"Terminator III: The Rise of the Machines"
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger
As we would expect, this is an action film with many digital effects. However, although this is the film with famous lines of three words such as "I'll be back" for action actor Schwarzenegger, it still has some science fiction elements for the brain.
It's rather unavoidable to compare science-fiction with religion. While some religions teach ancestor worship, in science fiction including the "Terminator" series, agents from the future come back to the past to alter it. In the current moment of 2003 on Earth, we are not able to go back and interfere with our ancestors' lives, so ancestor worship is both sterile and yet seemingly capable of animating humyn imaginations, mostly in unhealthy ways.
In contrast, descendant worship like that in T3 is much more progressive. Dead ancestors cannot do anything now, but descendants who can time-travel have the power to partake in the struggles of the day. Thinking about descendants is an exercise in the possibilities of the humyn brain.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is famous as a conservative Republican considering a run for governor of California. Someone should tell him his sci-fi films focus on Enlightenment ideas rejected by his conservative brethren. While conservatives say the humyn is not "perfectible" and therefore we should stick with our "habits" and ancient religions, in T3 fearsome robots from the future travel backward in time to do battle.
"Not perfectible"--tell that to the Terminator who can calculate in an instant the probability of a humyn's actually carrying out a suicide threat, 17% he says in one moment with a man who has a gun to his head. Such notions about the future do not come from no where. Obviously, someone with a few machine guns or missiles if s/he could travel back in time would seem like the Terminator in the year 0, 1000 or even 1850. The conservatives and various escapists are in denial about the broad trend of history.
Yet while old military technologies have been discarded, and while most people imagine the future economically as not having money, just very fancy machines that produce whatever is necessary, conservatives are here to tell us to continue with the same social ideas over the millennia. Their success in obstructing social progress led to the realistic situation in the film: humyns screw up and nuke themselves, which is about where we are right now in reality as well.
While the humyns focus on tracking their weapons spread all over the planet with elaborate technology, they have no technology focused on tracking the motivations for war and error. That is to say the system has an engineering design flaw that amounts to lacking a back-up system or release valve. That's why MIM insists on social engineering totally intolerant to the risks and motivations of war. We'd rather have some serious surgery now than die later from the terminal disease of capitalist-militarism.
In T3, even when humyns realize they have erred, it's too late to undo all the effects. Three billion people died in a day. John Connor admits that he likes to think sometimes that his mother's heroics in previous episodes eliminated "Judgement Day," but finding himself having to pick up weapons his mother planned for him to have when he grew up, he said, "I never really believed it." Terminator arrives to say, "you cannot eliminate Judgement Day, only postpone it."
The horrible thing about these Christian lines is that it will mobilize yet further the peculiarly Amerikkkan Christian population dedicated to the apocalypse: sure fight it the last few hours, but Judgement Day is going to come is the message. Offsetting these lines is that the main characters did fight hard at least a couple hours to try to prevent apocalypse.
Prior to the arrival of the Terminator, the humyn hero John Connor is a drug junkie. He knows he is too militarily valuable to partake in his current society. So he hides and takes drugs to avoid thinking about "Judgement Day."
In real life, we believe much drug use stems from political-military conditions that need to be abolished. The many who think the species won't make it, especially because of up-close examination of society in the world's leading military powers end up taking heroin-type drugs as an escape from a decadent society they feel has no hope. If society has no hope, then there is no reason not to spend all the day enjoying oneself in any fashion imaginable or escaping it completely to dull the pain.
Connor is what we Marxists would call a "lumpen" hero. He does not work in the factory or other setting typical of what Marx called the proletariat. Connor has no disciplined social setting and feels that he must consciously avoid one or be killed by agents from the future. As the movie starts, he is drifting, sitting on a bridge drinking a bottle of beer and then later undertaking break-ins for drugs.
