with the smoking fuel cell you just cut out of yourself!

Chatterbox Terminator opens its mouth again, telling John, then Kate, to relax in an increasingly stern voice. Yep. Those psychology routines the T-850 was programmed with are really paying off when it comes to comforting people.

[Gas station near Victorville, CA]

After nearly blowing up the people it was programmed to protect, the T-850 pulls into an AM-PM gas station for fuel. John Connor is outside filling the truck with fuel, as the T-850 has gone inside the convenience store. As the camera cuts to inside the AM-PM, we see more evidence of computer problems. Meanwhile, the T-850 is using its nutrition subroutines to pick some of the absolute worst food to have in a desperate survival situation. Twinkies?! Mini donuts?! BUBBLE GUM?! The T-850 gets extra points for grabbing only one 20-ounce bottle of water, even though humans will die in days without water, versus weeks without food.


Of course, the T-850 does spot one vital necessity--gas station sunglasses.
Now, the fact that John Connor is pumping gas at all proves that they clearly had money for gas, so the Terminator would have been better off using some of it to buy the junk food, instead of stealing it. Money is going to become worthless in a few hours, so there's no sense in hoarding it. As an alternative, the T-850 could have physically restrained the clerk. That would have served the dual benefit of preventing him from calling the police (at least for a while), as well as allowing the T-850 to steal a lot more food--and maybe a decent amount of water this time. It's also nice that the T-850 neglects to mention the impending nuclear attack to anyone. No sense in having John Connor help the T-850 prepare for the attack.

Of course, we now have the other infamous "talk to the hand" scene. When the clerk confronts the T-850 regarding the snacks it is about to steal, the T-850 whips out its hand and uses the words of "wisdom" it learned from the gay stripper stereotype. Not only is it a ridiculously stupid scene at face value, but it doesn't even make sense. The T-850 didn't understand what it meant back at the bar, so how would it suddenly know what the phrase means? Did the T-850 really want the clerk to talk to its hand? Just when the scene couldn't get worse, it does. That dumb "funky man" song playing in the store suddenly comes to the forefront as the T-850 and its impolite hand walk out of the store. Oh, and bonus points for the clerk not noticing the hole blasted in the T-850's chest, or all the scars on the face and neck with bits of gleaming metal behind them. This big guy isn't nearly as odd as the utility outage that's ruining his entertainment options for the day.

As the T-850 returns to the truck, Ferris & Brancato realized that they wanted a SWAT encounter later, but they hadn't done anything to justify one. So rather than do something logical like have Kate's cellphone start working again for a short time, they decide that the better way would be to have the T-850 open the back of the truck for no apparent reason so that Kate can leap out and make a scene. The T-850 even plays along, holding Kate in the air for a moment, so that she has plenty of time to scream, flail, and generally draw unwanted attention to John and the T-850. It's not like that hand-basket of junk food was too big to fit in the cab, and there was nothing stopping John Connor from sitting in the front of the truck. That scene was set up solely to give the gas station attendant an excuse to call the police from what is apparently the only working phone in the area.

In a rare moment of intelligence, John Connor grasps the obvious trouble brewing, and recommends that they leave. But, as with everything else regarding John Connor in T3, it's too little, too late.

[In the back of the pickup truck]

John Connor sits in awkward silence with Kate in the back of the pickup truck. Finally, he breaks the silence by offering Kate jerky. Kate is not amused by this, and launches into a tirade about John being a delinquent. John Connor just sort of snickers at that, which just pisses Kate off more. His lame effort to explain everything to Kate is to knock on the side of the truck and have the Terminator tell Kate who John is. Needless to say, Kate doesn't buy the T-850's explanation at all. John's "and there you have it" expression doesn't help at all. Kate is even less impressed by John's explanation of what the T-850 is. The fact that he delivered that explanation with a smile undoubtedly didn't help any.


Way back in T2, when Miles Dyson had no idea what was going on, John Connor instantly knew what to do to get him to understand. A few seconds with a pocketknife and one robot arm later, Miles Dyson was an instant believer. So how is it now that John Connor can only babble vague nonsense? Why couldn't he knock on the cab and have the T-850 pull over to prove what it is? It would have been even easier with the T-850. Since the chest was already disfigured, all the T-850 had to do was lift its shirt and open the fuel cell compartment. That should have easily proved that the T-850 was a robot, at which point Kate might have been more willing to listen to John. But no, it's better to piss her off and make her as uncooperative as possible.

Just show her this!

When Kate harps some more on the kidnapping and demands to know what John wants, he finally starts to get serious, kind of. He starts to talk about his destiny, but he does so in such incredibly vague terms that there's no way Kate could possibly have any idea what he's talking about. John's response is:

"The life you know, all the stuff that you take for granted, it's not going to last."

Great way to defuse the situation John. Kate thinks she's being kidnapped, so of course the thing to do is say something ominous that makes it sound like he plans to bury Kate in the desert or something. No wonder she doesn't want to cooperate.

Everything John Connor says in the back of that pickup truck reveals that he's just along for the ride, metaphorically as well as literally. The John Connor in T2 was quick to take command and make decisions. He didn't wait for the T-800 to do it all for him. John made the decision to warn Todd and Janelle. John made the decision to rescue his mother. John made the decision to try to save Miles Dyson. But now in T3 we have a John Connor who clearly is no longer leadership material. He's not making any useful decisions. Where the T2 John Connor would move, the T3 John Connor hesitates. Where the T2 John Connor would take charge, the T3 John Connor merely follows. Where the T2 John Connor was concerned about other people, the T3 John Connor doesn't even take his own dire situation seriously. The situation is enough of a joke to him that he doesn't make the slightest attempt to make Kate understand. Instead, he chooses a course of action guaranteed to increase her hostility toward him.
And despite the fact that there's a new, stupid way to die somewhere out there looking for him, all he can think of is a make-out session?! And the fact that he remembers the event (barely) but not the details just makes him look like the typical asshole male, especially with the obvious amusement on his face and in his voice as he thinks about it. This John Connor is less mature than he was ten years ago.
When Kate mentions that she only remembered the make-out session because the next day John Connor was in the news, he suddenly starts putting 2 and 2 together and coming up with 5. He starts hinting at some sort of destiny, which Kate mocks of course. But especially annoying is the part where John says that he and Kate hooked up the day before John Connor first met "him", referring to the T-850. Damnit John! It's NOT the same damned Terminator! How can you remember where everyone went to make out as kids, but you can't tell two Terminators apart, when one was melted down and the other wasn't?

And why is the T-850 still driving around in that trashed pickup truck? Is it trying to draw attention to itself? After the Pescadero escape in T2, the Terminator acquired another vehicle, even though the security vehicle stolen from Pescadero was still perfectly drivable. The Terminator understood that driving around in a conspicuous vehicle that was known to be stolen is a bad idea, so it picked a less conspicuous vehicle. The T-850 obviously doesn't understand the idea of subtlety, since it keeps driving around in a pickup truck with a missing driver's side door, dents everywhere, and a slew of equipment violations. The T-850 could have stopped anywhere to switch vehicles, but then doing so would have made it harder for the T-X to catch up to them again.

[Scott and Kate's apartment]

Scott is asleep. He soon wakes up, thinking Kate has returned. Instead, he finds the T-X sitting on his bed. The T-X takes so long to analyze photos that it must sit down to do so.


The T-X literally twists around to face Scott, because girl Terminators are so limber. The camera cuts to a picture of Scott and Kate on the nightstand, as an assorment of "Scott is going to die" sound effects start playing. Scott screams at a pitch Kate couldn't have achieved even when she was 10 years old, and shortly thereafter his watery blood sprays across the photo.
Either the T-X spent a lot of time at Kate and Scott's apartment, or the detectives were deaf, because when they come to Scott's apartment to ask questions, the T-X is still there, disguised as Scott of course. Finally he has become the girl he always wanted to be. What's bizarre is that these detectives ask if Kate is at the apartment, even though they soon reveal that something happened at the animal hospital, and that there was a possible kidnapping out near Victorville that might be related. MIGHT be related?! It's her freaking truck! She's missing from the animal hospital, and a woman of identical description was seen being thrown kicking and screaming into the back of her own pickup truck! Do they really think this is a coincidence?

In the creepiest tone fake Scott can muster, it says that it will help them find her. This is pretty stupid, as the detectives should have no reason to believe that "Scott" would know where to find Kate. And if he did, they'd do what they supposedly went there to do--interview him for any possible information that might help them crack the case. They'd either interview him right there at the apartment, or perhaps bring him to the police station. They're going to ask about any phone calls, history of trouble with people, what happened that morning... They're not going to drive around with Scott to look for Kate. Heck, considering the way police think, they're probably going to initially assume that Scott is a possible suspect.

And finally, there's a big critical piece of information mentioned in the dialogue exchange between the detectives and "Scott". The detectives mention that she was spotted at a gas station near Victorville. This means that the T-850's great plan to get John and Kate to safety involved going NORTH out of Los Angeles--not south, and then east to Victorville, basically making sure John and Kate would be surrounded by juicy nuclear targets just hours before the attack commences. Basically, they're hanging out in a desert that will be surrounded by radioactive graveyards. Great place for long-term survivability, there. This is stupid enough already, but it gets better after some more critical information is revealed a little later.

[Cemetery]

The T-850 brings John and Kate to a cemetery, smashing the gate as it enters. For whatever reason this cemetery does not appear to be open to visitors. The T-850 orders John and Kate out of the truck, and forcibly escorts them into a mausoleum on the funeral grounds. I can understand why the T-850 might think it necessary to latch onto Kate, but is it really necessary to do the same to John? He's been cooperating so far, and isn't likely to bolt. Maybe the T-850 realizes that John Connor is so dumb that he must be forcibly guided toward the mausoleum, otherwise he wouldn't know where to go. That must be the case, because the T-850 lets go of Kate before it lets go of John. Once inside, the T-850 latches back onto John and Kate, and forcibly guides them through the mausoleum until they locate what they're looking for... Sarah's grave.
The T-850 looks at John and pauses for over 20 seconds, allowing John plenty of time to absorb this surprising revelation in his life. We learn that John Connor hit the road the day his mother died, and that he had no idea where she was buried. This whole time the T-850 knew why they had gone there, but waited for John to ask why before acting. Rather than answer John's question directly, the T-850 decides to mess with John Connor. Without a word, the T-850 pushes John out of the way, punches right into Sarah's grave, and pulls out the coffin. John Connor is understandably horrified at this, and immediately makes a futile attempt to stop the desecration of the grave. Keeping John Connor away with one hand, the T-850 opens Sarah's casket to reveal...

...a cache of weaponry completely filling the coffin. John Connor is surprisingly startled to see the cache of weaponry, far more surprised than Kate is. Now that the T-850 has freaked John out, it can start doing the chattering it wanted to do initially. We learn that Sarah Connor was cremated in Mexico, and her ashes were scattered in the sea by her friends. After having literally thousands of nightmares in which she was incinerated and blasted into ash by nuclear fire, it's only natural that she would make a conscious decision to have her body incinerated and reduced to ash by fire.

And of course, Sarah's friends stored the cache of weapons here at the cemetery in accordance with her will. There is a major problem with this. How does John Connor not know any of this? The weapons won't do Sarah any good, since they were put there after her death. Since they were put there in case of Judgement Day, it would have made sense for John Connor to know about them, since he's the one who's going to need them. It's not like he can't be trusted with that information. In T2 he knew about the weapons cache at the Salceda ranch, and obviously had great familiarity with firearms. There is no reason for him not to know about them since he learned about them since birth. Solely relying on the friends to tell him was a bad idea, as that information obviously didn't get to him before the new Judgement Day. He wouldn't be able to get to them after Judgement Day, since even if it wasn't hit directly by a nuke (it undoubtedly would have) the storage place would be completely inaccessible due to high levels of radioactive fallout in the entire region. It's surprising that the T-850 even knew to look for them here. Even if Sarah's friends survived Judgement Day and eventually found John, the cache would be so worthless as to not be worth mentioning. After all, even if somehow the cache survived, finding it among a city-sized pile of ruins would have been impossible. Even if they did end up mentioning it, it's not enough for John to know. Kate would have to be told as well, otherwise she wouldn't know to tell the T-850 about it.

