Few actors in the lifetime of their careers have defining roles that make them eternal to an audience of film admirers. Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of those actors. His portrayal of a robot assassin sent from the future to kill the mother of the leader of the Resistance is a benchmark for all future actors who have culled an impressive portfolio to best James Cameron‘s creation.
Today’s Wednesday Warriors honors Terminator, which is that creation.
In the early Eighties, The Terminator became a box office sensation. Word has it when Schwarzenegger auditioned for the role, he actually auditioned for the Kyle Reese role instead, but Cameron saw differently. One look at Schwarzenegger, and he found his killing machine for the movie of the same name.
For those unfamiliar with the story, a quick spoiler-free recap is in order.
Soldier Kyle Reese, travels to the present to save the mother of the future leader of the Resistance. In his bid to keep her from harm, he leads her through a series of escapes to foil the murderous plans of an evil machine called the Terminator. In the future, the machines rule the earth hunting humans to take over the planet.
Terminator 2: Judgement Day has a similar story but this time there are two terminators to worry about. The target this time is the child who will become the future leader of the Resistance.
The Terminator is an interesting character in that it represents the relentless drive to achieve a goal at all costs regardless of the damage that happens surrounding the achievement of that goal. Much of the Terminator’s drive comes from its neural net processor, which has the capability to follow direct programming by other machines to eliminate humans from the face of the earth, and learn as it goes along
A major aspect of the character’s inclination to follow orders pertains to nothing more than bits and bytes in a CPU. However, in the progression of the series, the audience comes to learn that the terminator machine can take on a life of its own, and in several instances, become human in an inhuman world.
Of course, if one were to attempt to stop a terminator, the target would need more than a truck to take it out of commission. The target would need a special strategy to relieve it of its mission. Neither fire nor ice can destroy the cold heart of this killing machine. A sledgehammer might do the trick, but there are no guarantees.
Terminator’s focus is steadfast and does not waver from its mission, which makes the robot one of the most terrifying characters in science fiction history. 2001: Space Odyssey‘s HAL 9000 exudes as a malignant robot gone astray, using deception as its key tool to fight humans. With a terminator, there’s nothing deceptive about its goal. It plunges into the present, hunts its targets, and makes a spectacle out of it.
Having said that, as mentioned, the Terminator’s capacity to learn is its redeeming quality that may absolve it of its terrible role it possesses. That is to say, if it learns for good. If anything, this quality can lead it to become a father to a lost son.
RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, on sale now.
RANGER MARTIN AND THE ALIEN INVASION, on sale now.
RANGER MARTIN AND THE SEARCH FOR PARADISE, on sale October 20.
Have you seen any of the Terminator movies? What did you think of them?
14 thoughts on “Terminator”
Loved the first two movies and can’t wait to see the new one! 😀
It’s really interesting to look at Schwarzenegger’s Terminator’s role difference between the first and second films. It takes a lot of guts and an actor’s charisma to turn such a cool, deadly villain into a cool, deadly hero – a robot we care about even when he gets dunked into a tank of molten metal.
I haven’t seen the third or fifth film, but I saw the fourth with Bale. I thought it was a pretty interesting and enjoyable sci-fi film, and was ruined by the tenuous connections to the Terminator franchise.
Just before Terminator 2: Judgement Day came out, I watched the trailers and thought, “Wow, this looks great.” And you know what? It really was great. The whole good and bad idea came to play and it was marketing genius at work. Such a great movie!
I remember the second one and Arnie turning human protector. The one with Christian Bale was spoiled for me by Bale’s apparent laryngitis, talking all the time with that Batman growl.
I suppose when a film leaves an iconic phrase for most people to repeat – I’ll be back – the scriptwriters have done something right.
Classic. “I’ll be back.”
I’ve only seen the first two movies – not sure if I will see any of the others or not. Might just be intrigued enough to grab them from the library or something.
Terminator tops my list.
With the exception of #3, for me, they were all pretty good. Each had a neat perspective and timeline. Not sure where they could go from here.
I’ve seen all, but the latest one. No interest there because it sounds like it decimates whatever consistency the story line had. Time travel is rather messy. Have to admit that I liked the original more than the others, but the 2nd was definitely a lot of fun and I’d never say no to watching it.
I liked the 2nd & 3rd movies. The one with Christian Bale I haven’t seen & don’t know if I’d care to. I think they made the Terminators more like Transformers than the origials, just from what little I saw.
I’d pay to see a ” RoboCop Meets Terminator ” / ” RoboCop Versus Terminator ” – MAYBE.
Some people didn’t like Terminator Salvation, but I think it was misunderstood. Personally, it really was a great movie worth watching. Check it out!
I might check it out. I still want to see the Terminator team up with RoboCop to hunt down a Predator. 🙂
Wait a minute–what about Alien. We’ll have to add an alien in the mix!
Or they could check out a zombie outbreak. I say that because there was a ” Meh ” movie on Syfy starring Dolph Lundgren as a soldier on a mission to retrieve the daughter of the President from a zombie – infested city, & the military also used robots. 🙂