T1 and T2 are hard to compare because they both set out to do different things and they do them well. The original Terminator has an all around better story, is more grounded in reality (or rather suspends your disbelief more easily) and has a villian that is not only terrifying, but the best in the series. Robert Patrick's persistance and elegance are captured very well and his acting is superb, but it just doesn't have the same psychological impact as watching this six-foot Austrian in black leathers get his face smashed by a semi, and as he is rolling underneath the truck, he grabs onto the frame of the trailer and tries to hang on.
Terminator 2 succeeds at creating the best action flick of all time bar-none. At long last T2 gave us an action film where the muscled hero actually could have physical strength and can have dozens of enemies unload automatic weapons on him and he comes out without a scratch. We have dual-wielding and flip-cocking shotguns and miniguns fired at the hip, and a man running across a moving pickup, jumping on a moving truck chasing the pickup, opening fire on the driver, then commandeering the truck and rolling it over.
Terminator 3 had a few interesting scenes, but none of them were spectacular. One scene that was neat was the Terminator being dragged through the glass building. It is true that no human could survive such a thing, but the scene itself wasn't that good because it was just saying "look he's a Terminator, he doesn't feel pain and glass can cut his skin but it won't do anything to his endoskeleton." It wasn't action because it was passive. The Terminator wasn't doing something interesting, some was happening to him.
None of the weapons were permanant or lasting. So we couldn't identify with the Terminator in any way. In Terminator 2 we remember the sawed-off Winchester 1887 lever-action. In T1 we can't forget the images of him with the Uzi, or better yet the AR-18 assault rifle and SPAS-12 semi-auto shotgun, totally wrecking the police station. Jericho Cain has his Glock pistols and the custom MP5A3 submachine gun with and underslung M203A1 grenade launcher. Heck in Predator we remember Blain with Ol' Painless. Decker in Blade Runner has his distinctive pistol. Even Vin Diesel in XXX has that funky .44-magnum revolver with all the attachments.
In T3 we start off with a (pretty cool looking) shotgun that does absolutely nothing important, and then he ditches it for a machine gun which he promptly drops after emptying one belt of ammo. He fires one rocket from the RPG (he had at least two, and the RPG did damage to the T-X so it might have been smart to hang onto that weapon and use it again). Then we switch to a .45-caliber UMP submachine gun, and after emptying a magazine he drops that and switches to a 40mm grenade launcher, empties a single magazine and gets rid of that. Then he uses a G36K, empties a magazine at an HK and then gets rid of it and the rest is all hand-fighting until the finale when he pops out his power core and nukes himself and the T-X.
Pretty much spot on there Chris, on every account.
I'd just like to say that along with the original action scense and the weapons that went down in T3, so to did the acting. In the first two, Hamilton, Furlong and Beihn were simply superb, each pulled off their 'human' roles to perfection. However it all took a tumble in T3, Stahl was not true to his character created in T2 and Danes was just pathetic.
The dialogues were generally just recycled from the first two, hell even the Silberman cameo was just leftovers really, there was no continuity from the T2 storyline. Why on EARTH were there almost no cops trying to bring down either terminator when they infiltrated cyberdine. Just one example of a misread plothole.
T1 like Chris said, stands on its own because of its different era and almost different genre altogether. It was a thriller whereas T2 was more all-out action.
This is almost the same thing we were saying in the Picture Thread before. I understand why perhaps nobody attempted to bring down the TX since she could very well take the shape of any person she pleased. Though while Kate was the daughter of Robert Brewster it still doesn't touch on the reason a 6-foot man with bullet holes and guns would be let in with John Connor who obviously looked like he had just done drugs or came from a hospital. That and according to authorities Arnold had kidnapped Kate which make less sense why they didn't attempt to shoot down or capture John and Arnold.
Yep. If they would have had just a quick scene in the cemetary where the SWAT leader is passing photographs around of the Terminator from 1984 and 1992 or if they included the scene with Vulkovich in a wheel chair as originally planned the movie would have been infinitly better. I like the novel (I just read it yesterday) because it actually explains most of the plotholes in the movie, like how the Terminator, John and Catherine get into CRS and such.
Well, never mind the photo's for a second.. lets pretend that they indeed had no idea who Arnie was. Even then, they break into a high security building and cause significant damage to the facility and the equipment, the T-X kills Kate Brewster's dad, and there were no alarm bells !?
Even if it was Jon Bon Jovi attacking the building, some cops should have at least shown up.
I haven't read any of the other Terminator 3 novels. The only reason I read the movie adaptation is because it was free. It was an okay book. What made it interesting is that they filled in some of the plotholes that were in the movie but invented a new one: how did John send Terminator back in time when he should have already been killed? Maybe I'm remembering it wrong, but the book implied John was still alive at the time.
As for T2s effects, I think a lot of them still hold up. The CG healing is pretty good. The full body shots where he is all silver don't look fantastic. The hook-arms and bullet shots are fairly good as is the Terminator makeup. I still think the makeup from the first move is both more interesting and more believeable, but in T2 the only parts that look fake are when he supposedly loses his arm and his face. You can see where the gaps in his skull are just filled in with black material due to the harsh lighting of the steel mill.