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Less really is more

‘Terminator’ sequel has all the right stuff

Phil Witte is a copy editor for the News-Press and Burbank Leader

and a Cyberdyne Systems model T-6 7/8.

Sequels tend to fall into two categories: those that do not merely

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attempt to be a duplicate of the original (“Alien,” “X-Men” and

“Godfather”), and those that stink (everything else). “Terminator 3:

Rise of the Machines,” is the latest installment in a series that

proves to be the exception to the rule.

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As in the previous two “Terminator” films, a machine has been sent

back in time to kill John Connor (real or potential), and another

machine (no offense to Michael Biehn) has been sent back to prevent

that killing. It’s the same thing we’ve seen before, but it keeps

getting better.

In a summer in which the enduring image has been that of Neo

fighting 100 Agent Smiths in “The Matrix,” “T3" is almost a

contradiction -- a multimillion-dollar minimalist action film. The

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familiar T-1000 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) must prevent the new

kill-bot, T-X (Kristanna Loken) from killing Connor (Nick Stahl).

Most of the film is occupied with fighting and chasing between the

killing machines, but that is more than enough to keep us

entertained.

New to this installment is Claire Danes as Kate Brewster, an

ostensible love interest for Connor who assumes the role of strong

female, which previously had been held by his mother. Danes handles

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herself, and automatic weaponry, just fine.

Director Jonathan Mostow takes over from James Cameron and proves

just as adept with the material. The film barrels along, with enough

slow spots for audiences to catch their breath, and the

special-effects money was spent on the right toys.

* “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” is rated R for strong

sci-fi violence and action, language and brief nudity.


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