Jonathan Mostow. Release Date: December 31, 2003. DVD Release Date: November 11, 2003.
I've been a fan of the Terminator film series for a long time now. While I'm old enough to remember the release of the original, I didn't get around to watching the first (or second) installments until I was in college in the mid-90s. The series has transitioned with the rapid advancements in technology, particularly those technologies that relate to their special effects. It seems that the filmmakers here both embrace and reject those changes in technology in different way. I was surprised to see that the current Terminator model has actually gained some of the more useful abilities of its predecessors, while seemingly not gaining all that much except what might be a wi-fi network exploiter of some sort. Sure, the "Terminatrix" is a little tougher, a little more vicious, and a little more shapely than her predecessors, but she's also lost some of the special effects magic that we've grown to expect from the series.
I didn't like Nick Stahl for John Connor. Mr. Stahl is capable of some gritty work, as he has proved in more than one role, he didn't seem to bring us the borderline-insane feeling that he might just be contemplating moving to one of those walled compounds outside of Coeur D'Alene to prepare for the end of mankind as we know it. I did like Claire Danes, because, well, I always like Claire Danes, regardless of what it is she's doing. These days, whatever it is she's doing should be listed under the heading of "more please". I didn't like bringing back The Governator for a third-run, only to find out that this was a different, more obsolete Terminator who seemed to occasionally channel his predecessor. I did; however, like it when The Governator threatened to provide the same beating for Arianna Huffington as he did the Terminatrix while they were on national television in the gubernatorial debates for California back in... '05 or '06. That was classic.
I have to admit, that while this isn't my favorite in the series, I like how this sets up the entire story line in that "time is cyclical" approach to sci-fi. I actually think it's so slick that it kind of overrides all the problems I had with this as a Terminator fan. So... if you haven't seen it yet, you should, but if you're a fan of the series, you'll have some issues with how they deal with the characters.