YMMV / Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

  • Awesome Music: While the soundtrack as a whole is mostly generic action music, the incredibly bittersweet ''Radio'' may well put a lump in your throat.
  • Badass Decay: John Connor. Justified, though, by the fact that he'd spent ten years believing he'd escaped his destiny (but still paranoid), and so had not prepared for it and was tranqued up for most of the film.
  • Contested Sequel: Very much so, to the point that "Only the Creator Does It Right" is often invoked. A major point of contention is how the film contradicts the underlying message of the previous movie - "There is no fate but what we make for ourselves" - but it also had many plot developments that changed the nature of the series (such as Sarah having died of cancer, Brewster being behind Skynet all along, and the titular rise of the machines). In fact, these developments were responsible for Terminator 3 being completely ignored by the TV series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, although Terminator Salvation follows the events of T3. Despite all the criticisms, Arnold's performance and the action sequences are widely praised.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Well, when played by Kristanna Loken...
  • Fanon Discontinuity: It's not at all uncommon for fans to claim that Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is the true continuation of the previous film's story, and that this film (and Terminator Salvation) is the result of some space-time anomaly that transported the T-850 and T-X into an alternate dimension where Sarah Connor had a bridge dropped on her. Even though SCC also had her dying of cancer at the same time...
    • Some even go so far as to claim only the first two films as canon, and everything else after as either a different timeline or just a dream, with the alternate ending to T2 being the official "end" to the series.
  • Fridge Brilliance:
    • When John asks about Crystal Peak, the T-800 remains silent, letting Kate's father talk about it being safe and not volunteering any information. At no point does the T-800 let on there's no way to shut down Skynet from there. That way, it doesn't have to lie.
    • Another reason Sarah had herself cremated so that if Judgment Day still happens (as she fears it would), Skynet would not be able to find her remains and use her DNA to make a Terminator resembling her to trick her son, like how the T-1000 tried.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: At the beginning of the movie, John Connor is living "off the grid" as a drifter, breaks into a veterinary clinic to steal painkillers, and in the process runs into someone he hasn't seen in years who claims that he "just disappeared". Nick Stahl, who played John, disappeared for a period of five days in 2012, avoiding phone calls and getting drugs.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: "The Mojave area will sustain significant nuclear fallout." You don't say.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks: One of the reasons for being divisive is having many scenes and characters directly transplanted from the previous film.
  • Narm: The scene where the female terminator inflates her breasts to distract a police officer. It's blatant fanservice in a movie series thats not known for fanservice and a huge step down from the T800 and T1000's iconic badass intros.
    • The female terminator tends to spend alot of time trying to be sexy for a killer robot, as opposed to the previous two models being nightmare inducing killer androids. See in particular the scene where she "analyses" a blood spot by licking and sucking her finger in a pointlessly lengthy and sexualised way.
    • "Talk to the hand".
    • Those pink glasses.
  • Narm Charm: The Terminatrix crashes into the base with her helicopter? Badass. The T-800 follows suit by crashing his too? Hilarious.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Silberman's brief cameo, his circumstances are pitiable and funny at the same time.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Nerdist fans will recognize Chris Hardwick as one of the Air Force engineers.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: A female Terminator. Since 2003, fans of the series have gotten so used to the idea that it's now a bit hard to appreciate how novel it was back when T3 first came out. Now, of course, the T-X is inevitably compared to "Cameron" of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, who was much better received.
    • It doesn't help that the former was played by Kristanna Loken (who was largely unknown in 2003, and has had few major film credits since T3), while the latter was played by perennial fanboy favorite Summer Glau (who was already something of a sci-fi icon before 2008, thanks to her role as River Tam in Firefly).
    • However, there had technically already been a female Terminator all the way back in 1991; this was when the shapeshifting T-1000 disguised itself as John's foster mother, Janelle, in the Bluff The Imposter scene and later his actual mother, Sarah, in the Spot the Imposter scene. The Expanded Universe also has female Terminators, going back to C850.D, a smaller T-800 from the "Terminator: Tempest" comic (1991) which had the living tissue disguise of a Hispanic woman. Also, all Terminators except maybe Marcus in Terminator: Salvation are just robots disguised as humans, so all Terminators are actually genderless.
  • Special Effects Failure: Pay close attention to the car chase scene and the scene where the TX is hit with the RPG. You can note clearly that they are CGI models.

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