Saturday, 12 July, 2003
Debra and I watched The Terminator and Terminator 2 last night on VHS in preparation for this morning's trip to the theatre for the most recent episode. If nothing else, Terminator 3 definitely is a Terminator movie: lots of action and cool special effects with just enough plot and drama (but not too much) to make it a semi-coherent story. I'm real tolerant when it comes to action movies, but this one had a few major bloopers that should have been caught before being released to the general public.
Early on in the movie, TX (the most advanced Terminator type) controls a posse of emergency vehicles for the first big chase. How does she gain control? Nanotechnology, of course. Sorry, but I couldn't buy it. It still takes physical force to turn the wheel, and some kind of camera or other sensing device to see where they're going. Watching driverless police cars and ambulances hurtle through the streets was too much.
Late in the movie the two lead characters are going to fly a private plane (it looks like a Cessna 172) north to attack the Skynet central core. The airplane itself is prominently featured during the encounter in the hanger, and any pilot will notice and remember the airplane's tail number: N3035C. When they finally escape the hanger and take off, the camera zooms in on the airplane in flight: a blue and white Cessna 172 with tail number N3937F.
In one sense, these and similar bloopers are minor matters when compared with the major hurdle of time travel. But I can accept the possibility of time travel for the sake of an escapist action movie as long as ordinary everyday things work like I know and expect them to. I won't say that it ruined the movie for me–I still enjoyed it–but these things did jar me out of the fantasy. And that's something no story (regardless of the medium) should ever do.