Director: Jonathan Mostow
Writer: James Cameron (characters), Gale Anne Hurd (characters), John Brancato (story), Michael Ferris (story), Tedi Sarafian (story), John Brancato (screenplay), Michael Ferris (screenplay)
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nick Stahl, Claire Danes, Kristanna Loken
Runtime: 1h 49min
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi
Released: 02 Jul 2003
Synopsis: More than 10 years after ‘Terminator 2’, John Connor now exists only as a drifter – living ‘off the grid’, so no more Terminators from the future can hunt him down. Unfortunately, SkyNet does send another one back – and this one is called the T-X, even more powerful & advanced than the dreaded T-1000. However, another CSM-101 Terminator is also sent back to protect John against the T-X. Now, Skynet is patiently assuming control of civilian computer systems, under the guise of a computer virus. John has also met his future wife, Kate Brewster, whose father – a U.S. Air Force General – is in charge of the military computer systems & is leery of up linking SkyNet. However, when the SkyNet virus infects the U.S military computers & leaves the country open to attack, the machines begin their horrific takeover. Soon a nuclear war will result – and the war against the machines will begin. Can the outdated CSM-101 Terminator eliminate the highly advanced T-X – or will a darker future await man following the nuclear attack?
Following the events of “Terminator 2: Judgment Day”, John Connor (Nick Stahl) has been living off-the-grid in Los Angeles. Although Judgment Day did not occur on August 29, 1997, the date given by the Terminator in the previous film, John does not believe that the prophesied war between humans and Skynet has been averted. Skynet sends a new Terminator model, the T-X (Kristanna Loken), back in time to July 24, 2004. Unable to locate John, it has been sent to kill his future lieutenants in the human Resistance. A more advanced model than previous Terminators, the T-X has an endoskeleton with built-in advanced weaponry, a liquid metal exterior similar to the T-1000, and the ability to control other machines. The Resistance sends a reprogrammed T-850 model 101 Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) back in time to protect the T-X’s targets, including Kate Brewster (Claire Danes) and Connor.
Connor and Brewster prepare to detonate the C-4 they have brought with them only to discover that Crystal Peak does not house Skynet’s core, but is rather a Cold War-era fallout shelter for high-ranking government officials; General Brewster sent them there to protect them from the impending nuclear holocaust initiated by Skynet.
John remarks in voiceover that Skynet did not have a core but is distributed software that is located in the cloud on multiple networks and computers all over the world, allowing for redundancy and failure of independent programs, making it effectively impossible to shut down. Skynet begins a series of nuclear attacks on cities across the world, commencing Judgment Day. Soon after the attacks the communications equipment at Crystal Peak picks up transmissions from amateur radio operators and Montana’s civil defense, to which Connor responds as the person in charge.