The younger model


We do not have nearly enough space to sum­marise the buzzing, thrown-to­gether sub­plots: Jen­nifer Anis­ton is a locum psy­chi­a­trist; Kathryn Hahn is Wil­son’s jus­ti­fi­ably jeal­ous wife; Rhys Ifans, play­ing a teen heart­throb, fails to con­vince us that Rhys Ifans could ever be more fa­mous than Rhys Ifans is now. It is, how­ever, worth fo­cus­ing on Ge­orge Mor­fo­gen’s mind-bog­gling turn as a “gumshoe” from (ap­par­ently) a Hanna-Bar­bera car­toon. He wears a false mous­tache. He dresses as a rabbi. Dis­ap­point­ingly, he does not be­come a crime-fight­ing Ninja poo­dle when night falls. be­side the pot-smok­ing wannabe wife-swap­pers Kurt and Char­lotte, but ul­ti­mately there’s not enough cul­tural dif­fer­ence be­tween the cou­ples to pro­duce even the trite class fric­tions of Car­nage.

An im­pres­sive quar­tet of ac­tors do their best with lim­ited ma­te­rial. Un­for­tu­nately, their largely im­pro­vised di­a­logue is not enough to sus­tain even the mea­gre 79-minute run­ning time.

THE TER­MI­NA­TOR Di­rected by James Cameron. Star­ring Arnold Sch­warzeneg­ger, Michael Biehn, Linda Hamil­ton, Paul Win­field, Lance Hen­rik­sen. 18 cert, lim­ited re­lease, 107 min Can you solve the John Con­norKyle Reese Para­dox? Or the Skynet-Ter­mi­na­tor para­dox? Which is timeline one? Is Ter­mi­na­tor: Sal­va­tion prop­erly canon­i­cal? Should we get Or­wellian chills when we con­tem­plate that the orig­i­nal Ter­mi­na­tor was re­leased in . . . 1984?

There is an un­al­loyed plea­sure in re­turn­ing to pre­fran­chise in­no­cence, to those hal­cyon days be­fore mul­ti­ple para­doxes and gar­gan­tuan bud­gets, to a sim­pler time when Arnie was shortly to be­come the big­gest movie star on the planet and not the for­mer gover­nor of Cal­i­for­nia.

And so on May 12, 1984, Los An­ge­les plays host to two ar­rivals from postapoc­a­lyp­tic 2029: one is a Ter­mi­na­tor T-800 Model 101 (Sch­warzeneg­ger), a cy­borg as­sas­sin pro­grammed to kill one Sarah

Bup-bup, bup, bup-bup . . . Bup-bup, bup, bup-bup . . .

Con­nor (Linda Hamil­ton) be­fore she con­ceives fu­ture rev­o­lu­tion­ary John Con­nor; the other is Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn), a hu­man re­sis­tance fighter sent to pro­tect her. Both ar­rive naked, due to some bio-mat­ter rule, though mostly to serve the Rea­gan era’s ap­petite for rip­pling forms.

We told you it was a sim­pler time: so sim­ple, in fact, that younger view­ers may be per­plexed to see the cy­borg us­ing a “phone­book” to find his in­tended tar­get. There fol­lows a car chase, a sheet- clutch­ing sex scene and a fate­ful en­counter with a hy­draulic press.

Stan Win­ston’s SFX, though not flash by to­day’s stan­dards ( The Ter­mi­na­tor was made for a B-movie sized $6.3 mil­lion) have a lovely, hand­made feel. The film has heart through­out where later Cameron joints have buck­ets of money. Biehn gives a ca­reer-best per­for­mance. A com­par­a­tively quiet Hamil­ton is unrecognisable from her beefed-up, badass reprise in the 1991 se­quel. Nei­ther ac­tor, sadly, has en­joyed the kind of later ca­reer they de­served.

Arnie is another mat­ter. Hav­ing ar­gued with Cameron about a cer­tain iconic line – the Aus­trian Oak had trou­ble pro­nounc­ing “I’ll” and wanted to say “I will be back” in­stead – he will, in­deed, be back: Ter­mi­na­tor Genisys hits our screens on July 2nd.

So, any­way: as­sum­ing there is a timeline with­out Kyle Reese trav­el­ling through time to help con­ceive John Con­nor, who was his orig­i­nal fa­ther?

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