Are you like me, bolting awake in the middle of the night wondering what life could look like in the post-apocalyptic future, hoping that it looks more like Fallout instead of a decaying Detroit neighborhood? I wanted another peek at a possible timeline, and since it sounds futuristic as shit I decided to check out 1984 box office hit The Terminator, directed by industry goliath David Cameron. These spoilers went back in time 23 years ago.
What I Expect
The last movie I saw was Princess Mononoke. I'm sure I could make a lot of money betting that The Terminator will differ in having much more practical effects, gratuitous violence, and intentionally funny dialogue.
Although the franchise has been trying to commit ratings suicide for the last decade I am hopeful that the original will be an enjoyable ride, fueled by all of the best parts of the 80s.
What I'm Bringing
A Cadbury caramel egg and Bridgeport Kingpin double red. See...an alcoholic beverage!
The beginning is already fighting me off, between the obviously superimposed ship and some dreaded introductory text. The only thing keeping me locked in is the incredibly 80s credits and music.
It's easy to pin this direction on Cameron since he's never been able to shake off the army of bulky vehicles and loaders that I'm assuming haunt his nightmares. Bigger is better in the Cameron-verse which is why I'm glad he never got his hands on Star Wars; his vision would just be 90 minutes of Death Stars fighting each other. The real concern here is why this garbage collector is doing his route at night.
Pre-governor body Arnold zaps in and wastes no time getting rid of Bill Paxton (again) for dressing like a comical nee'r-do-well. This second guy Reese zaps in and has a much more difficult time tracking down a full wardrobe, probably because he took decency lessons from someone other than a US House Rep and isn't as cool with innocent people dying. Luckily these cops are from the molasses division and are driving a car limited to 25 mph. I'm fully on board now though; watching Reese running around a department store grabbing clothes while evading police is exactly what I needed, like the barefoot bandit except Reese is actually in a movie. It's not lost on me that the police cars say 'to care and protect,' which is something that might have gotten watered down over a couple decades. You know what, nevermind.
I'm assuming this girl is Sarah Connor because I can use context clues and my experience of being alive at some point in the last 20 years. Sarah keeps it together pretty well considering no person should ever act like this in a restaurant. That's how you get the chef's special and it's not worth the cost.
It's nice that they portrayed the gun store scene realistically since Arnold had more difficulty obtaining a gun that a mentally ill person in 2017. I mean, he had to shoot the clerk in order to walk out with the guns he wanted. Damn you, tight fisted 80s regulations!
I feel like these jumps back and forth into the future war could be cut out. I don't think they serve any purpose other than showing people that Cameron could do a good job with the Alien action sequel. The best part about these jumps is the super 80s music from which the Stranger Things intro was certainly lifted.
A point for this movie for letting the damsel in distress character have access to more than a few brain cells at a time. It's not hard to imagine Sarah would connect some dots and realize she's somewhere on the kill list. As a woman it's probably already been at the back of her mind that she might be attacked at some point.
If awareness for not doing anything while wearing headphones wasn't circulating at this time it certainly should have after Sarah's roommate and her boyfriend get a traditional American high five. There's also something strangely satisfying about watching a guy in uncomfortably sized underwear get thrown through walls, but I think that speaks more about me than the movie.
A pre-millennium night club is so easily identifiable it probably dates the movie more than the wardrobe choices that would kill Tim Gunn. The good news is this came out well before anyone was able to blame newsworthy shootings on the movie unlike that time people blamed entertainment for shitty behavior. The worst part about that last link is that it doesn't even talk about how disappointing Matrix Reloaded was.
Watching Top Gear test super cars around their track is more entertaining than car chases where every vehicle is pushing three tons. It's the same letdown you would feel looking forward to more Middle Earth adventures but instead learning that big budget CGI can still suck.
If I'm stuck listening to Reese lay out all of the exposition in one car scene they didn't really need text at the beginning. It's sounds like Sarah Connor is destined to give birth to Jesus or Neo, depending on which Bible you subscribe to. Why didn't they just say 'Murder robots control the future and now they're sending a robot assassin back in time to prevent the birth of Neo Jesus' instead of whatever forgettable crap I had to read?
Drive-by shotgun takes a top spot on the bad drive-by weapon list, and this isn't even the worst shotgun related misstep. I'm sure if you Google 'one handed shotgun fail' you will find hours of videos of people who are thankful the ACA is still around for now, because I'm sure dislocated arms and face bruising is covered.
If you're ever at a police station and someone tells you you're safe that's your cue to start running in any direction. And with the classic "I'll be back" line it's time to watch an entire precinct become bullet ShamWows, which was a product also sold by someone with a history of behaving poorly toward women! This dumbshit shouting about part of the building erupting in flames clearly missed the memo on the guy trying to black out his mass shooting bingo card.
This movie really shows it's weakness with the exposition scenes. Once the action drops and people start talking in full sentences I start to regret the $2.99 rental fee I just paid. This is fucking Terminator and the filler between people being terminated is garbage. That's why movies like Shoot Em Up and Crank are so good, because we don't care why it's happening it just needs to happen, like every sports rivalry in existence.
It's like the people in movies don't watch movies. If someone is running around the city trying to get your lungs to see sunlight the last thing you do is start calling people and telling them where you are, because that person is ALWAYS a voice modulating android from the future who will use your stupidity to track you down.
What was that I just said about not making movie mistakes? Banging a rugged time traveling stranger might sound good now but that's not exactly an experience you'll be able to replicate. Oh and also your unborn child is being hunted down like some kind of Marty McFly Plan-B so that might also be more important than front row tickets to the bone zone.
I've given up because I think this movie has too. Whoever chose this music for a late in the movie action scene should be...terminated. The music is so bad that Reese and Sarah tried to play car bowling with Arnold. Strike? He's an unkillable robot assassin so obviously he's going to be just- well shit I guess him blowing up in a cascade of flaming gas does the trick.
OK I was lying in the last paragraph, NOW I've given up. This CG is as shitty as the Nazi face melt and they're using it for extended scenes? If porn has better graphics than you then maybe the movie should have just ended already. It's insane to believe the same person who put their stamp of approval on this was also the mind behind Avatar.
As if there was any more justification for the existence of hydraulic presses it turns out that's the clue to unplugging the murder lights behind those murder eyes. They should have thrown the last 15 minutes of this movie in that press for good measure.
I guess Sarah's baby is going to be more like Time Jesus, and his teachings will certainly provide the gun loving franchise reboot the Bible has really been asking for.
It's like The Matrix before The Matrix. As a bonus both movies' endings make my own eyes feel damaged enough to rip from my face, which I'm assuming would also turn my head into a goddamn animatronic nightmare. Cameron set the precedent for his career as Mr Large Scale Action and while it was heavy handed it mostly delivered on the bullet circus I'd been promised all these years.
Fit For An Autopsy - The Great Collapse
O'Brother - Endless Light
Dir En Grey - Arche