Since Linda Hamilton realized that T3 was going to be a trainwreck and refused to be involved, Ferris & Brancato had to come up with a reason for her absence, and here it is. It turns out that Sarah ended up being diagnosed with leukemia while living in Baja. Despite being given six months to live, she hung onto life for three years, long enough to be sure Judgement Day wouldn't happen. Considering that Judgement Day was scheduled to happen less than three years after the events of T2, this means that John and Sarah moved to Baja immediately after the steel mill fight, and Sarah went to the doctor the next day. What's odd is that leukemia sufferers are said to easily become bruised, bleed excessively, or develop pinprick bleeds, due to a lack of blood platelets. Sarah sustained a lot of injuries in T2, but wasn't ending up with lots of bruises. And we saw more than enough proof that she wasn't a heavy bleeder. We even got a closeup of a nasty gash on her back that wasn't bleeding profusely. Sarah seemed way too healthy in T2 to have had leukemia, and I find it hard to believe that a case of leukemia so advanced that doctors were predicting her death in a matter of months, was somehow overlooked by doctors during her stay at Pescadero.

As John blathers on, he says he never really believed that Judgement Day had been averted? Really? John seemed quite convinced in the pickup truck, when he insisted that the T-850 shouldn't even exist. But if he really didn't believe it, why the hell was he living somewhere that was GUARANTEED to be nuked to oblivion in the event of nuclear war? Not only that, but it's the ONE place Skynet knows where to look for him. If he thought there was even the slightest chance of Skynet still rising to power, he should have moved anywhere EXCEPT Los Angeles. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

The whole while John Connor is talking, the T-850 is just fidgeting with the weaponry in the box. It just sort of picks up random items, then drops them back in the casket. The T-850 is acting without purpose here. It's just letting John ramble on, without bothering to do anything useful with the weapons they drove there to acquire.

John is determined to stay as clueless as possible. He says, "You know, you were about the closest thing to a father I ever had?" Oh, poor whiny John Connor. How is it that ten-year-old John Connor could cope with his screwed up childhood far better than "adult" John Connor can? And how many times do I have to say, IT'S NOT THE SAME DAMNED TERMINATOR!!! Does John Connor think the T-850 crawled out of the molten steel and hid from him for ten years?

Meanwhile, Kate has been formulating a plan. Since John and the T-850 have blown opportunity after opportunity to properly explain the situation to her, Kate is still treating this as a kidnapping. She makes a sudden grab for a Glock pistol. Although she has no way of knowing initially if the gun is loaded or not, to her credit Kate thinks to rack the slide first. The fact that it does not remain locked back upon cycling is a pretty good indicator that there were bullets in the magazine.

The T-850 is caught completely by surprise by Kate's action. It rises up and takes a surprisingly defensive posture, as if it's worried about being shot or something. This is a far cry from the Terminator in T2, which looked and acted absolutely fearless when staring down the muzzle of a shotgun.


The T-850 is also contradicting itself, since earlier in the movie it did nothing to avoid being shot by the T-X, which was using a much more powerful weapon (sort of). The T-850 hesitantly creeps up on Kate, even though it doesn't really have anything to fear from her. After a brief standoff, the T-850 makes a move for the gun, resulting in Kate firing before the T-850 can get the gun out of the way. First off, how did the T-850 manage to get shot? Average human reaction time is close to 1/4 second. An ordinary human would have had a pretty good chance to deflect Kate's pistol before she could shoot. A Terminator should have had an even easier time, thanks to superhuman reflexes. They worked great for the Terminator in T2, when it came to relieving the barkeep of his shotgun. Regardless, whether due to poor reflexes of its own, or a lucky twitch from Kate, the T-850 was unable to deflect the pistol without being shot.

Second, where's the bullet hole? Terminator flesh has never been particularly tough, so there should be an injury. While Kate stares in shock, the T-850 retrieves the bullet--from inside its own mouth! The T-850 works its tongue and jaw around until it pushes the bullet to its lips, then spits it out onto the floor. There is no way the bullet could have gone in without causing damage. Even if we assume it pushed its way through the lips, it still should have caused damage. It was moving at about Mach 1. There wouldn't have been time for the flesh to push out of the way without being damaged. And surely the teeth, tongue, and the inside of the T-850's mouth would have been damage. But no, everything is just fine. No bleeding lips, no broken teeth, no hole in the tongue, nothing. Why wasn't the rest of the T-850's flesh so damage resistant?


Even though it had no negative affect at all, the T-850 warns Kate: "Don't do dat". Finally Kate understands that the T-850 really isn't human--a conclusion she could have arrived at hours before if John and the T-850 weren't such idiots. They had plenty of opportunities to prove to Kate what was going on, and they blew all of them. If they had properly explained everything earlier, she might have been more cooperative, and they might have avoided the police encounter that will be happening in mere seconds.

Just as Kate is attempting to understand what just happened, teargas grenades come skittering down the hallway. The police call out to them on loudspeaker, ordering them to release their hostage. Now, from the moment the T-850 crashed through the gate, to the moment the teargas gets deployed, a little more than three minutes has elapsed. Almost all of that has happened in real-time, meaning that within three minutes, the police have to figure out that the suspects are at the cemetery, at least ten police cars and an ambulance converge on the cemetery without being spotted by anyone, the SWAT guys suit up, and everyone moves into position. There is no way that many police vehicles would have been clustered together and ready to respond simultaneously. They don't drive in big convoys looking for major criminal events. In T2, the police deployment was much more realistic. The heroes spent quite a bit of time at Cyberdyne, so there was plenty of time for police to arrive and prepare for a standoff.

As Kate runs out the building and is intercepted by members of the SWAT team, we find out that a number of the police are still moving into position. Initiating aggression without being 100% prepared was a very bad tactical move on the part of the police. What if the suspects respond violently? Many of the police officers were exposed, and because they were running to position, they were distracted and not looking the correct direction. The police should have waited until everyone was in position before confronting the suspects.

As the mausoleum fills with teargas, the T-850 loads an extended magazine into a Glock pistol, but waits for a moment before racking the slide. What good is that going to do? It's useless against the T-X, and against a SWAT encounter, it's equally useless. The T-850 is just wasting time again, fidgeting with weaponry while John Connor starts whining about his destiny again. John Connor tells the T-850 to leave him there, that John Connor is not who the T-850 wants, and that it is wasting its time.

Whining again...

The T-850 corrects John, spouting bullshit about John Connor leading the Resistance to victory, even though we later learn that in the future the war rages on after John Connor's death. John Connor's not buying it either, demanding to know why he's so significant. He obviously has long lost the natural leadership qualities that John Connor of T2 demonstrated. The T-850 has no good answer, resorting to pointing out the obvious: John Connor is John Connor. The guy we're told is John Connor continues to complain, stating that his mom fed him that bullshit from the cradle, and that he's not leadership material. Again, John Connor demonstrates a poor grasp of reality. Three Terminators have come back in time now to kill him. John Connor may not understand his importance, but can't he at least accept that the enemy considers him to be very dangerous? Instead of whining about his situation, maybe he should accept that he's in the middle of some very large events and that in time it will all make sense. Even if he doesn't want to accept that, he should realize that surrender is stupid. A police station full of cops couldn't protect his mom from a Terminator. If John Connor ends up in police custody, the T-X will kill him. The T-X isn't going to care whether or not John Connor refuses to accept his destiny. If anything, his denial will just make him an easier kill. But why should John care about logic when instead he can feel sorry for himself in the middle of a life-or-death situation? And of course, he claims he never was a leader, conveniently forgetting his role in the events of T2. As a child, he repeatedly risked his life to save people. Now, as an adult he can't even be relied upon to protect his own hide. Its like the character evolution works backwards for Stahl's Connor.

Somehow, John Connor has been able to complain and complain, even though the mausoleum has been filling with teargas for a while now. Remember in T2 where teargas actually worked on humans? Apparently heavy does of self-pity can completely neutralize the effects of a gas intended to interfere with vision and breathing. John Connor's whining ends up being too much even for the T-850. It walks up to him and pretends to be Darth Vader, holding John Connor in the air by his neck. Mercifully, this immediately ends the whiny streak. The T-850 tells John Connor that he is correct, and that John Connor is not the one he is looking for. Even though seconds ago John was trying to convince the T-850 of that very thing, he suddenly has the nerve to get offended by the T-850 agreeing with him. It's interesting to note that when restrained by the T-850, John Connor puts up almost no fight at all, in stark contrast to Kate, who fought back violently when in similar situations.

John Connor finally grows the slightest bit of backbone and says, "Fuck you, you fucking machine." Miraculously, the T-850 does not say that it is unable to comply. Either the T-850 is able to fuck itself somehow, or maybe the T-850 is learning just a bit. Instead, it drops John Connor, and expresses approval at John's brief defiant streak. John Connor realizes that the Terminator has been messing with his head, and expresses angry surprise at that revelation. It is here that we learn that the T-850 is programmed with basic psychology subroutines. Wow, could Skynet have any worse understanding of how the human mind works?

[Police car conveniently close to the cemetery]

Meanwhile, the T-X is driving around with the two detectives. The only detective with the ability to talk answers the phone, and we soon learn that Kate has been located at Greenlawn Cemetery off the 5 freeway. This means that the T-850 drove east to Victorville ONLY FOR GAS, before backtracking to the west. Come on! There's more than one gas station in the High Desert. Surely the T-850 could have found a gas station near the cemetery, instead of wasting more than two hours driving back and forth across the desert. As it turns out, there's a Greenlawn Mortuary and Cemetery in Bakersfield, CA. If that's where the T-850 went for weaponry, there's no way in hell they could get out of California before the nuclear strike begins. Even if the cemetery was further south, at the closest point I-5 is to the desert, getting to the U.S./Mexico border is still a drive of over three hours in perfect traffic, which will not be the case on a weekday afternoon. From Bakersfield, the drive to San Diego ends up being four hours in ideal traffic. Boy, has the T-850 screwed up royally. And what a stupid place to store those weapons.

Now that the T-X knows where its targets are, it decides to kill both detectives, punching the one who talks right through the chest. The T-X wiggles its bloody fingers after doing so, no doubt getting the same sexual pleasure it gets from licking blood samples. The mute detective suddenly learns to talk, sort of. About the only coherent thing he says while reaching for his gun is, "Oh my god!" The rest of it sounds like random nonsense, which abruptly ends when the T-X delivers a fatal hit to his head. Without removing its arm from the detective, the T-X grabs the steering wheel, instead of using the nanoinjector to take over the vehicle. Even though the talking detective is dying, he helpfully operates the gas and brake pedals for the T-X, enabling the T-X to go into a skid, spinning the car around so it can rapidly accelerate in the opposite direction.

[Greenlawn Cemetery]

Kate is recovering from the crisis at the cemetery. Despite having been exposed to the teargas for only a few seconds, she's reacting to the gas far worse than John did. Among the many people the police had prepared for instant deployment, it turns out that Dr. Silberman is one of them. Unlike in the first movie, where he met Sarah at the police station well after the police pursuit had ended, these days Dr. Silberman has nothing better to do than ride around with twitchy SWAT guys. Dr. Silberman's efforts to comfort Kate fail miserably, as he soon reveals that he is still traumatized by the events of T2. How ironic that for Dr. Silberman, memories of the events from T2 are more traumatizing than appearing in T3. How does this guy still have a job, if he's so consumed by the past that it interferes with his ability to do his job properly?

Meanwhile, the SWAT team begins to enter the mausoleum. Simultaneously, the T-850 smashes its way out a stained glass window at the side of the mausoleum, carrying a coffin and a belt-fed machinegun. The police, completely unprepared for this twist, barely react. A few police officers look the other direction, and a couple of them hesitantly wobble their weapons around. What kind of police are these that they can't even properly point their weapons at an obvious suspect? They should have instantly drawn a bead on him and been prepared to fire if necessary.

The SWAT leader, who drank everything Starbucks had to offer before reporting for duty, orders the T-850 to drop the weapon, hesitating before also ordering him to drop the coffin. When the T-850 fails to comply (wordlessly, amazingly enough), the SWAT leader orders the other officers to take the T-850 down. As he does this, he waves his bullhorn at the T-850 instead of speaking into it to relay the order, and he also ducks down. What the heck? He's hiding from his own firefight?

