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This blog was originally posted on May 21, 2009 at http://www.myspace.com/johnzee:

The Good:

Kyle Reese:  I have been a fan of this character from the first Terminator movie, and I always considered it a shame that his dream sequence scene in Terminator 2 was cut.  Kyle is the epitomy of the average man that destiny picks out of the crowd to rise to the occasion and play a major role in thwarting the ultimate enemy of mankind according to this franchise.  Here Kyle is the yongest that we have ever seen him.  He is struggling to do the best he can in a nightmarish world where daily survival is a difficult task.  Kyle was never the strongest, or the most intelligent and he doesn’t even know the full plan, but once again he is determined to play a role in the defeat of the machines.

In this movie Kyle is a hero in training, not even good enough at the start of the movie to wear the badge of an actual resistance fighter.  As always he manages to do better then he should with the limited assets at his disposal.  He is at the beginning of the career that will one day lead him to enter Skynet’s time machine to unknowingly undo it’s elaborate plan to completely destroy humanity.

John Connor:  John now lives and breathes in the horrible world that his mother warned him about while she was changing his diapers.  Trying to evade the destiny that has been laid down for him is fruitless now.  His biggest asset is his experience, as his says in the movie, he’s been fighting the machines since before he was  born.

The biggest point that this movie got right with this character were the scenes where John was on the radio talking to whoever was left that could hear his words.  If any man knows the vulnerable spots of the machines then it is John Connor.  People listen to him for many reasons, but the main one is that he knows what he is talking about when it comes to Skynet and its fiendish weapons against humanity.

The Bad:

Marcus:  The opening scene is an over-the-top showing of the man Marcus was before.  This was the wrong step to start the movie IMO.  The whole point of the Terminator franchise is that humans are frail and mortal creatures that seldom have any impact whatsoever.  Yet in the opening scene the “mortal” Marcus shows himself to be very beyond what anyone would have considered “Human”.

As death quickly approaches as result of a death sentence for a crime that the audience receives little detail about, Marcus shows his superiority to the mortal around him.  At this point he is already far beyond the rest of humanity.  He approaches death with the stoicism that only a madman or a god could invoke.  And as the medical table that he is put on rises to reveal a cross-like shape to the witnesses and the audience, I was left with a sickening feeling that the movie was headed in the wrong direction.

I hate to break it to everyone, but even though the franchise is called “Terminator”, the movies are not about the killing machines cast in the image of man.  These movies are about the Connor family (John, Kyle, Sarah, and John’s wife to a lesser degree.)  This family has been charged with saving humanity, and every single one of them do their level best to fulfill their roles.

Things get even worse when Marcus awakens in a basement laboratory, acciddently released by chance.  Soon he quickly establishes that he is the ultimate deux us machinus.  Every step of the way his shows that he is more then those around him, who are just flawed mortals.

This point is stressed to a ridiculous degree.  Every other character in this movie is flawed, including Skynet personified, but not Marcus.  It is almost like Skynet was trying to show the foolish humans that its Messiah was far superior to their own.  I quickly found myself hoping Marcus suffered a very cruel and gruesome death just for perfectly illustrating what a complete tool a “perfect” man could be.

The Ugly:

The resistance was far superior to any example seen previously. They have large supplies of technology that should be difficult to find after the events of judgment day.  There are no factories turning out technological assets for the human resistance efforts.  Every time Skynet shoots down a resistance plane it will never be replaced.  But in this movie you get the idea that the resistance has enough to put up a good fight, human army versus machine army.  I just don’t think this remotely resembles the image invoked in the first movie.

John Connor actually having all the taped recordings that Sarah Connor started making at the end of the first Terminator movie. This point was just absurd.  At best John might have kept one or two of these tapes along with his personal belongings in Terminator 3, but certainly not all the tapes his mother recorded.   And what he didn’t have with him were destroyed in the nuclear hol0caust of Judgement Day.  And Sarah Connor would have known that.  Yes she recorded the tapes for her son to listen to, and growing up John Connor probably listened to those tapes until he knew every single line, and every single word.  And then once he knew each word backwards and forwards, either he or his mother destroyed every single copy of her recordings.  Less they fall into the wrong hands.

Even if you believe that the human resistance somehow has vast resources of military hardware, then other technology should be even more limited.  I do not think that the medical technology needed to pull off the surgery of the last scene would be available, and certainly not easily attainable at the last possible moment.  This is not even going into the fact that a woman trained to be a Vet sucessfully pulled of a complicated surgery that the top doctors in today’s world are hard pressed to perform without unlimited resources.

I know they wanted to leave it open for more movies for this franchise, but this last scene seemed like a complete hack job.  I think that saying that the injured character somehow managed to survive his injuries would have been better then the fiasco of the end.

My Two Cents:

Here is the point I have been waiting for.  This is where I say what I would like to see for the final Terminator movie.

I see long lines of emaciated humans being corralled towards open ovens.  They all stagger forward, completely helpless to resist.  And as each group of humans enters the ovens, the door closes and the fire rages and their bodies are consumed.  Once this process if finished, the door opens and the fire dwindles as a robotic arm sweeps the ashes into a trash receptacle.  And then another group enters the oven.

Then we look over the crowd again in a massive wide shot.  From the looks of things this is the last of humanity and we have lost.  But then there is something odd in the crowd, there is a man that is not as stooped over.  His eyes are not dulled, they are keen and there is intelligence and understanding there.  But even stranger then this, this man has a slight smile on his lips.

Why is this man smiling?

This man is smiling because this is John Connor, and John Connor always had a plan.  From the moment he could understand his mother’s words he knew that one day he would be in this line with the rest of humanity, heading towards those furnaces.

And what exactly is his plan?  I know, or at least I have my own version and its pretty good.  But it has nothing to do with trying to defeat the ultimate personification of technology gone wrong with advanced weapons.

That doesn’t really even seem that possible.  It would probably be easier to put out a fire with gasoline…

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