With the California budget a science fiction flick, horror film, and comedy all rolled into one, I thought I’d take a look at some of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s greatest movies.
Warning: Some spoilers follow, but it’s not like any of these are new movies!
10. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
The third Terminator movie returns somewhat to its dark roots, with the inevitability of Judgment Day being upon them. There was none of the crap about making the T-800 nice, but the movie itself didn’t completely work.
Yes, the premise is quite goofy, but what makes “Twins” great is that it just doesn’t care. Danny DeVito is brilliant as Schwarzenegger’s not-so-identical twin, and the movie is consistently funny.
8. Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Yes, the action was phenomenal in Terminator 2, but I didn’t care for the politically correct version of the T-800. He came across as a bit of a wimp! And the kid playing John Conner was positively annoying.
7. The Running Man
Yes, the plot holes are endless, but so are the one-liners from Arnold. Cheesy are times, but very entertaining. Richard Dawson makes a fantastic villain.
6. Conan the Barbarian
When they began casting for Conan, I can only assume they already had Schwarzenegger in mind. He is that perfect for the part. The violence is graphic at times, but the story is solid and the action is good.
5. Total Recall
Even after countless viewings, I still can’t decide whether “Total Recall” is supposed to be real or all in Douglas Quaid’s mind. The movie set a record for highest body count of any movie up until that time.
What it lacks in story, it makes up for in action. Arnold is fantastic as U.S. Marshal John ‘The Eraser’ Kruger; he is all coolness and style. Vanessa Williams does a solid job as the female lead, and James Caan is wonderful as the former mentor gone bad.
Arnie leads an amazing ensemble cast which includes Carl Weathers, Jesse Ventura and Bill Duke. The characters, while stereotypes, are all interesting and the tension in the atmosphere when the Predator is hunting them is palpable. Arnie’s character, Dutch, has his butt thoroughly kicked by the Predator, but still manages to come out on top.
2. True Lies
Fantastic action, great laughs, and just enough story to keep you interested. Sure, the villains are cartoonish and it’s hard to believe that the Tasker’s marriage could survive all that deception, but it’s still a wonderfully entertaining movie. It seems to be on cable three or four times a week, and I still have trouble turning the channel. Tom Arnold steals the movies as the sidekick agent.
1. The Terminator
Schwarzenegger’s role as the machine that “absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead” is easily his finest. The movie is a roller coaster, alternating between moments of calm and terrifying chase scenes. The chemistry between Michael Biehn’s Kyle Reese and Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Conner is excellent, Schwarzenegger is perfect as the unstoppable machine, filled with nothing but hate and the desire to kill. I remember being exhausted after watching “The Terminator” for the first time.