As the police open fire, they hit everything except the T-850. They hit the coffin repeatedly, grave markers, flowers, even grass. Despite the close range, many of the shots are missing by several feet. The T-850 allows the officers to fire for several seconds, since obviously they don't know how to shoot. In T2, the Terminator took lots of cosmetic damage in the Cyberdyne lobby, due to concentrated fire from the SWAT team. Here, the T-850 emerges virtually unscathed. Meanwhile, Dr. Silberman looks to see what the police are shooting at. Upon seeing the T-850 and realizing that he's in T3, he runs for his life. Kate realizes that's a good idea, and also attempts to flee from the movie.

Finally, the T-850 decides to start shooting. Lucky for the T-850, the shot that hit the ammo drum did absolutely no damage to it, so the T-850 is able to shamelessly ripoff the Cyberdyne minigun shootout without any ammo concerns. As the T-850 starts shooting, a lot of officers who left themselves dangerously exposed dive for cover, rolling melodramatically over car hoods to do so. The T-850 randomly sprays the police cars with bullets, hitting one in its Hollywood gas tank, which launches it into the air in a massive fireball. Somehow, the T-850 manages to fire more than 750 rounds out of an ammo drum that is not likely to hold more than 100 rounds. The T-850 fires for only about 10 seconds, so it shouldn't have fired more than 100 rounds regardless.

Having destroyed the police cars, the T-850 tosses the coffin in a Hearse, at which point we learn that John Connor was hidden inside. There are two problems with that. One, there is no reason whatsoever for making the coffin bulletproof. So many bullets hit the coffin that John Connor should have been dead. Two, the coffin was filled completely to the top with weapons. There was no room for him in the coffin! The T-850 ignores the police shooting at them as it hotwires the Hearse. John Connor also ignores the police, even though he's one stray bullet away from being killed. He just sits on top of the weapons, making no attempt to take cover. The same T-850 that can't be bothered to inform John of the impending nuclear strike informs him that they must reacquire Katherine Brewster. Amazingly, when John Connor demands to know why she's so important, the T-850 finally tells him. We learn that a veterinary assistant who's only connection with the military is her soon-to-be-dead father, somehow connects John Connor with remnants of the military, so he can learn to fight Skynet. How does that work? "Your dad was General Brewster? Well, clearly you were born with all sorts of military training then, even though you never joined the military." Right. Beyond that, one of the major points of John Connor being the savior of humanity, is that he's the one who figures out how to fight the machines and trains everyone else. If the military knows how to fight Skynet well enough that they're teaching John, what do they need him for?

The T-850 continues on by saying that John's children will eventually become important. This catches John Connor by surprise, which is only intensified when the T-850 reveals that Kate is John's wife. The T-850 picks this exact moment to stomp on the gas, because nothing screams "muscle car" like a Hearse. The sudden acceleration from a STATION WAGON knocks John off balance, an obvious and shameless effort to literally knock John on his ass as a result of this latest plot twist. Lucky for John the sudden acceleration doesn't cause him to fall out the back window. As the T-850 drives off, the police uniformly pepper the Hearse with bullets. Despite all efforts to the contrary, John Connor manages to survive the hail of bullets.

[Elsewhere in the cemetery]

Kate is still running from the firefight. As she dodges around fake gravestones placed on top of the grass, she spots a lone police car. Miraculously, the T-X managed to make a 30-60 minute drive in less than five minutes. There was absolutely no reason for the detectives to be anywhere remotely near the cemetery, especially considering the way the detective described the location. Describing a location as being off the 5 freeway near the desert does not suggest a location only a few miles away. Kate runs to the police car, unaware that doing so is almost as stupid as hanging out with the T-850. The T-X gets out to greet Kate. Despite having plenty of time and opportunity to do so, the T-X never removed the detectives from the car, nor did it bother to acquire the guns they undoubtedly had.

Take the gun!

Kate starts recognizing that something is wrong, but the T-X isn't done being stupid. It starts to morph back to its default form RIGHT IN FRONT OF KATE! Why? Now Kate has no reason to continue approaching the T-X, and since the T-X was too stupid to relieve the detectives of their guns, it doesn't have any quick way of killing Kate. But then again, maybe it doesn't want to kill Kate. Maybe it's just going to step on her neck again and demand to know where John Connor went. If the T-X is trying to fail its mission, it's succeeding admirably, because by taking on its default form, the T-850 can recognize the T-X for what it is.

The dumbest move in the entire movie

Oh, the T-X is charging its weapon. It does want Kate dead. While the T-X is charging its weapon, the T-850 has time to stop the Hearse, push John Connor out of the way, fidget with some weapons, load the RPG, and then look for Kate. Based on John's uselessness, the "unique" behavior of the T-850, and the ridiculously long charge time for the plasma weapon, this is the only logical explanation for the timely presence of the RPG. The T-850 could have simply rammed the T-X, as it did before, but since there was no way to put Kate in unnecessary danger this time, the T-850 settled for the RPG. By the way, how did the T-850 find Kate? That's a pretty big cemetery, and Kate could have gone anywhere.

The T-850 pulls directly in front of Kate and tries to take her out with the backblast of the RPG. That fails to harm her, but the T-X decides not to dodge, allowing the rocket-propelled grenade to hit it in the shoulder.

Watch out for Kate...oh, too late

After careening through the air, the T-X crashes violently through a poorly rendered grave marker, shattering it. John Connor calls out to Kate, who is stunned by the ever-increasing weirdness she's been exposed to today. Kate finally snaps out of her daze and jumps in the Hearse. As the T-850 drives off, the T-X gets back up and starts running after them, putting away its plasma weapon instead of charging it for another attack. Since the T-X couldn't be bothered to nanocontrol the police car (how did it drive from the backseat without doing so?), it ultimately plays no part in the chase. Why didn't the T-X just run back to the car? Driving has to be faster than running, and the RPG blast should have knocked the T-X back in the direction of the police car, more or less. The T-850 takes notes from John Connor's playbook and decides to blow its lead. It crashes through a gate, and starts driving back toward the T-X.

As Kate questions the insanity she's just been exposed to, the T-850 starts explaining things it should have explained much earlier. Only now does it explain to Kate about the T-X and its capabilities.

Because the T-850 has doubled back, it has lost much of the speed advantage of being in a car. The T-X is able to jump off the embankment and land on top of the Hearse. Despite weighing a ton according to Mostow, the T-X doesn't completely crush the Hearse by landing on it. As the T-X cuts its way into the Hearse, Kate screams annoyingly. The T-850 does nothing at all until Kate screams at it to do so, then it starts swerving back and forth. John Connor struggles to grab a weapon out of the still-completely-full coffin. They obviously didn't remove weapons to make room for John in there. As the T-X peels open the roof, John grabs an AK sprays an entire magazine of ammo at the T-X, which of course has no effect whatsoever. The T-X has plenty of time to enter the Hearse through the hole in the roof, but instead spends several seconds just staring at John. The T-X wastes ten seconds not going after John Connor, only trying to reach into the Hearse right as the T-850 drives under a tractor trailer to knock the T-X off the Hearse with a loud clank. Having evaded the T-X, the T-850 lunges the Hearse down the embankment, bumping over a lot of rough terrain before finally skidding around on grass and emerging onto the road.

The Hearse is obviously not a Toyota Tundra, as it's now running much worse than the Toyota Tundra, which was subject to a lot more cartoon impacts. As Kate and John emerge from cover, the T-850 announces that they need a new vehicle. The stupidity of such a mind-bogglingly obvious statement is so much that John and Kate can only gaze at the T-850 with dumbfounded stares. Now why didn't the T-850 make a similar observation at the conclusion of the crane chase? The T-850 has some really weird ways of performing damage assessment.

[Back at the Xenadrine advertisement]

As the driver of the tractor trailer checks to see what happened, the T-X sits up with a nearly blank expression. After a moment, it inspects its plasma weapon, which was damaged somehow. The T-X skips over a huge assortment of weapons, many of which are described as guns, to select the IAD-CHemTech, which happens to be a flamethrower. The T-X tests it on a nearby tree, panicking the driver of the truck full of disreputable products enough that he runs away. Somehow it seems fitting that T3 would accept product placement for a product that turns out to be a scam.

[Somewhere north of Los Angeles]

The T-850 turns off a quiet two-lane road, and follows a dirt road that descends into a canyon. Wait a minute! Didn't the T-850 just say that they needed a new vehicle? So why has the T-850 picked the most desolate place it could find to search for one? The Hearse sounded terrible. If the vehicle broke down in the middle of nowhere, they'd all be screwed. What if a car didn't come along for hours? What if the first vehicle was a motorcycle or something equally unsuitable for all three of them and their weapons cache? And how many vehicles does the T-850 expect to find out in the wilderness? What, were there no cars in the frickin' city?!

Lucky for the T-850, Ferris & Brancato stuck a conveniently-located RV at a campsite at the end of the dirt road for the T-850 to find. Equally convenient is the fact that the campsite is completely abandoned, even though the people there left the RV unlocked and all sorts of items laying about. The T-850 brings the bullet-riddled Hearse to a stop and attempts to get out. Despite the fact that the only damage to the door consists of a number of bullet holes, the door falls off its hinges in typical cartoon style. Car door hinges are quite beefy, and aren't going to simply fall apart for no reason. The only way that could happen is if this movie was a cartoon. Oh, wait...

The T-850 and John get out of the car, while Kate grieves over the loss of her gay fiancee. The T-850 pulls the door handle on the RV with too much force, then peeks inside. John Connor attempts to reassure Kate that Scott's death was not her fault, with little success. The T-850 has moved a couple of weapons to the picnic table outside the RV, and is fidgeting with a grenade launcher. As the T-850 continues to act like an idiot pretending to know what it's doing, John Connor approaches to ask the T-850 a question. He asks if the T-850 is sure about him and Kate. The T-850 replies that his confusion is not rational, and that Kate is a healthy female of breeding age. We soon learn that the T-850's database does not encompass the dynamics of human-pair bonding. What a relief! Who knows what the T-850 might have said if it thought it understood human-pair bonding.

John and Kate: "Why did you turn down the lights?"

T-850: "Dim lighting increases the desire to mate."

Since the T-850 has no useless advice regarding human-pair bonding, the T-850 whips its head to the right, then turns to walk in the direction that its head is pointing. Is it really that hard to just walk away? The T-850 really must be an obsolete design if it can only operate one joint at a time.

Whip it! Whip it good

Despite having all day to ask the T-850 questions, only now does John demonstrate the slightest interest in finding out what's going on. We learn that the T-X has 22 targets on its hitlist, but the T-850 makes sure to only list people whose names have already appeared in the movie. As soon as the T-850 mentions General Brewster, it stops listing off targets so that Kate can freak out without interruption. As the T-850 delivers the bad news about Kate, it continues to pile weapons on the picnic table outside the RV. Shouldn't the T-850 be putting the weapons inside the RV?

Upon learning about General Brewster and his significance, John Connor starts blathering about destiny, telling the T-850 that if it had never come back when he was a kid, John Connor would have met General Brewster years ago. Never mind that if the Terminators had never come back, John Connor would never know the significance of Skynet, and General Brewster wouldn't have been talking about his top secret work to some punk kid. As John Connor puts together a convoluted timeline theory, the T-850 is still playing with weapons. It takes an unloaded HK UMP and kind of punches the air with it while pretending to shoot, as if the T-850 were a bad guy shooting a revolver in a bad 1970's-era movie. Just stop playing with the weapons and put them in the RV! Oh, by the way John, IT'S NOT THE SAME DAMNED TERMINATOR! STOP PRETENDING THAT IT'S THE SAME TERMINATOR FROM T2, BECAUSE IT'S NOT!

Meanwhile, John Connor is still blathering about destiny and General Brewster always having been the key to shutting down Skynet, never mind that Brewster obviously never shut Skynet down in any previous timeline. John Connor decides that they need to get to General Brewster before the T-X does. The T-850 refuses, saying that it cannot jeopardize its mission. Really? You're supposed to get John and Kate to safety, and you're driving back and forth across the desert north of Los Angeles, repeatedly putting John and Kate in mortal danger, and trying to get stranded in the middle of nowhere just hours before Judgement Day. It sounds like jeopardizing your mission is your Number One mission priority. John Connor tries to order the T-850 to save General Brewster, but the T-850 says that it is not programmed to follow John Connor's orders. This probably still won't be enough for John to realize it's a different Terminator.