Our criticism of Connor is that he suddenly becomes animated in the last three hours of civilization's life to stop catastrophe. However, prior to that, at least he valiantly preserved himself for future battles, but on the side he should have found ways to get humyns somehow to deal with their problems socially first. Granted, no one would acknowledge the truth about the future that he knew, but that did not mean he could not still work on getting humyns to improve.
Connor lacked this proletarian perspective that Huey Newton tried to instill in the Black Panther Party. Huey Newton likewise criticized Eldridge Cleaver and other lumpens for only living for the glorious gun battle, almost as if the lumpen glory was to get it over with. In Marx's day, the proletariat disciplined by work organization would have the discipline to do day-to-day political work and have that perspective. The lumpen just does not have such a painstaking perspective, so our criticism of Connor boils down to class perspective.
By itself, this action film has a lot of humor in it, just short of self-critical. So arises the question of whether T3 is really put together well enough to handle such serious topics as nuclear holocaust. The worst part is that it talks about people surviving the launching of all nuclear weapons, when the real question is how many good hydrogen bombs it would take to kill the whole humyn species, not from the immediate blast, but from the damage to the atmosphere. The second most questionable part about the film is the almost placid and dreamy depiction of the end of most of the species from a vantage point in the sky, the God's eye view, no doubt. Combined with the action and humor aspects of the film it is reminiscent of the sick combination of sex and violence that constitutes rape and animates so much Amerikkkan entertainment.
There is absolutely nothing exclusively or narrowly feminist of interest about this film; although, of course the toughest character in the film is a robot in the image of a womyn. In the pace of a few hours, John Connor and the Terminator kidnap a womyn while her fiancée dies. By the end of the film, she has reconciled with her kidnapper. However, the same thing happens to everyone in the film. Our heroes also mow through police and fire officials. All the preconceptions about junkies, kidnappers etc. prove not only useless but harmful to the species. Given the situation, of course the junkie-kidnappers better get on with their business and no one should stop them. This is something we train people at all times as well, to ignore "who" people are and concentrate on whether they come bearing the truth or not.
The funny thing is that almost all movie-goers are now accustomed to this sort of Hollywood trick--where no ordinary persyn would believe or give credibility to the heroes, but the heroes must fight onwards whether or not the local police believe it when the heroes tell them the Blob from Mars has landed to eat the town. By now, people know that when humyns really focus on their goals and move for them, a ton of bullshit has to be put aside. In T3, even after the Terminator catches a bullet in his mouth thereby proving the truth, Kate Brewster runs out and smiles as soon as she sees a traditional cop car with flashing blue light, only to discover that the cops are a Trojan Horse for the ultimate evil. Fortunately in the space of hours, Kate Brewster undergoes transformation and puts her eyes on the prize. Next thing we know she's mowing down Pentagon robots.
Our challenge to Amerikkkans: be better than Kate Brewster or are you going to wait till three hours before the nukes drop before you look at the causes of war and how to eliminate them? Are you going to fight desperately for just three hours and then wish you had done more before that?
So many Amerikkkans think they are better than heroin addicts, but when it comes down to it, their avoidance of the anti-militarist movement is no different than the hopelessness of the junkies. Many of the apolitical share the junkies' exact sense of political hopelessness, which in another time would just be called a lack of "character." People like that should at least do us all a favor and stop dividing the humyn race by making it such a high priority to look down on junkies and the rest of the lumpen-proletariat!
And when we challenge Amerikkkans to "look at" the causes of war, we mean with the determination, speed and alarm that our heroes show in T3. There is no reason that people should identify so closely with action-heroes put in a desperate spot while looking away from or denigrating an all-out anti-militarist effort in real life. MIM is confident that if humyns really put their eyes on the prize of world peace, they can put a lot of bullshit aside and get the job done.
It looks like there is room for at least a T4 and in this reviewer's opinion, T3 could have been longer and done more. It's tempting to take the film lightly, as "just another action movie," but it has footage of nuclear holocaust, so such treatment would only be the kind of obscenity so common and detrimental in Amerikkkan life.