TERMINATOR 3: THE RISE OF THE MACHINES (Cert 12, 104 mins). Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nick Stahl, Claire Danes, Kristianna Loken, David Andrews.

MORE than 12 years since Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Arnie's leather clad cyborg travels through time once more to avert Armageddon and thwart Skynet's most sophisticated killing machine yet, the T-X (Loken). The T-X is beautiful yet deadly and will stop at nothing to achieve her goal: the assassination of John Connor (Stahl), the man destined to lead the human resistance to glory against the machines. Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines is a $170m eye-popping thrill ride which delivers carnage and mayhem by the truckload. Arnie and Loken cope well with the physical demands of their roles while Stahl and Danes attempt to inject some human drama into proceedings. The unconventional ending will doubtless divide fans, but does leave the series on standby power for Terminator 4.

BRUCE ALMIGHTY (Cert 12, 97 mins). Stars: Jim Carrey, Morgan Freeman, Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carell, Philip Baker Hall, Catherine Bell, Lisa Ann Walter.

BRUCE Nolan (Carrey) is a television reporter who has carved out a niche for himself as the funny guy who covers quirky human interest stories. After the day from hell, Bruce snaps and he launches a scathing tirade against God. The Lord answers back, appearing in his human form as a janitor (Freeman), bestowing heavenly powers on the news man and challenging him to run the world. Carrey reverts to the rubber-faced mimicry and slapstick, which made him a household name in The Mask and Ace Ventura. We've seen most of this buffoonery before and despite the leading man's undeniable charisma, it's hard to marshal anything more than a smile.

AGENT CODY BANKS (Cert 12, 98 mins). Stars: Frankie Muniz, Angie Harmon, Keith David, Hilary Duff, Ian McShane, Arnold Vosloo, Martin Donovan, Daniel Roebuck.

CODY Banks (Muniz) looks and behaves like your average American teenager - accomplished at school, passionate about skateboards and painfully shy around girls. However, Cody harbours a dark secret - he is part of a top secret CIA young agent programme. When a brilliant scientist, Dr Connors (Donovan), threatens world peace, Cody is sent deep undercover to befriend Connors' daughter Natalie (Duff) and use her to get close to her father. Muniz is incredibly likeable and appealing, blundering through certain sections of his mission as he desperately attempts to put his training into practice. Agent Cody Banks is clean, undemanding fun with a keen understanding of its teen audience and the odd knowing winks for adults too.

DADDY DAY CARE (Cert PG, 88 mins). Stars: Eddie Murphy, Jeff Garlin, Anjelica Huston, Steve Zahn, Susan Martino, Regina King, Khamani Griffin, Kevin Nealon.

DADDY Day Care is a half baked remake of the long forgotten '80s comedy Mr Mom starring Ted Danson, which fails to tickle the funny bone and verges on the saccharine. Screenwriter Geoff Rodkey isn't well versed in subtlety and he hammers home the central theme of estranged fathers and sons for all its worth, building to a sickly emotional crescendo.

Published: 20/11/2003