Blu-ray review: Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

It’s easy to forget that Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines exists. Clumsy, and mishandled the film has since been rendered obsolete in the wake of Salvation…

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

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It’s easy to forget that Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines exists. Clumsy, mishandled and enjoyable only for its action scenes, the film has since been rendered obsolete in the wake of Salvation. To his credit, though, director Jonathan Mostow had some rather large shoes to fi ll when he took over directing duties. Judgment Day broke new barriers for action cinema, and in turn set a benchmark for future fi lms in the series to match up to. But instead of building on James Cameron’s sci-fi saga, Mostow chose to fawn over its legend. A limited plot path, too much reverential dialogue and, crucially, a weak baddie in the T-X helped spell doom for the fi lm. Salvaged by a thrilling downtown vehicular chase and a concluding scene that ties in well with past events, Rise Of The Machines still only enjoys a few high points. Arriving in conjunction with the aforementioned franchise relaunch, this Blu-ray outing succeeds in its mission to please. Regardless of the quality of the main feature itself, Sony’s high-def deployment remains solid throughout. Containing numerous often-inane set pieces, this transfer is near flawless. John Connor’s first act vision-of-the-future is a standout on the disc. Ignoring the lazy CG ships zipping around, the sight of gun-toting endoskeletons emerging from the smoke is an image that begs to be seen in HD. The fi lm itself moves at a nippy pace and in time with this, the big-budget action moments keep up in this transfer. With the centrepiece truck chase taken as a given, it’s the film’s penultimate moment outside the bunker that proves just how mighty it is on BD. Licked by fiery reds and crammed with detail, Arnie’s final battle with the T-X is a robot showdown to rival Transformers on the format. The detail on these cyborgs is simply immense. Dutifully soundtracked by the Dolby TrueHD, the fi lm’s audio (notably Marco Beltrami’s iconic score) carries itself with pitch and depth. Each pinging bullet and crash booms out from the speakers, and even in the most manic of scenes the audio track distributes itself finely. However, Sony’s weak offering of BD exclusives round this package off with a slight clang. Bar a decent PiP track, all the extras on this disc have been carried over from the original DVD release. Still, when the day of a definitive Terminator BD boxset arrives, this forgettable entry in the series has the metallic muscle to stand up and be counted in HD.

Feature: Extras: 3-three-stars Picture: large_4 Audio: 5-five-stars

Price: £19.99
Classification: 12
Discs: 1
Distributor: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Director: Jonathan Mostow
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nick Stahl, Claire Danes
Released: Out Now