Random Five: Arnold Schwarzenegger Movies July 8, 2010Posted by Matt in Random Five.
Tags: action movies, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Predator, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, The Terminator, top 5, Total Recall, True Lies
In the Memphis area, and much of the rest of the country, we have been undergoing quite the month-long heat wave, with temperatures in the high 90’s, heat indices in the triple digits, and no reason whatsoever to be outside. That being the case, you would probably make the assumption that the summer movie season would be more lucrative than usual as people look for more air conditioned entertainment options, but this year’s sequel and remake-laden season has proven (with the exception of Toy Story 3 and, to a lesser extent, Iron Man 2) to be uninspired at best.
This weekend, though, a new hope enters your local multiplex: Predators. Yes, I realize that all past sequels of the 1980’s classic have proven to be terrible, but this one holds more promise than all others, boasting a cast that includes Adrien Brody, Lawrence Fishburne, and Topher Grace, and producer Robert Rodriguez, the guy responsible for great relatively recent works like Sin City, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Desperado, and From Dusk Till Dawn. So, the release of this film caused me to start thinking about the original Predator, which then led me to consider the works of the film’s star, and perhaps the greatest action movie star of all-time, Arnold Schwarzenegger. So, today’s top five list is dedicated to my five favorite movies by Schwarzenegger, with an added bonus of what may be his worst cinematic endeavor.
5. True Lies (1994)
I actually haven’t seen this James Cameron/Schwarzenegger vehicle in a long time, maybe not even since I was a teenager, but I recall liking it. In the movie Schwarzenegger plays an international spy who leads an unassuming home life with his wife, Jamie Lee Curtis, who does not realize what her husband does for a living. They both proceed to be pulled into an adventure fighting Arab terrorists and so on and so forth. From what I remember, it is a fun action flick that isn’t a total waste of time.
4. Total Recall (1990)
Based on a story by Phillip K. Dick, this Paul Verhoeven (Robocop, Basic Instinct) directed film was one of the more interesting sci-fi movies of its time. Schwarzenegger’s character goes to have a Mars vacation memory implanted in his brain, but the complicated story takes more twists and turns as he discovers that he actually is a secret agent whose true memories have been previously replaced. I haven’t seen this film in a very long time, but I liked it years ago, so it makes the list.
3. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
In its day, Terminator 2 was the ultimate action film, a James Cameron-helmed marvel of special effects and action that was huger than anything that had ever been released. It was the quintessential big budget blockbuster of the early ‘90s and we lined up to see it. This time around Schwarzenegger reprises his role as a Terminator, though this time a good one, who is sent to the past to protect Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) and her son, the future messiah of the human race, John Connor (Edward Furlong), from the latest model of Terminator, played by Robert Patrick. I haven’t seen this in a long time, but I feel pretty certain that it will hold up, even after almost 20 years since its release.
2. Predator (1987)
I don’t know if there has ever been another film that starred two future governors (Schwarzenegger and Jessie Ventura), giving this 1980’s classic another distinction to further its inherent awesomeness. In the movie, a team of commandoes is on a mission in a Central American jungle when they come upon a murderous, invisible alien who picks them off one by one, leaving Arnold alone to fight it off. If you ever want to see a great action movie, this is one to put on the list – very, very cool.
1. The Terminator (1984)
This James Cameron-helmed film showcases Arnold at his best as a silent killing machine sent from the future to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton). At the same time, Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) is also sent back to stop him. The ensuing film is one of the best action classics of the era and perhaps even one of the best movies of the decade. I caught some of The Terminator just the other night on AMC and believe me, it’s still awesome after all of these years.
Along with his better film choices, I was pondering another question about Arnold’s career: What was his worst movie?
In my eyes, this is a pretty easy choice. Though Commando is an undeniably bad movie, it has some degree of 80’s charm, leaving one movie as his absolute worst: Batman & Robin. He, along with George Clooney (who I generally love), effectively killed a hugely successful franchise in the ugliest way possible. It is possibly the most terrible movie I have ever seen.
What do you think? What should have been in the top 5? Is there another movie that should be considered as his worst?