Ferris & Brancato finally realized that they needed to get Kate freaked out over the war, so for absolutely no reason whatsoever, the T-850 finally decides to mention the nuclear war that it's been keeping secret all day. It was not a logical continuation of the previous dialogue, and the T-850 doesn't even say a complete sentence. It just speaks half a sentence and then trails off so that Kate can flip out over the prospect of nuclear war. Yet another detail John and the T-850 could have told Kate about much earlier if they actually cared about providing necessary information. John Connor insists that they can stop the war, but the T-850 tells him that there's insufficient time, as it continues stacking weapons on the picnic table outside the RV. Is it really too much trouble for the T-850 to take the coffin out of the Hearse and put it near or inside the RV? STOP STACKING WEAPONS ON THE TABLE, AND PUT THEM DIRECTLY INTO THE RV!


Finally, the T-850 decides to tell John and Kate about the new Judgement Day. It turns out the first nukes will be launched at 6:18pm, meaning that Judgment Day will be starting in less than three hours. This seems like kind of important information. How could the T-850 think that withholding this sort of information from John and Kate could possibly be a good idea? Plus, if Judgement Day starts in less than three hours, why did the T-850 ensure that it would take them more than three hours to get out of California and into Mexico, not counting inevitable bad traffic or driving a slow vehicle like a large RV? At this rate, it will be the T-850 that's responsible for the deaths of John and Kate, not the T-X. John insists on going to CRS, but the T-850 says that the Mojave area will be heavily irradiated, and that John and Kate won't survive. So why is the T-850 in no hurry to get out of the Mojave desert area? It just keeps placing weapons at the picnic table THAT SHOULD BE GOING DIRECTLY INTO THE RV! QUIT MAKING AN UNNECESSARY PILE OF WEAPONS ON THE TABLE AND PUT ALL THE WEAPONS DIRECTLY INTO THE RV, NOW! How could the T-X possibly fail against a Terminator this stupid?

John Connor expresses disgust at the idea of hiding in a hole and waiting for the bombs to fall. The T-850 replies that it is John's destiny, which is one annoying destiny reference too much for John Connor. He takes himself hostage by pointing a pistol at his own head. As soon as she receives her cue, Kate, who isn't looking at John at all, suddenly rotates her entire body toward John while keeping her hands at her sides and speaks her line. The T-850 moves hesitantly toward John Connor, but at least doesn't take a defensive stance. Proving its thorough ignorance of humans yet again, the T-850 claims that John Connor cannot self terminate. John Connor refutes the T-850's argument, calling it a goddamned robot in the process. Despite the seriousness of the situation, the T-850 feels compelled to correct John by calling itself a cybernetic organism, as if that mattered at all in a situation such as this. All this does is piss off John Connor some more, proving again that the T-850 knows absolutely nothing about human psychology. Couldn't the T-850 just shut up for one second instead of always saying the wrong thing?

John Connor tries to use himself as a bargaining chip to get the T-850 to take them to CRS, threatening to kill himself if the T-850 does not comply. The T-850 determines that John is probably bluffing, calculating an 83% probability that John Connor won't pull the trigger. Of course, a 17% of suicide is still awfully high, and the T-850 cannot afford to be wrong. But Kate accidentally defuses the situation by pleading to the T-850 to save her father. The T-850 looks toward Kate, and declares that they can get to CRS in one hour, depending on traffic conditions. Those estimates of traffic conditions had better be more accurate than what it's estimating for the drive to Mexico, or they're screwed. Strangely, despite getting the result they wanted, both John and Kate look rather confused. Maybe they're so used to the T-850 being obnoxiously uncooperative and useless, that they can't be sure it's the same Terminator.
[In the RV on the way to CRS]

The T-850 is taking John and Kate to CRS. On the way, Kate decides to talk to the T-850 while John Connor is preparing explosives. We learn that Skynet has been taking over communications networks in preparation for its attack. Kate is finally aware of the war between humanity and the machines, and asks why the T-850 is on their side. It explains that it was captured and reprogrammed. Despite how annoying the T-850 has been up to this point, and despite realizing that the T-850 has no real vested interest in their lives, Kate feels compelled to thank it for its help. Rather than silently accept the gratitude, the T-850 determines it necessary to point out that it is required to follow Kate's commands, in the process implying that it wouldn't have taken Kate and John to CRS otherwise. This is another shining example of inconsistency. The order that Kate accidentally gave the T-850 was, "Please, please do what he says. You have to save my father." Yet, earlier Kate gave a similarly-worded order to the T-850, "Please, please, please, you have to let me go." So the T-850 only follows orders when it's convenient to the plot.

Yeah, so whose orders youre programmed to follow?

Amazingly enough, John Connor happened to be lucid enough at this point to have heard what the T-850 said. Surprised, he questions the T-850 about being programmed to follow Kate's commands. We learn a bit about Kate's role in the future, and Kate learns that she becomes John Connor's wife. Understandably, she's not thrilled at the process of being romantically involved with John Connor, calling him "a mess". John Connor gets defensive, so he points out the toll taken by the intense stress of not only knowing about the rise of Skynet, but also being expected to lead the survivors in the war against the machines.

...wait a minute. He doesn't point that out at all. Instead of trying to impress upon Kate the incredible burden of being responsible for keeping humans from going extinct, he decides to point out that she's not exactly his type, either. John's going to win this war, but he can't think his way through trivial verbal battles such as this one?!

As the conversation continues, John Connor wants to know why he didn't send the T-850 back. For the first time ever, we see a Terminator explicitly attempt to hold back information. But for whatever reason, Kate is authorized to ask the same question, and we soon learn that John Connor was already dead by the time the T-850 is sent back. Why was this information supposed to be kept secret? Prior to this point the T-850 wasn't afraid to talk about future events. This Terminator and the one sent back in T2 both provided many details that could be detrimental to Skynet's efforts to win the war, so it can't be a restriction placed by Skynet. As proof, Kate is allowed to ask and receive the answer, so that pretty much rules out Skynet influence. At this point, it seems that this is a detail that the future Kate wanted to remain secret. Why? Does she secretly hate John Connor in the future and want to ensure that he dies in the next future as well? It doesn't make sense that Kate would want to keep John Connor's death secret.

And when John Connor expresses displeasure at having died in the future, the T-850 reminds him that humans inevitably die, because that's the kind of reassurance people need when they're risking their lives to save the future. It must be more of those quack psychology routines. Can't the T-850 just shut up instead of responding to statements that weren't meant to elicit a response?

John Connor decides that maybe he doesn't want to know how he dies, so respectfully, Kate violates his wishes and asks. The whole response from the T-850 was just stupid. We learn that the war has run well past 2029, and that the T-850 was selected due to the emotional attachment he felt toward that model, which aided the T-850's infiltration. Emotional attachment?! What emotional attachment? Let's rewind back to the animal hospital. John Connor is stunned with fear when he sees the T-850 walking toward him, and the very first thing John Connor says to the T-850 is: "You're here to kill me?" Then there's the end of the crane chase, where John Connor is shocked to see the T-850 pop out of nowhere to assume control of the truck. He's pushing as far away as he can get from the T-850, even though the T-850 has already said that John Connor must live. These are not the actions of someone who thinks that every Arnold-model Terminator is his best buddy.

But hey, let's take all this at face value. So the brooding, loner John Connor is suddenly needy and codependent in the future? A John Connor that's approaching 50 still needs a daddy figure?! What, did he want his kids to have a robot grandfather? Once again John Connor is depicted as being less mature as an adult than as a child, not to mention stupid. The leader of the Resistance can't tell the difference between a good Terminator and a bad Terminator?! The best troops in the Resistance can't detect a Terminator before it kills their leader?! A lot of stupidity and carelessness is required to get to the point where the T-850 could ever have a chance of killing John Connor. The future John Connor seems stupid enough that maybe he deserves to die.

And finally, look at how quickly the T-850 got on John's nerves. If it takes the T-850 more than two seconds to set up the opportunity to kill John Connor, it's going to annoy John so much in the meantime that he won't want the T-850 anywhere near him. Being a robot asshole isn't going to endear it to John Connor.

There's also the stupidity that Kate apparently has the T-850 disabled and put into storage, all without causing any damage to it whatsoever. And only later does she have it reactivated for a time displacement mission. Also, how is it that in a future sufficiently different that the war goes on for at least another three years, Skynet still manages to develop time travel and send a Terminator through time, only to have the Resistance find a way to send a Terminator of their own back through time? What's the point of changing the future, if the same major plot points are railroaded into existence every time anyway?

[CRS]

Since so far Skynet's antics have only served to interrupt phone service and daytime soaps, it's time to escalate the threat that should have been building up throughout the movie. General Brewster is walking down the hallway with a trio of obnoxious advisers, who are have been saving up all sorts of bad news so they could dump it on him all at once, instead of briefing him in real-time. The advisor who has been doing most of the talking is particularly bad, as he's saved some of the worst news for last, waited until General Brewster asked about the missile silos and subs specifically, and even then was hesitant to share the info. You'd think losing contact with a nuclear arsenal might be the sort of thing military brass might want to know RIGHT NOW. As General Brewster comes to realize that the US is completely vulnerable to attack and ponders how this is even possible, one of the stupid new FK prototype thingies is being tested in an unrealistically super-sized, high-tech lab in the background, complete with gratuitous bottomless pits for additional sci-fi flavor.


General Brewster's thoughts are interrupted by one of the obnoxious advisors, who announces that the Chairman wants to speak with him. As he walks off, we get one more peek at the labs, which look like more like the inner bowels of the Death Star than a US research facility. The bottomless pits have mechanical devices that slide up and down for no reason whatsoever, and the FK thingy being tested is tracking a monitor that runs on rails in a circle that runs around the bottomless pit. What's the point in that? The horizontal only motion of the monitor means that it's not an adequate simulation of aerial combat, as it cannot simulate targets above or below the FK thingy. And why would they need a huge monitor anyway? For testing, they should have the prototype wired directly into a combat simulator. If they want to do "real" testing and not VR stuff, then they should have a proper target on an articulated boom, so that the prototype is tracking a proper target that can move in all directions. No matter what method they decide to use for testing, a translucent "holographic" monitor would be pointless. And to round out the overdone secret lab, they include a cameo of a videogame Terminator--the T-900. Or maybe it's just the male counterpart to the T-X, the T-Y.

[The RV]

John Connor is assuring Kate that they'll be able to stop the war and will be able to go their separate ways afterward. Never mind that the odds of getting into CRS successfully are pretty slim. This is the military we're talking about, so if anyone has the weaponry to kill a Terminator, it's the forces at CRS. But why let astronomical odds get in the way of a plan?

Then we move on to more of the Mike Kripke nonsense. Kate confesses that John Connor was the first boy she ever kissed, which surprises John for whatever reason. Even if we pretend that John was 13 in T2, that's still kind of young to be having a developed romantic life. Kate was probably within a year of John Connor's age at the time, putting her somewhere from 12-14 years old. How many boys would she realistically have been involved in at this point? And of course, John was 10 in T2, making the whole Mike Kripke scenario quite a bit more improbable anyway. The memories bring back a smile, which leads to the worst example of quack psychology uttered by the T-850. "Your levity is good. It relieves tension and the fear of death." Yeah, great way to keep everyone from thinking about the consequences of failure. The T-850 might as well have said something like, "I'm glad you two are forgetting that you're probably going to die." It sure wouldn't have been any more tactless and stupid than what it actually said.

