Madeline Potts is a certified member of Generation Z and in "Potts Shots" she'll be watching older movies she hasn't seen before. This week? The Terminator (1984)
I'm going to preface this Potts Shots by saying that The Terminator is exactly 0% a movie I would typically gravitate to. But after paying $3.99 on Amazon (3.99 you guys!) I knew that I had committed to finally watching it in its entirety. I have, I'll admit, watched various bits and pieces with my dad or grandpa and been bored and eventually fallen asleep, so with that in mind, I also made myself a cup of coffee.
The movie starts with credits at the beginning, which makes me dread the rest of it, there's nothing I hate more than 5 minutes of credits before the movie even begins. Less than 10 minutes in and we already have Schwarzenegger ass on screen. This man looks 100% statue and 0% future governor of California. I lied we have FULLY NUDE Arnold Schwarzenegger, again what is going on? Is this even legal? How did this man become governor? I'll google it later.
From the very beginning, the whole thing just felt like a massive gun show, with who had the most weapons, could shoot the most rounds, and make the most noise. It wasn't until 40 minutes in that we actually learned the plot of the movie: that Sarah Connor was important because she was going to give birth to the leader of the resistance in the war against cyborgs. Up until this point, I was honestly bored and a little offended and it was only going to get worse.
So where did this movie go wrong for me?
First off, watching The Terminator shoot up a nightclub in 2019 just felt wrong. It was almost difficult to watch for me. Maybe if this was 1984 I would think differently, but the sheer use of gun power throughout the movie: including a scene in which they slay almost an entire brigade of police officers just made me feel dirty for even watching it.
Secondly, the fact that Kyle claims that the cyborgs take over in 2024 seemed laughable. If you're going to come from the future at least come from a fun year. I get that she has to have a child and that child would be a savior of some sort, but even that just is ridiculous to me which brings me to my third point.
WHY WAS SARAH'S ONLY PURPOSE TO PROCREATE? I get it: this is a movie geared towards men and the media has conditioned men to believe that they need to love sex and firepower, lots of it at that. Sarah actually fighting? Nah. How about she gives into a man after he kidnaps her and tells her she's pretty. How about believing this man and leaving her life behind to raise a child in a bunker in Mexico with no help. I want Sarah to take her newfound information and work to take down the company and create legislation before the AI takes over. But NO, Sarah has to run away and put the fate of the world on her unborn child after she just believes a supposed time traveler.
I know this movie is a classic and hope the sequels gave Sarah more purpose. But the original just didn't do it for me. The drawn-out shootouts were long and downright inappropriate for this era. Sarah was only used for her body (literally) and there was nothing to make me want to trust or even like any of the male characters.
Let me know in the comments if you love or hate The Terminator.