Almost a year ago (June 28, 2010), I posted the first of my “Random Thoughts on Movies” on my web-site.
I present to you the post that started it all, my random thoughts and observations on Terminator Salvation:
Today, I saw Terminator Salvation; I was supposed to do other, more pressing things, like work on Starship Troopers: The Roguelike and this web-site but I didn't get much sleep last night, it was darn hot and I felt like vegging.
Overall, I didn't think the film was as bad as I was led to believe. However, it wasn't as good as the first film, which I believe should have begun and ended the entire Terminator story-line.
But I digress.
What I found very jarring about the film was the ending, where Marcus Wright decides to let the dying John Connor have his heart.
No one, save for Williams who voices a brief (and quickly quieted) objection, protests. Now, one could point out that they all see Marcus as a machine but that ignores the following:
- At the film's end, he's standing with the other main characters like he's just part of the gang.
- He just saved John Connor's life.
All John Connor does as Marcus lays down to be killed (there's no other way to put it) before having his heart plucked from his not yet cold body is nod solemnly at his noble sacrifice.
The whole scene makes John Connor look like a bit of an ingrate and it makes the other characters all look strangely cold blooded. It also makes them look like a bunch of brain-washed cultists who would be willing to do and countenance any action that would save John Connor.
The entire scene still could have worked had it just played out a little bit differently than the rather passive way it did in the movie. Marcus could have announced his intention to let John Connor have his heart. John Connor would have then objected; Marcus is now a man in his eyes, not a machine, and there's no way he's going to let someone else die so that he may live. Williams, would, of course, be a bit more emotional in her objection to his sacrifice instead of just looking soulfully in Marcus's eyes, kissing him and thinking, "Oh, gee, that's too bad. He was cute. Oh well. At least John Connor will live. W00t!" Maybe an argument breaks out with some of the characters all in favor of cutting open Marcus right then and there in order to save Connor.
As everyone is emoting, arguing, etc. and otherwise distracted, Marcus would then grab a side-arm and shoot himself in the head, ending his life and mooting everyone's objections!
Of course, there would be a look of poignant devastation on everyone's face.
But John Connor would be saved. And wouldn't end up looking like an ingrate and a hypocrite.
BTW - I thought the motorcycle terminators were kind of lame. They made no sense at all. Why would you make a terminator that has poor balance and depends on the existence of nicely paved roads in order to go from A to B, especially in light of the fact that everything has been nuked?