[CRS]

Meanwhile, back at CRS, the T-X has already arrived and is skulking about. Elsewhere in the facility, General Brewster gets coerced into initiating the end of the world. As Brewster nervously experiences his last few minutes of life, the T-X has found the storage area for the T-1's, which inexplicably are all stored fully loaded with ammunition. And why is there a glass barrier in the center of the storage area that minimizes useful space? Anyway, the T-X begins reprogramming the T-1's, and we go back to Brewster as he makes the last--and worst--decision of his career. Skynet is ready for deployment, so General Brewster slowly reaches out and presses the "Kill Us All Now" button. Shortly after the ignorant TeraFLOPS comment from one of the computer guys, the computer systems spontaneously fail, and the stupidity begins. In runs "Kate", much to General Brewster's surprise. Before she can say anything else, the T-850 uses an HK UMP to start dumping bullets into "Kate", who is really the T-X. Inexplicably, none of the bullet hits produce the telltale chrome blooms that have repeatedly given away the T-X earlier and later in the movie.


Even more inexplicably, getting shot several times forces the T-X to get knocked off its feet. Considering that the T-X previously shrugged off 12 gauge shotgun rounds and a full magazine of 7.62x39 rifle rounds, it's strange that suddenly the T-X is bowled over by a submachinegun firining .45ACP (or smaller) pistol rounds. Our hero, the T-850 has just saved General Brewster's life. Good job!

The real Kate and John Connor run into the room, with Kate yelling at her dad to get away from the T-X. General Brewster decides it's a much better idea to remain confused, while everyone else decides that being in the same room with a leather-clad, machinegun-toting buffoon may be a potentially fatal idea. Meanwhile, the T-X reforms and takes aim at General Brewster. the T-850 is so pleased with itself at having saved General Brewster's life, it forgets that keeping General Brewster alive is an ongoing process. Since Kate didn't order the T-850 to save her father a second time, it just stands there, forcing Kate to resort to screaming at her dad again in a futile effort to save him. John Connor decides to emulate the T-850 and also decides to do nothing to save General Brewster.

Just waiting for her to finish, thats all

Then again, maybe he remembered how ineffective the AK was last time. Still stunned by the stupidity of the script, General Brewster does nothing, allowing the T-X to shoot him several times, but considerately avoids hitting any immediately lethal areas in order to allow him to help the protagonists before dying.

Now that it's too late to save General Brewster, the T-850 decides to return to action, shooting the T-X several times with a grenade launcher. Surprisingly enough, none of the grenades explode at this short range. Ironically, whether by design or by accident, they ended up mimicking real-world behavior of grenades fired at close range, even though this movie seems to pride itself in avoiding realism. The T-X is knocked into a conveniently located vent that is as flimsy as it is gigantic, causing the T-X to be inconvenienced long enough for some character drama.

General Brewster is dying, so naturally the T-850 decides that this would be the perfect time for a mood-breaking unfunny one-liner.

We learn that Skynet has taken over and that in one hour Skynet will initiate the nuclear attack. Interestingly, this means that it took almost two hours to get to CRS. I don't know what sucked worse--traffic conditions, or the ability of the T-850 to estimate travel times. Perhaps the T-850 needed to stop in Victorville for more gas before driving to CRS.

As the protagonists watch General Brewster bleed out, the T-1's go on their rampage of CRS. Despite having no hands whatsoever, the T-1's have no problems opening doors and operating elevators. And of course, every door was designed to be wide enough to accommodate a T-1. And there's glass everywhere to allow the T-1's a clear view of all potential targets.

The protagonists decide to take General Brewster to his office so he can die. After barging through a door with no access control, they encounter two T-1's. The T-850 literally gets the drop on one of them, ripping its head off and then one of its miniguns. Meanwhile, the other T-1 waits for the T-850 to arm itself before beginning to shoot. Despite the fact that there is no mechanical trigger on the miniguns mounted to the T-1's, the T-850 manages to get the minigun to fire by sheer force of will. In the toe-to-toe gun battle that ensues, the T-1 manages to completely miss the T-850, despite being armed with two miniguns. The T-850 randomly sprays the T-1 with bullets until it gets a lucky hit on the head, which seems to be the only unarmored part of the T-1.

With the T-1's dispatched, it's safe to enter General Brewster's office. Despite General Brewster being the highest ranking person at the facility, his office doors are wide open, so anyone can just waltz right in and start rifling through his stuff. The doors don't appear to have any locking mechanism whatsoever, so even if the doors were closed they would still be less secure than the average residential bathroom. Everyone enters General Brewster's completely unlocked office, and the T-850 immediately decides that there's no time to obey the laws of physics. The T-850 locates the only secure item in the room (the safe) and rips the door off by pulling its handle, even though safe handles are built fairly weak specifically to make sure that kind of thing can't happen. In the real world, the T-850 would have just ripped the handle off the safe, rendering it virtually impossible to open.

John Connor obtains the codes. General Brewster, realizing that he doesn't want to live long enough to see any more stupid action sequences, gives his obligatory final words. He tells everyone that they have to get to Crystal Peak. The T-850 takes the initiative here, explaining that Crystal Peak is a hardened facility in the Sierra Nevada mountains. The T-850 conveniently "forgets" to mention that Crystal Peak is a fallout shelter. The T-850 continues on, explaining that it's 52 miles northeast of CRS, bearing 0.5 degrees. What's the point in putting a VIP fallout shelter in the middle of nowhere? The first rule of building a fallout shelter is that you have to be able to get to it. If you can't get to the fallout shelter, it doesn't matter how well-protected it is. Considering that nuclear missiles can have pretty short flight times, especially when launched from nuclear submarines, making the fallout shelter readily accessible is of paramount importance. This is evidenced by locations like the Raven Rock Mountain Complex, which is just six miles away from Camp David, or Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center, which is 48 miles away from Washington, D.C. Both sites are close to the seat of government and have substantial above-ground operations, so they're always ready. Crystal Peak, on the other hand, is 3,000 miles away from Washington, D.C. and left completely deserted. One might argue that high-ranking people like the president may need a west coast refuge in the event of nuclear war, but sticking it in the middle of nowhere with obsolete equipment and no staff is still a bad idea. There's also that whole "bearing 0.5 degrees" nonsense spouted by the T-850. That's basically due north, not northeast.

The T-850 sees an inbound threat and tells John and Kate to lay on the ground and remain in danger instead of running to safety. The T-850 ineffectually shoots at an approaching FK or whatever it's called. Undeterred, it shoots a missile into the room. The missile must have been loaded with Nerf foam, as it causes NO HARM WHATSOEVER to John and Kate, who are lying exposed on the floor, even though it explodes only six feet away from them! Arguably, the blast from the missile may have finished off General Brewster, but that's probably because he was so shocked at the insultingly bad movie physics that his brain went comatose.

As they leave General Brewster's office, the T-X makes another appearance, setting the stage for an embarrassing showdown...

When the T-850 first spots the T-X in the corridor, it stops suddenly, as if startled, instead of smoothly stopping like a machine with nerves literally made of steel. To draw out the drama of the scene, the T-X also stops momentarily, even though its primary targets are right in front of it.

The T-850 proves its lack of situational awareness by attempting to shoot the T-X with an empty gun. And of course, the empty G36 makes a loud click when the T-850 attempts to shoot, never mind that the odds against the T-850 releasing the trigger after firing the last shot but before the hammer attempts to drop on an empty chamber, are astronomical.

Looking for another weapon, the T-850 does another head turn before moving toward the nearest improvised weapon.

Whip!

The T-850 grabs a pressurized tank that is conveniently on display behind glass. The T-850 then uses the pressurized tank to... hit the T-X across the face?! The T-850 hits the T-X in the FACE (not the head) four times, with the fourth hit producing a gratuitous 360-degree head spin. Why was the T-850 hitting the T-X in the face? In T1, despite being near death, Kyle attacked the T-800 like he meant it, hitting it squarely in the head as if to knock it right off the T-800's shoulders. The T-850 clearly wasn't hitting the T-X squarely in the head, otherwise its head wouldn't not have pivoted the way it did.

After the attack, both Terminators cock their heads gratuitously. The T-850 does so abruptly, seemingly to indicate (more) confusion. In response, the T-X does so as if to say, "Bring it on, bitch."

Even though the prior four attacks did nothing to the T-X, the T-850 decides to again try the exact same attack to the head. This time, the T-X punches a hole right into the pressurized tank. Rather than rupture explosively due to the sudden catastrophic hull breach, gas vents out lamely, as if a valve on the tank had been opened to release the gas.

The T-X performs a Rockettes kick, that improbably sends the T-850 flying. The T-850 needs to go on a diet just as much as the T-X does, because when it lands it not only shatters the tile, but the floor beneath the tile.

The T-850 gets up and rushes to the T-X, which stands motionless in wait of a counterattack.


This sets the stage for the entire battle, where in a shameless ripoff of pro-wrestling, each combatant waits for the other to finish its attack before counterattacking. The T-850 grabs the T-X unopposed, and launches it right through a wall, where this battle goes straight to the shitter, and not just metaphorically.

Interestingly, when the T-850 throws the T-X through the wall, the T-X does not shatter the floor tile, yet does so when the T-850 grabs the T-X by the face and slams it to the ground, and again when it stomps on the T-X's head. The T-X, apparently annoyed that the T-850 is taking too many turns, kicks it in the groin more or less, causing the T-850 to stagger backward.

Now that it's the T-850's turn again, it somehow manages to rip a urinal off the wall without breaking it, and then promptly shatters it on the T-X, predictably damaging nothing except the urinal. It's amazing these massive hits cause no visible deformation to the liquid metal, even though little chunks of high-speed lead tend to do so. The T-850 really must have thought a urine stained chunk of porcelain would have taken out the T-X, because when the attack fails, the T-850 turns to stare at the useless chunk of toilet still in its hands. The T-850 acts out of turn again, slamming the T-X into more urinals. Meanwhile, the T-X assists by making sure the T-850 doesn't lose its grip.

The T-X seems to be getting annoyed that the T-850 is hogging all the offensive time, so it pushes the T-850 aggressively. Despite flying through the air, the T-850 amazingly does not plow right through the wall, although it does damage it. As the T-X walks into the next part of the bathroom, we are given the opportunity to survey the damage, because nothing screams 'deadly, brutal fight" like a bathroom that looks like it was visited by vandals with sledgehammers.

Inexplicably, rather than walk straight over to the T-850, the T-X takes a roundabout route that guarantees that it will lose visible contact. Oh, look! The T-X checks herself out in a mirror instead of keeping an eye out for it's target. Ha ha, that silly T-X is sooooooo vain. Don't forget to chuckle, folks. That's comedy gold right there, straight from the minds of the guys who brought you 'Catwoman' and 'Surrogates'.


Because the T-X is busy admiring its own machine lesbian beauty, the T-850 manages to surprise it, more or less. It attempts to give the T-X a swirlie, because the T-850 seems to think that toilet water is the only known weakness of the T-X. When the porcelain gods again fail to intervene on behalf of the T-850, it acts out of turn again, harmlessly shoving the T-X through several stalls, as the T-X patiently waits for the T-850 to finish.

As soon as the T-850 reaches the far end, the T-X immediately takes her turn, forcing the T-850's face into a wall. The T-850, annoyed that its favorite pair of gas station sunglasses has been destroyed, scowls angrily at the T-850 and retaliates by throwing a temper tantrum that involved ineffectively knocking the T-X into more obstacles. At least the T-850 seems to have run out of toilets.

The T-X takes her turn again, and grabs onto the T-850 in preparation for her attack. One hand takes hold of the T-850's groin, and the T-850 clearly expresses confusion over the funny feelings caused by being grabbed in its "no-no spot". One of the worst Wile E. Coyote moments immediately follows, as the T-X casually walks the T-850 through several walls. Amazingly, the walls positively explode as the T-X walks the T-850 through them, taking enough damage that the T-X can walk through the resulting holes with no difficulty. Meanwhile, since the T-850 has to wait for the T-X to finish its turn, it helps by putting its fists out for an improved battering ram effect.

Finally, Mostow realizes that we need a break from all the bathroom humor, so we cut back to John and Kate, who conveniently have managed to avoid every machine patrol. Fortunately for John and Kate, the machines are hanging out in low visibility areas, instead of patrolling main corridors and exits.

Considering that tiny intermission enough of a break, Mostow returns us to the WWE wrestling match already in progress. Inexplicably, the T-X and the T-850 fall into the next set. CRS must have been experimenting with artificial gravity for the wall of the bathroom to be the ceiling of a maintenance warehouse.

