Upgraded… and feminine!
For the third time, humans and robots fight for the future of two or three species. The original movie was downright horror; the second one action. This one picks the science-fiction route. Arnold Schwarzenegger returns as a new cyborg with a virgin memory and is therefore unaffected by T1 or T2. Edward Furlong was replaced by a dormant Nick Stahl and Linda Hamilton’s character is dead.
This franchise used to deliver good scripts despite its paradoxical premise, but the makers of Part 3 can’t juggle with layering and dosage. Some scenes are too long, the pacing is disproportionate and the dialogue is oversimplified. The core story is satisfying. We finally get to see the sequence of events that triggered Skynet's attack and the reason this franchise exists in the first place.
The new villain, the Terminatrix, is an upgraded version of Robert Patrick’s liquid metal cyborg. Her design is somewhat underexploited, though, like most characters here. Schwarzenegger’s person is coldly written, even for a robot, and is sometimes reduced to a parody. You get plenty of memorable effects and chases, but a weak narrative that can’t stitch them together seamlessly.