WHAT THE FILM?! – Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines


What The Film is a new weekly column exclusive to Under The Gun Review that brings to light the plot holes Hollywood hoped you’d never notice. Written by comedy writer Dane Sager, this column shows no mercy to films that try and pull the proverbial wool over our eyes.

If you know a film with major plot holes that you feel needs to be exposed, tell us! Email  utgjames@gmail.com with the subject “What The Film” and we’ll try to get your suggestion featured on the site.

Terminator is an Iconic series. If you are unfamiliar with the series, then you are by no means a movie fan. The first two Terminator movies were written and directed by science fiction epistolarian James Cameron, who you may have heard of from writing and directing the two highest grossing movies of all time (Piranha Part Two: The Spawning and Avatar). 

Can you believe that Piranha 2 isn't streaming yet? Get on that, Netflix.

James Cameron based the Terminator movies loosely off of a reoccuring nightmare he had while filming Piranha Part Two about a metal skeleton hunting him down. He ended up writing out a science fiction movie, strongly influenced by The Outer Limits and the works of Harlan Ellison.

1984’s The Terminator was about a killer robot sent from the future (where robots had taken over) to the present to kill off Sarah Connor, the future mother of John Connor, the leader of the human resistance in the future. The plot was more of a side note and really was just there to have a motivation for the killer robot to hunt down a random woman. While a gamble, the movie was a success and ended up giving the world one of the most famous movie lines of all time.

“Nobody puts baby in the corner.”

The Terminator was followed by 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day. The sequel had two terminators sent from the future, a more advanced liquid metal terminator sent to murder John Connor to death, and a less advanced model who had been reprogrammed by the resistance to protect him. Both movies, while action movies, raised some deep questions about artificial intelligence versus genuine intelligence, free will versus determinism, and knife versus face.

Winner: Knife

If there is a theme to the Terminator franchise, it is definitely the question of fate versus free will. There is a repeated line throughout the series “No Fate but what we make”. It’s the slogan of the human resistance in the future, emphasizing the point that if you don’t like something, you have the power to change it. It is a surprisingly empowering and inspiring line that reverberates with anyone who has felt disenfranchised.


Also vandals.


So What Is It About?

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines was the long awaited sequel to what is widely understood as one of the best action movies of all time. After 12 years of preproduction and switches from multiple directors and writers, does all this time result in a movie that can stand up to the prior entries in the series?


Spoiler alert: No. It does not.

Terminator 3 shares a plotline with its successor, where a more advanced terminator is sent back in time to kill John Connor and a less advanced model who had been reprogrammed by the resistance is sent back to protect him. It seems very unlikely that a rag tag group of humans being hunted would be able to find, overtake, and then reprogram a robot that has been created to hunt down and murder these exact people, let alone be able to do that twice, but I will let that one go for the sake of watching robots beat the hell out of each other.

Or fall in love, you know, whatever.

What the Film?!

About forty minutes into the movie, John Connor gets a little testy and notifies the Terminator that was sent to protect him that he shouldn’t exist. He says that in the prior movie, they destroyed the company that ended up creating the terminators and in effect, stopped the robot apocalypse, and that it is impossible for him to exist. The terminator informs him that you can’t change the future and that you can only postpone it.

Wait. What?

In just a few seconds, you have completely invalidated the entire series. If the future can’t be changed, then there is literally no reason to send the terminators back. Even if they kill John Connor, they’ll still be overthrown by humanity, it will just take a little longer. Is that what you guys want to watch? The death rattle of a cold unfeeling civilization pathetically dragged out over the course of four (and maybe five) movies? We can watch that already with watching Lindsay Lohan failing to stay afloat. No fate is a lie. We trusted you, Arnold. I trusted you.

Pictured: Betrayal.

Dane is a Nigerian Prince who needs your help to get his money out of the country! You can Follow him on Twitter and Tumblr.

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  • femalewarbler

    Terminator wasn’t based off a reoccurring nightmare he had, he stole the idea from Sophia Stewart. People need to know the truth.

  • Fuckyouasshole

    The T-850 was talking about humans destroying themselves: Judgment Day.   You can’t stop Judgment Day.   That’s it.       That invalidates your entire useless article.    

  • bsmith18

    yeah you’re right, this entire series is completely believable. ….touchy, touchy!