During the brief intermission, the T-850 must have decided that it had affections for the T-X, since it hugs the T-X aggressively. It seems that the T-X did not intend to be intimate by touching the T-850's private parts, as it tries to fight off the T-850 by bonking it in the head three times. But then the T-X brings its arms, legs, and head around to return the embrace. Maybe the T-X really does have a crush on the T-850. But then it takes out its flamethrower and starts torching the T-850 in the face. Stop sending mixed messages, woman! Either you like the T-850 or you don't. Even the flamethrower is a mixed message. Is it a literally way of showing that it's hot for the T-850, or is it just dumb enough to think that roasting the side of the T-850's head is going to be of any use whatsoever? The T-850, enjoying this romantic interlude, uses a convenient live power cable to turn the encounter into an electrifying experience. This sends both Terminators into orgasm.

But what's this? The T-X recovers first? Hey, she was faking it! The T-850 is still twitching from the climax of that battle when the T-X walks up. The T-X then stomps on the T-850's head, knocking right off its shoulders. Miraculously, this doesn't break any of the connecting cables, and equally amazing, none of the previous violence managed to unseat the T-850's quick-detach head.

The T-X, doing its best mad scientist impression, gives the T-850 a case of VD--I mean it reprograms the T-850. But then leaves it there inert, with its head still detached. The T-X gets extra villain points for not finishing off its adversary when it's completely helpless to resist--especially when the last time the T-X failed to destroy a helpless T-850, it was able to recover and interfere with its plans.

Now that the fight between the Terminators is over, we have no choice but to go back to John and Kate. As they near the particle accelerator, they encounter a FK or whatever it's called. It sure was nice to make sure that even flying units could maneuver through the building without being stymied by narrow corridors and doors it can't open. And why is is that all these FK thingies are fully fueled and fully armed? Just minutes ago in the movie they were still early enough in development that they were tethered to a large bundle of cabling that served as an umbilical. They shouldn't be ready for operational use.

As the FK thingy spots John and Kate, it decides to use missiles instead of either of its guns. Apparently it wasted all its ammo on large crowds since missiles in this movie aren't known for their area of effect capabilities. It shoots at the targets with... dumb-fire missiles?! The missiles have no guidance systems whatsoever?! Good thing these are the world's slowest missiles, giving John and Kate plenty of time to hit the ground. Speaking of the ground, it's lucky for them the FK thingy didn't target the ground at their feet, or this would have been a really unpleasant encounter. The FK thingy demonstrates even more stupidity by not only performing a thermal scan only of the area it hit, but also by flying right over John and Kate. Stupidly, the FK thingy looks everywhere except the last known position of its targets! John and Kate freak out, as they watch the FK thingy do its best to look everywhere except at them. Finally it turns back towards them, and Kate realizes that John Connor is determined not to shoot at anything in CRS, no matter how much their lives are at stake.It always amazes me that during the mini HK attack all John does is just look with eyes and mouth open and covering his head like scooby doo, yet it was a newcomer to all this nightmare, an unexperienced veterinarian, not a guy who trained all his life and experienced all this before, who actually starts to think and does something and saves their butts. Really, John is more clueless, startled and helpless than a little baby


Kate grabs the AK, and starts firing at the FK thingy. Despite having at least six more missiles, the FK thingy decides to fly toward Kate to make itself an easier target, instead of filling the corridor with explosive projectiles. Kate gets a lucky hit on the FK thingy's explosive weak spot.

As the characters catch their breath from the insipid encounter, John Connor reveals a bit of Oedipus Complex by reverently looking at Kate and revealing that she reminded him of his mother. Ewww.....

[Particle accelerator]

After Kate blows up a machine that has less brainpower than a 1st-generation Sidewinder missile, John and Kate enter the particle accelerator facility. How did they even get in here? Does nothing in this base sit behind a locked door? It's a government facility researching top-secret projects, yet their doors don't even have doorknobs. They both stop to stare at the CG background for a moment, and then Kate thinks to check the security monitors that were conveniently put in the particle accelerator control room instead of at a security checkpoint. Kate sees the T-X approaching on two monitors. Amusingly, the T-X is shown walking down two different hallways simultaneously. Kate warns John that the T-X is coming, which spurs John into action. He decides to rip off a move used by Kyle Reese in T1, and decides to fire up the particle accelerator, even though he has absolutely no idea what benefit that will provide, if any. In T1, Kyle was trying to get all the machines in the factory moving so that the Terminator couldn't readily detect his and Sarah's movements. A particle accelerator does not provide such a benefit. Regardless, John Connor is flipping switches, pushing buttons, and manipulating a Saitek videogame controller redressed as a power control, in order to waste as much time as possible. Even Kate doesn't understand what John's up to, as she tersely asks what he's doing. He at least has the decency to answer her, but then after making her wait while he blows their lead, he has the nerve to tell her to "Come on!" Hey, John! YOU are the one making her wait while you come up with reasons to make it easier for the T-X to kill you both--not the other way around. Don't act like she's holding you up.

Despite being activated by a complete moron, somehow the particle accelerator manages to start powering up completely unattended, with no problems at all. Meanwhile, John and Kate have left the control room and are running toward the particle accelerator. The T-X barges into the control room in time to spot John and Kate entering the particle accelerator. This is a problem right here. Experiments conducted in particle accelerator are considered sufficiently hazardous that shielding is used, and personnel are prohibited from working inside the particle accelerator while it is active. So of course CRS designs theirs so that not only is there a massive access point that cannot be closed, that access point also faces the control room. I guess the researchers at CRS never heard of safety interlocks.

John and Kate jog down the particle accelerator, while the T-X sprints after them, quickly getting close enough to start blasting at them with its flamethrower. Lucky for John Connor, not only has the particle accelerator fully powered on, but the T-X seems to be made entirely of ferrous metal. In a laughable display of bad science, the ferromagnetic T-X stops and has time to malfunction before finally being pulled toward the powerful electromagnets. While the T-X is in the process of malfunctioning, John Connor's AK gets pulled toward the particle accelerator tube, instead of to one of the electromagnets. It's not like he was ever going to do anything useful with it anyway, so no big loss. Conveniently, none of the other metal items carried by either of the characters is pulled toward the electromagnets, notably the pistol he's carrying. Sure, Glocks have polymer frames, but they still have steel slides and barrels. Getting back to the T-X, why did it come into the particle accelerator without doing anything else first? All the T-X had to do was pull that videogame throttle back, and there would have been no danger. It's lucky for John that the T-X seems to be unaware of its own weaknesses.

Now that the T-X is stuck to the particle accelerator, John and Kate run as fast as they can to General Brewster's plane. Actually, no, they don't. They stand there and stare at the T-X as its liquid metal exterior slowly pulls toward the electromagnets. John stares at the T-X for a full ten seconds before declaring that "it's working". Wow, John. Are you really that dense that it takes you ten seconds to figure out that something is sticking to a magnet? And with nuclear war on the way, do you really have time to wait around to see if the villain can figure a way out of it's predicament so it can kill you? Don't forget that at this point, all the time in the world amounts to less than 60 minutes. So get your ass moving, and stop looking for ways to fail!

Kate decides to try to end the movie 20 minutes early by ordering the T-X to "just die, you bitch!" The T-X is unable to comply, but unlike the T-850, it does not verbally share this fact with us, proving that the T-X really is more advanced than the obsolete T-850. After standing there for about 20 seconds, John Connor again tells Kate to "come on!", even though John is the one lagging behind.

John and Kate make their way out of the particle accelerator and onto the runway. Despite the heavy destruction outside, no machine patrols are present to see John and Kate run across a wide open tarmac. Meanwhile, the T-850 is just waking up. The T-850 sits up, grabs its poorly rendered head, and just mashes it right back onto its neck. Why would a Terminator need a quick detach head? There's little incentive to make a critical part easier to detach in combat, and one might have expected those sparks and broken wires to be a problem. But no, the T-850 reattaches its head so easily, that even the skin seals back up seamlessly. All the T-850 has do do is work its head around a bit as if it's breaking its own neck--only in reverse. As the T-850 gets back online, has a mild seizure of some sort, evidence by its head jittering about slightly.


The T-X is still stuck to the particle accelerator. Its liquid metal is continuing to slowly drip down the side of the particle accelerator, even though ferrous metal is going to stick to the first magnetic surface it comes in contact with--not dribble like syrup across the surface. Finally the T-X has had enough of being stuck to the side of the particle accelerator. In a convenient cheat, the T-X is able to deploy a saw from its left arm, even though that saw blade could not fit in the wrist of the T-X as depicted (even folded in half) and in fact the saw blade mechanism does not exist just moments before.


It cuts a slit into the particle accelerator tube, triggering the safety interlocks that did not exist moments before to shutdown the accelerator. Gas vents when the T-X breaches the side of the particle accelerator, even though the actual beam line requires a vacuum, and the cooling lines would have water running through them, not gas.

John and Kate make it to the hangar without being folded, spindled, or mutilated. Kate recognizes her father's plane, and out of nowhere we learn that Kate knows how to fly. Most movies have the sense to explain unlikely details like that early in the movie, so that the audience are prepared to accept it when the detail is invoked at a critical moment in the plot. A prime example of that is in T2, where John's hacking abilities are depicted early on at the ATM. By explaining it early on, the audience doesn't treat it as a blatant plot contrivance when he attempts something similar at Cyberdyne. But Ferris & Brancato love blatant plot contrivances, so Kate suddenly knows how to fly at the exact moment the plot requires it. Just another handy ability for characters who aren't inconvenienced at all by armed guards, alarms, and locked doors.

Just as John and Kate get to the airplane, John hears a door open. John stops to check, and sees the T-850 slowly approaching. Despite the constipated movements of the T-850, in the three seconds that passed between the sound of the door and actually seeing the T-850, it is already moved so far that there's no door visible anywhere near its current position. John and Kate were running most of the way, whereas the T-850 is walking like it's trying not to shit its pants. So how did the T-850 get to the hangar so quickly? The T-850 should have been so far behind that there would have been no hope of catching up to John and Kate.

The T-850 warns John to get away. Now. This is too subtle a hint for John, so he just stands there. Meanwhile, Kate is tired of John telling her to move, so she opens the passenger door of the plane and yells at John to get moving. Finally John understands and gets into the plane, but it's already too late. While Kate is trying to get the plane started, the T-850 finally makes it to the plane. Instead of using the brute force methods used by both Terminators throughout the movie, the T-850 considerately opens the door of the plane instead of ripping it off the hinges. It reaches in and yanks John out of the plane, throwing him across the hangar onto the floor. Instead of trying to figure out what's going on, John just starts pleading. "Please! You can't do this!"

As the T-850 does the Frankenstein toward John, it answers the question that John didn't ask, explaining that the T-X corrupted its systems.

Frankenstein!

While John decides to scoot backwards on his ass instead of standing up, Kate has the good sense to get the plane started, so that they can take off as soon as they get the chance. John tells the T-850 that it can't kill a human being, never mind that the T-850 is clearly in the process of attempting to prove otherwise. Kate, again forgetting how helpless she is against the T-850, jumps on its back. The T-850 responds by delivering an impact that should have broken a number of Kate's bones, but she instead goes flying across the hangar and hits a tool cabinet head-first.

John finally gets to his feet, but remains way too close to the T-850. It explains that its CPU is intact, but that it cannot control its other functions. Two problems with this. One: Just seconds earlier we saw an error message that said "CPU - Damaged". That doesn't sound like 'intact' to me. Two: Why is every feature on the T-X so half-assed. If the T-X is supposed to be an "anti-Terminator" Terminator, why is it such a failure at that very role? It's weapon is woefully inadequate for destroying a T-850, and now we learn that it did not or cannot reprogram the T-850's CPU? Wouldn't reprogrammng Terminators be the whole point of that stupid nanoinjector? So why is the most important part in a Terminator the one the T-X can't reprogram? This "reprogramming" is so lame as to border on being completely useless. John Connor is trying to fast-talk his way out of being killed, but he keeps forgetting to get out of arm's reach. John Connor can be forgiven for not trying to distract the T-850 when he first encountered it, but at this point he should be taking advantage of the situation to draw the T-850 away from the plane, then make a mad dash for the plane once he knows Kate is ready to take off.

