When I’m flipping channels on tv, one of my ultimate weaknesses is 1980s-1990s cheesy action movies. You know the ones. They usually star one of the big muscled action heroes at the time (Schwarzenegger, Van Damme, Stallone, Seagal etc.) and have him spout off horrible puns while he runs through some sort of fantastical futurescape kicking ass and taking names in an attempt to save all of humanity. Those movies. They are undeniably awesome and the object of my neverending affections for their ridiculousness. This is probably the reason Reign of Fire is one of my favourite movies. It’s not quite of the same era (it came out in 2002), but it’s still on that level of retro awesomeness. Christian Bale, Matthew McConaughey and Gerard Butler trying to save the world from fire breathing dragons? I’m totally there!
Anyway, lately over at Space, perhaps because of laziness or perhaps because of budget issues, the first two Terminator movies have been playing with regular frequency and as I’ve watched them multiple times, I’ve discovered that there are some issues with the plot that have started to bug me.
1) The first movie was made in 1984 and the second in 1991, which means John Conner would have been 7, but for some reason he’s like 13*. What gives?
2) The Terminator in T2 is programmed to not self-terminate by John Conner, but then he gets the Conners to destroy him by putting him into a giant pit of lava. Doesn’t this go against his programming because he’s essentially committing suicide?
3) If they actually ever succeed in stopping all of the stuff in the future, would John even exist? Because with the altering of time, it’s possible the time-travelling devices might not be created for Kyle Reese to go back in time, or on an even more extreme level, Kyle might not even be born in the first place.
And then beyond the first two movies, there’s the third installment and TV show which get in the mix and messes things up even further.
4) In the third Terminator movie, they say that Linda Hamilton’s** Sarah Conner died of cancer in like 1997 but in the pilot episode of the show, it’s like 1999 and she’s obviously still alive and well, so did she go into remission or what?
5) Somehow John is actually his correct age according to his 1984 birthdate, but based on the fact that he was supposed to have been 13 Terminator 2 in 1991, how is this supposed to be right?
6) With them jumping like 9 years into the future and John maintaining his 15-year-old status, how is he supposed to meet and hook up with Katherine Brewster because wouldn’t she have continued to age like a normal person? And shouldn’t that have supremely screwed things up seeing as how the third movie came out in 2003 and they’ve time-jumped four years past that date to 2007?
I still love the movies, but I’ve got to ask – for a movie/brand that is so rooted in timelines, why is it that there is no one keeping track of any of this stuff or at least writing a half assed explanation into the scripts?
* I’m going with 13 on the basis of the opening monologue in T3, but I realize a lot of people have declared shenanigans on that movie since it wasn’t a James Cameron flick, so please excuse my lack of exclusion if you’re one of those people.
** This is totally unrelated to Terminator, but last year at Christmas, I was watching horrible Christmas movies on the Women’s Network and I saw one with Linda Hamilton in it that made me supremely sad about how poorly she’s aged. Where is the kickass, muscley armed bitch I loved to see wielding a gun, lady?