It took nearly a decade before there was a follow-up to T2: Judgement Day. This time around, the focus is on an early 20’s John Conner. He has been living off the grid and the original date for Judgement Day came and went without incident. Conner is a journeyman, working construction jobs, believing the crisis averted and his future uncertain.
This is all changed when a T-800 appears and abducts John and a veterinarian named Kate. Another high end model, the T-X, has arrived with a larger agenda. Instead of John, the T-X is targeting all his generals.
It is revealed to John and Kate that they are, in fact destined to be husband and wife and lead the resistance together.
The big twist of the T-X is both that it is the female Terminator we see and she is liquid metal over an endoskeleton. She is able to imitate other people, but her main form is as Sexy Badass. This seems a bit odd to have the endoskeleton, because that would suggest she can only imitate people who match her height. I admit, this is probably a minor nitpick.
They try and give twists, as Arnold’s Terminator is revealed to be a Terminator that successfully killed John Conner and has been sent back by Kate. The film also reveals Sarah Conner died of cancer. It almost feels like they are trying a bit to hard to surprise the audience.
That said, honestly? I enjoy Rise of the Machines quite a bit. It does kick off the ridiculous focus on massive carnage candy set pieces…but it is a fun film…and I like that it commits to the end. Listen, they cannot successfully kill Skynet. Judgement Day has to happen for there to be a franchise at all. It is a messy film, but a lot of fun to watch.