Predictably, John Connor's efforts to convince the T-850 not to kill him aren't working. This leads to some hammy acting out of Arnold, who puts too much emotion into his "Desire is irrelevant; I am a machine!" line. Idiot John Connor pays the price for being too dumb to stay at least six feet away from the T-850. He is hurled across the hanger onto the hood of a nearby vehicle. John just writhes in pain instead of making the slightest effort to get away. If he had been smart enough to stay away from the T-850, he wouldn't be hurting like that. The T-850 staggers over to John and grabs him by the neck. John Connor acts as if the T-850 has forgotten its mission parameters, even though it's clear even to John that the T-850 is trying to fight the reprogramming. As the T-850 wrestles with its own arm, John asks what the T-850's mission is. The T-850 responds as expected, and John Connor tells the T-850 that it is about to fail its mission. It's tempting to insult John for pointing out the obvious, but considering the T-850's spectacular failure to save General Brewster, it was probably necessary to remind the T-850 of seemingly obvious details.

The T-850 pounds the hood next to John Connor's head, while continuing its cringe-worthy internal struggle. Now that his life is in immediate danger, John Connor is willing to invoke the destiny nonsense that he's been whining about the whole movie. "You know my destiny. I have to live." The T-850 displays increasingly erratic and panicky movements, like a cornered animal that's desperate for a way out. Instead of bashing in John Connor's head, the T-850 flings John out of the way and bashes in the vehicle's hood instead. What's that supposed to do? That comes off as an irrational emotional outburst, not a logical way to protect its target. After smashing the heck out of the vehicle, the T-850 bobbles about uncertainly, as if it was dizzy and having trouble maintaining balance.


Finally the T-850 shuts itself down. It's a good thing it didn't do that much sooner, or we would have missed out on all the melodrama.
Consider this: In both T2 and T3, the Resistance reprogrammed Terminators flawlessly. After reprogramming, any potential Skynet influence was eradicated, and both Terminators were absolutely loyal to the Resistance. So why is it that Skynet can't achieve anywhere near that level of success? The T-X is a machine built by Skynet specifically to reprogram other machines built by Skynet. Yet, when the T-X reprograms the T-850, it is able to resist the effects and eventually overcome them. Shouldn't Skynet understand better than anyone else what it takes to reprogram a Terminator? There is absolutely no reason for the Resistance to be so much better at reprogramming Terminators than Skynet is. If Skynet builds a Terminator that's designed to reprogram other Terminators, it should have a 100% success rate when reprogramming Terminators. But of course, that would ruin some melodramatic moments, so Ferris & Brancato decided to make the nanoinjector as useless as John Connor.

How did that scene even manage to happen? In both T2 and T3, the Resistance reprogrammed Terminators flawlessly. After reprogramming, any potential Skynet influence was eradicated, and both Terminators were absolutely loyal to the Resistance. So why is it that Skynet can't achieve anywhere near that level of success? The T-X is a machine built by Skynet specifically to reprogram other machines built by Skynet. Yet, when the T-X reprograms the T-850, it is able to resist the effects and eventually overcome them. Shouldn't Skynet understand better than anyone else what it takes to reprogram a Terminator? There is absolutely no reason for the Resistance to be so much better at reprogramming Terminators than Skynet is. If Skynet builds a Terminator that's designed to reprogram other Terminators, it should have a 100% success rate when reprogramming Terminators. But of course, that would ruin the melodramatic moments we just witnessed, so Ferris & Brancato decided to make the nanoinjector as useless as John Connor.

John finally gets up and checks on Kate. When asked, John explains that the T-850 shut itself down. This prompts a glance over at the T-850, which is either going to urinate on the car, or about to ram it doggy-style. John and Kate climb into the plane and taxi out onto the runway. It hasn't occurred to either of them that the machines could easily take out a slow-moving, unarmed civilian aircraft. As John and Kate attempt to take off, their plane is raked by minigun fire from the T-1's, and patrolling FK thingies launch missiles at the plane, destroying it and killing John and Kate.

Oh, wait. Ferris & Brancato wrote this, so all the machines decide to take a lunch break, allowing John and Kate to take off completely unopposed.

Having escaped a base full of angry robots, John and Kate are in a plane on their way to Crystal Peak. Kate asks what happens if they can't stop Skynet, but John assures her that they'll succeed. He completely fails to consider that maybe, just maybe, a plan that involves the two of them waltzing into a secured facility and blowing up Skynet might not have a snowball's chance in hell of succeeding without a Terminator present to help. Did he really think they'd be greeted by the base commander who would escort them to the Skynet mainframe and show them were to place the explosives?

Kate and John locate CRS and prepare to land. Inexplicably, neither of them has considered the possibility that something might not be quite right about this place. There are no armed patrols, there are no major outbuildings, no signs of activity at all...

Meanwhile, back at CRS the T-850 comes back online, ultimately revealing another problem with the T-X programming. Its already limited utility becomes even less impressive if all it takes to clear the reprogramming is a reboot.

As Kate approaches for a landing, nobody contacts them on the radio. As they land, it becomes increasingly clear the place is deserted, yet neither John nor Kate seems to find anything odd about that.

When they barge in, the dusty, deserted nature of the place still isn't a warning sign, nor is the presence of jeeps, which were replaced by humvees decades ago.

And of course, great move there by John Connor. He decides to spray the hangar with bullets to see if any machines pop out to kill them. Whether there are humans or machines there, he's invited himself to get shot at either way. Also a great idea to be burning off dwindling quantities of ammo when he has no idea what he might be facing later.

After finding nothing, they run up to the blast door. John Connor's first instinct is to figure out whether or not it can be blasted open, forgetting that such a door might have a control mechanism, and also forgetting about the code book that General Brewster wanted them to have so desperately. Kate is the only one with the ability to grasp the obvious, as she notices the access control almost immediately, which was conveniently labeled 'access control'. Finally, it dawns on John Connor just what they're looking at, and he fumbles for the code book.

As they attempt to gain entrance, the T-X makes an entrance of its own. The T-X crashes right through the front of the hanger in a helicopter, gets out, and starts casually walking toward its primary targets. John retaliates by firing the Glock with unrealistic accuracy at the T-X, which after the CRS incident has decided to stop being affected by pistol bullets again. No attempt is made by the T-X to activate its on-board weapon and flame-broil John and Kate. For that matter, the T-X can't even be bothered to move quickly until...

...a bigger helicopter crashes into the hangar, with far more spectacular visual effects, and far more annoying sound effects. It culminates with the weird mountain lion effect heard right before the helicopter comes to rest. As the helicopter crashes, it manages to overtake and run over the T-X, because the T-X couldn't be bothered to move sideways to avoid the helicopter. Meanwhile, the helicopter is causing every single combustible item in the hanger to burst into flames.

Jump to the side goddammit!

After the helicopter comes to a stop, out pops the T-850. Considering that Kate and John were making their final approach to Crystal Peak when the T-850 rebooted, the T-850 would have had to have broken the sound barrier to arrive at Crystal Peak when it did. Since the helicopter the T-850 arrived in has a similar top speed to the airplane Kate flew and the helicopter the T-X flew, the T-850 should have arrived 15 minutes late. Maybe John had Kate refuel the airplane at an airport outside of Victorville before heading to Crystal Peak.

If the T-850 was trying to rescue John and Kate, why did it choose a method of entry that was virtually guaranteed to kill them? It had no idea where in the hangar they were. For all it knew, crashing like that could have flattened the two of them. Causing everything to burst into flames wasn't such a hot idea either. (Pardon the unintended ironic pun). Catching the two of them on fire wouldn't be very good for their health, and there's also the risk of severe heat exposure, oxygen deprivation, and smoke inhalation. It's ironic that the T-850 came closer to killing John and Kate than the T-X did.


And of course the T-850 announces with a smile, "I'm back." Oh, that's so clever, making a sly reference to movies that weren't disasters.


Why did the crash take out half of its face, including a good chunk of the endoskull, but none of that mouth that can't stay closed? Somehow the crash was severe enough to destroy massive amounts of the T-850's flesh exterior, yet minor enough to cause absolutely no functional damage whatsoever. Previous Terminators had suffered functional damage when involved in vehicular crashes, but the "obsolete" T-850 has no trouble surviving some pretty extreme accidents.

The characters don't notice any heat and smoke, but the blast door does, and decides to start closing, triggering alarms in the process. The T-850, demonstrating uncharacteristically quick thinking, runs and dives for the massive blast door in order to keep it open for Kate and John. I has no problems propping the massive blast door open with one elbow. The whole time it's propping open the door, it twitches violently as if it was a human using all its muscle strength, not a machine that it just using its metal arm to prop up the door.

As John and Kate casually "rush" to the blast door, we discover that the T-X wasn't destroyed by the helicopter (surprise, surprise). The same T-X that had no problems extricating itself from rubble and the smashed hulk of a multi-ton steel crane, suddenly is pinned by the junk knocked around by an aluminum helicopter. Even worse, it acts as if both legs are pinned, although we can see its entire right leg, and not only is there no evidence that it's pinned, there's no evidence that the T-X is using it as leverage to free the other leg. It's hard to believe that the legs of the T-X were so stuck that the only solution was to sever them at the knees. What about that stupid saw or something?

Anyway, John Connor has already started crawling through the door as the T-X breaks free. Based on the HUD shot of the T-X, John Connor looks to be at least 20 feet away, if not more. As John Connor gets completely under the door, the first instinct of the T-X is to roar instead of crawl after John Connor or torch him with its flame thrower, which definitely has the range.

Once again, John Connor believe that whenever he has a sizable lead in a pursuit, he should blow it. He stops to thank the T-850. He blows three seconds just doing that and waiting for the T-850 to tell him to keep moving. In the few seconds wasted by John Connor, the T-X has crawled all the way across the hangar and grabbed him by the ankle. No wonder the T-X disconnected from the legs. It moves faster without legs than with them!

Now, rather than try to pull John Connor out, pummel him violently, chop him up with that circular saw, or incinerate him with the flamethrower, the T-X merely holds on for dear life. It doesn't even bother to grab him with its other hand!

The T-850, using only one hand, manages to break the wrist of the T-X, forcing it to release its grip on John. IF THE T-850 CAN DAMAGE THE T-X THAT EASILY, WHY DIDN'T IT DO SO A LONG TIME AGO?! It could have done that at the animal hospital when the T-X was still pinned under rubble, it could have done that when it managed to get onto the crane, and it could have done that during the CRS pro-wrestling exhibition.


The T-X manages to break free, and attempts to crawl after John and Kate. The T-850 manages to restrain the T-X by grabbing some cables trailing from it. The T-850 clearly has the advantage here. All damage it has sustained is cosmetic, as opposed to the T-X, which is missing both legs and has a broken weapon arm. Clearly the T-850 can overpower the T-X at this point and rip it apart piece by piece. At this point, the T-X has already lost. The T-X is even doing annoying things like screaming, making futile efforts to crawl away without doing anything useful to actually free itself, and even use the liquid metal to reveal how mad it is.

Emotional robots

But, no. There's something missing...

That's it! Unnecessary sacrifice!

The T-850 decides that the only practical way of killing the T-X is to commit suicide. It removes its remaining power cell and shoves it into the mouth of the T-X. The T-X responds with a look of intense fear, as the fuel cell prepares to go critical. A gratuitous one-liner later, the fuel cell detonates.

Terminator villain completely owned for the first time

In the exterior shot, the main entry has magically repaired itself, right before being blown out again by the incredible explosion from the fuel cell. And there's that annoying mountain lion sound mixed into the explosion sound effect.

While the T-850 may have sacrificed itself needlessly, there is a silver lining; we don't have to listen to any more inane babble from the T-850.

Meanwhile, John and Kate make their way into the facility, still not being the slighted bit concerned that the place seems to be abandoned and that everything looks so old. John Connor in his infinite wisdom, sets the timer on the explosives, even though he has no idea how long it will take to find the Skynet mainframe.

Finally, they get into the facility, and it starts to dawn on John that this isn't what he expected. He limps around, marveling at how the only thing that's been maintained in are the lights and the presidential podium. Mostow couldn't decide whether or not the place should be abandoned or not, so he split the difference. Also, he decided that fallout shelters should resemble the lairs of Bond villains, instead of being sophisticated structures that incorporate seismic-shock dampeners. Rock formations are not going to be jutting from the walls and floors of a government-built VIP shelter.

