John Connor has reached adulthood and is once more pursued by a murderous robotic assassin as he tries to prevent Skynet from starting the war that results in the near extinction of mankind.
The Terminator films, like the Alien franchise before them, were always going to suffer in comparison to the two hugely influential originals. Basically Terminator 3 is not in the same league as the previous films and feels far more like a generic cash in that not only fails to expand on the concepts but also seems rather pointless in general. The self referential and ham-fisted humour in particular is a serious mistake making the film look like a parody of itself and the gimmicky casting of Kristanna Loken was never going to provide the presence and menace of Schwarzenegger or even Robert Patrick. But if you can forget its pedigree, Terminator 3 is actually an entertaining sci-fi action film in its own right; true, it hasn’t any of the inspiration or originality of the previous films but the special effects are excellent and set pieces work extremely well. The level of destruction outshines even that of T2 during the thrilling crane truck chase and the ending is genuinely surprising and interesting.
Not a bad sequel by any means but it was never going to measure up to its heritage of seminal sci-fi.