Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

No Salvation for “Terminator” Film Series

A friend took me to the new Terminator: Salvation today.  I went because it was free for me and to spend time with a friend I hadn’t hung out with in awhile.  But I have to say, my review is bad.  Despite my disdain for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s (lack of) acting skills, I really liked the first two “Terminator” movies, Terminator and Terminator II: Judgment Day.  Both used an old theme (going back at least to the gothic novel Frankenstein) of technology gone amuck–which could also be read as fear of globalization, of like out of control, less human.  Both first two films featured a very strong female lead (Linda Hamilton) and in the second film, she has no love interest and rescues the men.  The second film is also more openly anti-war and deals with the theme of a machine designed to kill learning the value of human life (Can humans learn it in time?).

All this disappears in the third Terminator.  The female Terminator is nearly voiceless and simply an excuse (as he later said in an interview) for Schwarzenegger to violently attack a woman with impunity. (“When else can you put a woman’s head in the toilet and get away with it?” Nice guy, the Governator.) The third Terminator was just an excuse to blow things up on film.

This is even more the case in the latest edition.  There is no real plot.  No strong characters, female or male.  Just lots of killer machines and explosions.

No wonder James Cameron quit as director after the second film.  Sigh.

June 6, 2009 - Posted by | arts, science-fiction

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