As John ponders why they were sent to Crystal Peak, he finally realizes what Kate had already figured out--that General Brewster and the T-850 were only trying to figure out how to get them to shelter. How is this guy supposed to lead a war when he's never the first person to come to a conclusion?

And finally, as the nuclear strike begins, the radios come to life. John Connor, only seven seconds away from letting himself blow up, finally thinks to turn off the timer on the explosives. And his big act of leadership? He responds to someone on the radio. Nuclear war is beginning, yet the radio operator patiently waits for John Connor as he takes several seconds to formulate even the simplest replies. And as the movie switches to final voiceover, he just starts staring into space instead of responding to the person on the radio, despite being asked direct questions.

In the final voiceover, we learn that Skynet was entirely software in cyberspace, and never was contained in any one mainframe. This Skynet ends up starting a war that results in most of the infrastructure that it existed on. So Skynet's first act is to give itself a massive case of electronic brain damage.

As the voiceover drags on, John Connor blathers about destiny and how the T-850 tried to tell them that there was no way to stop Skynet. Too bad that's total BS. The T-850 never once tried to explain that Skynet was already too big to contain. If the T-850 had told John in the first place that Skynet was a massive virus, maybe John Connor would have been more willing to head for safety instead of committing to a suicide mission with no hope of success.

And finally, we learn that the T-850 taught John to never stop fighting. Never mind that during the entire movie, the goal of the T-850 was to take John and Kate somewhere to hide. Its mission wasn't even to help save the other lieutenants from death. And when it came to its primary mission to protect John and Kate, it was woefully incompetent. Also, the T-850 kept trying to enforce that 'destiny' nonsense. The T-850 wasn't trying to teach John Connor never to stop fighting. It was the exact opposite. The T-850 was trying to get John Connor to stop fighting his destiny and just go with the flow. This included the T-850 trying to resist John's plan to rescue General Brewster and shut down Skynet. Since when does giving up on over 3 billion people and accepting nuclear war translate into a message of "never stop fighting"?

Mostow has said in commentary that ending the movie with nuclear war is the only ending that could have worked, and he's right. John was such a failure throughout the movie that any ending that resulted in him succeeding at something wouldn't have made sense--not that anything else in T3 was particularly logical.

Even the ending turned out to be a disappointment--but wait! Judgement Day happened! Isn't that a good thing? The next movie is going to be based on the future war, right? We'll get to see some awesome fighting in the future, right? At one point I thought so. Then I realized that Ferris & Brancato would probably be dictating what the future war would be like. But hey, how bad could that be, right? Two words.

Terminator Salvation

Also, the ending placed Terminator movies in a fictional world. Before, they were set in a real world - it could've all really happen (the events presented in the first two movies). It was extremely clever for Cameron to "UN-date" the movies that would be dated in 1997 or 2029. Like it did happen, but it was prevented, that's why you cant make the joke like "Ha, I don't see any robots walking round annihilating human race". But when the bombs fell in T3, the Terminator universe wasn't set in real environment anymore, but in a fictional sci-fi world and became a pure fantasy with no link or reference point with the real world.


And just to summarize the amount of humor in all three movies

Comedic scenes in The Terminator
-The boyfriend reciting his dirty lines over the phone to 2 women after accidentally talking to Sarah.
-Traxler asks for a cigarette when he already has one in his hand.
-.Traxler and Vukovich trade barbs about his appearance before seeing reporters.
- Vukovich story about this guy and his Afghan as they interrogate Reese through the glass.
- You got a dead cat in there?" and response.
-"God daamn" black guy noticing armed T-800

Comedic scenes in T2
-Blink and youd miss it: Arnold scans the bikers beard.
- Dr Silberman's sarcastic comment to the hospital cameras: "Model citizen."
- You got a quarter?
- Silberman dropping the needle cap from mouth after seeing T-1000.
- Arnold grabbing John into the garage before the shutters.
- Arnold examining the baby. Humor based on there being little to no children left in the future hes from, therefore discovering it for the first time. Its funny, and its smartly foreboding at the same time.
- "Here, hold this". Hes gassing a man during this by removing his mask.
-."You hurt?" Battle damaged terminator closeup simultaneously.
- Bumper sticker that reads "Praise the lord" as they race off in that small pickup. 12. "I need a vacation". This was Arnold's idea. This spontaneous joke style will become prevalent in T3.

Comedic Scenes in T3
In many peoples opinion, the new level this film reached was returning many familiar sequences of the first 2 films, with a humorous spin on them, thus turning the humor onto entire scenes of the classic films, which can be seen as too far. Entire characters in the film felt more like a dig at the saga.
- Chest enlargement
- "I like your gun"
The cartoonishly happy strip club with gay stripper. The entire sequence can be seen as a send up of the bar from T2:
- Scanning the womans bra and a gigantic font reading inappropriate.
- Over the top Cartoonish acting by all beside Arnold.
- Glove slaps face.
- Funky glasses
- "I lied"
- "This guy weighs a ton"
- The over the top angry guy who got hit from behind. This routine had to be on purpose. Regardless it was funny. His car gets smashed after, completing the skit.
- Knocking the kiddy pool and its toys into the street with the boing sound.
- Arnold knocking a bums cart of cans down.
- The squeak of the crane hook after the firetruck slaps Arnold with a doink.
- The look of Arnold and the firemen after he hits their windshield. "Ill drive".
Inside the car routine:
-Arnold grabbing John and essentially fondling his face for a while as he makes funny faces.
-Drop dead and I am unable to comply.
-Relax!
- Yet another comedy routine. Arnold grabbing junk food and slapping them into the basket and "talk to the hand". The resulting "funky man" music (???)
- Back in the car, more fun with the slot to the front cabin.
- "Dont do that"
- When the mausoleum is gassed. Arnolds body language as he drops John. "Better"
- Dr Silberman returns merely to flex his comic skills. His speech about imagining things is called deadpan humor. We are supposed to laugh as we realize he has been traumatized as well. When he sees Arnold, he LITERALLY runs for the hills in a funny manner! I laughed so hard at this scene it was sick. Not
- Arnold and his trusty coffin. The SWAT even blatantly makes a suggestion about how ludicrous it is, hesitating comedically before telling him to drop it. Its a roast of Arnolds "bringer of death" role as the terminator in all of the films.
- "Shes your wife" and how Arnold immediately punches the gas as John stares at him in disbelief.
- "We need a new vehicle", and the horrified expressions of John and Kate as they whiz by the camera. Another gold moment in comedy.Not
- The door falling off of the hearse as Arnold gets out.
- Arnold and Nicks routine on breeding. Arns humorous body language says it all here. Its a skit. Theres always 1 serious guy and 1 goofball. Much like those old Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin shows.
- "Youre a mess." "Youre not exactly my type either." and Kates delivery/John's facial reaction.
- "Your levity is good. It relieves tension, and the fear of death."
- Hoisting Arnold by the crotch as a battering ram like a bugs bunny cartoon. Complete with exaggerated leather crinkle sound and a kung fu whoosh as she swings him.

Arnold is basically sending the franchise a goodbye tribute, with less acting simply as a bodyguard and more of Arnolds sense of humor prevalent. If he stated anything with this performance it was "I am the terminator, and I own this franchise. Im so comfortable with the role now i can goof around because everyone knows its me anyway."

Silberman became a complete joke of a character here as well. Hes a wreck of a man pretending to be an upright doctor.

DVDactive - Also, there is far too much goofiness involving Arnold’s terminator.Terminator 3 frequently uses the terminator as ludicrous comic relief when none is needed.
http://www.dvdactive.com/reviews/dvd/terminator-3-rise-of-the-machines.html

movie-gazette.comSome of the attempts at comic relief don't sit particularly comfortably with the overall tone
http://www.movie-gazette.com/cinereviews/365

www.currentfilm.comArnold is hilarious in his sort of goofy, say-whatever-he's-thinking way
Arnold is hilarious in his sort of goofy, say-whatever-he's-thinking way

moviecitygeek.com
The well-worn title hero/villain has become a comfortable old shoe for Schwarzenegger and he slyly slips in humor and human frailties where none should exist
http://www.moviecitygeek.com/reviews/t3.html

About.com-"Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines." With a different director, a different actor playing the role of John Connor, and a lot more humor
http://movies.about.com/library/weekly/aa070103a.htm

WGTV8 - The humor is very funny, but it almost begins to fell campy after a while and its just one of those elements that draws away from the moody atmosphere.

15 comments:

  1. This movie is so dumb its hilarious! Absolutely hilarious how awful the writing is. This made my day

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  2. It takes some speial skills to write such a mess

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    1. No kidding. I thought I was an insane critic until I read this. Well, most of it. I only wanted to know if anyone else had a problem with the Champion Crane and Controlled vehicles. And yep, there are.

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  3. Loved the first two Terminators, hated the third, didn't bother to see the fourth.

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  4. Victorville lol

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  5. Thank you! This made my day! From now on, every time someone defends or speaks positively of this movie, I will respond with a link to this site. I loved the first two movies, hated the third, and watched the fourth simply because I thought Christian Bale could save it... which he couldn't.

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  6. It's a shame you weren't on their writing staff. It did have some good cast members; I think it could've been a much better movie. Do you think it might've worked had they started with John being in S. Africa or someplace? I agree T-1000 seemed more advanced than T-X, but don't you think they needed to make at least a few changes to add originality? Also, if T2 hadn't been set four years after its release (the only flaw I saw in T2) that'd explain why Sarah showed no symptoms. Granted it would've been difficult to find a kid who looked young enough and still act reasnably well, and would've required major script changes, but imo that's the best way to keep the timeline unambiguous, thus avoiding inconsistencies.

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    1. I only read the drive-in part and was surprised that you went on in detail about numerous alleged goofs but you missed the really obvious one. While the sequence was rather too easy, it isn't that bad. She was in a hurry, (she's got a long list of people to kill) and she went the expedient route. If I remember correctly there was a much more obvious goof that you missed. When she killed Jose, her car was going the wrong way in the drive through, which made no sense at all. Why didn't you point out the actual goof?

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  7. I know it's a year old post, but a good read.

    One of the writers John Brancato wrote unfavourably about the Terminator movies, two of the great sci-fi classics? Then why did he copy the basic structure of T2? (and did it badly) Also, funny coming from a guy whose credits include... Catwoman.

    The male stripper scene is suspicious... I have a theory... a straight test. A man;s manliness is questioned if one of these two things happen: he likes musicals, and he doesn't like RoboCop and The Terminator.

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  8. For the record, Brancato's blog posting is archived here:

    http://www.terminatorfiles.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5001

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  9. T3 wasn't even an entertaining film. It was way too corny to be taken seriously as a decent action film even after ignoring it's measure to the Terminator 1 and 2, and your review is spot on. Looking forward to reading your take on Genysis.

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  10. Excellent read. Now I have to watch salvation so I can enjoy your other review.

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  11. Arnold Schwarzenegger says Terminator Genisys didn't ... Read full interview here: http://bit.ly/1Dnr9hO #terminator #genisys #arnold

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  12. I started writing something like this back in 2012 after watching T3, being a hardcore Terminator fan, I started taking notes of the various F*CK UPS inherently noticeable with T3, and even then watching Salvation things started jumping out at me, and I'll be honest... you've tackled this almost scene for scene... which was what I tried to do albeit getting sidetracked on this project of mine off and on. I'll even link you my version just to see what points I missed and maybe give you an idea of my frame of mind regarding Brancato, Ferris & Mostow.

    I would love to see what you have to say about Terminator: Genisys, for being a soft reboot, it was not that bad of a movie considering that Genisys pretty much had to start over from scratch considering the F***ING TRAIN-WRECKS Terminator 3 & Salvation were. Any attempts to continue from THOSE TWO would have resulted in more groan worthy BULLSH*T, and to be honest, Genisys is having to --suffer-- from how horrible T3 & Salvation were regarding continuity, plot holes, missed opportunities, etc... So please, if possible I would love to see what you have to say in regards to Genisys.

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