I am a big fan of the franchise. James Cameron is my favourite director of all time. Unfortunately, the first of the T's I saw was T3, which is not a bad movie. It just does not live up to the first 2, which are bloody amazing! I wrote A-Level essays on each of the first 2 movies for Film Studies. I just loved them.
And I wasn't expecting much to be honest. Even though I knew some of the actors were a perfect fit for some roles; Christian Bale was a surprising choice, but when one thought about it you couldn't help but think "you know what? I can see it in him!" and he delivers; Anton Yelchin, obviously of Star Trek fame, as Kyle Reese I had to see for myself since Michael Biehn just hapens to be my favourite actor of all time!! And while I thought he wasn't quite as good at the role as Yelchin was with Checkov, you can see hints of Biehn in there; But at the end of the day, he was a kid, fighting for his life who will eventually become the key to humanity's continuation because we are now at the point where it is important for him to stay alive.
What I loved about this movie was that we actually got to see the war with the machines!! Yes we saw clips of it from 3 movies and 1 failed TV show over the last 25 years but this is the first time we saw some proper arse-kicking. And I loved it. Another thing is that they managed to references the previous movies without being A) obvious (it took me a while to get the shotgun on the arm thing) and B) Cheesy (I'll be back" + "Come with me if you want to live" I thought were handled brilliantly!). And the 3rd, and last thing that I loved about this film is that it dumped the previous movies "chasing" structure. Its just men, out on a mission, wanting to get their thing done!
Unfortunately it all goes downhill for me from that point. While Bale, Yelchin and Worthington were good in their respective roles (although Yelchin could've done with a lot more screentime!!), it just didn't give me the excited adrenaline rush that I still get with T2, even on the 100th viewing. The actions scenes were good, they just felt a bit flat for me. And I was also often bored, just waiting for the next time something blew up! And the first 20 minutes was a bit too fast-paced for me, although that could just be me! :D
Overall, it is not a bad movie. If I was channel-hopping, I would probably watch it if I came across it. Then again I'd just watch it because of Christian Bale, a fine actor indeed. But was I the only one that thought he had a certain resemblance to Randy Orton in this movie?? I cannot compare it to T3 because both are fine action movies which suffer a major disadvantage of being style over substance. And lets be honest, I would be foolish to even suggest comparing it to the first 2 movies. Thats like comparing Star Wars and Star Trek and I would never do that, I just can't...