The Fine Art of the Cameo
It’s opening week, Skynetters.
And that being the case, it’s about time I talk about the one mystery still surrounding this movie: the fate of Mr. Terminator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
With just four days to go, it amazes me that no one seems to know whether or not the Man himself will be appearing in T4. Usually a cameo this fantastic would either be all over youtube, or would have been dismissed as rumour in the message boards. But apparently no one has a clue about his involvement. Some say he’s in it for a couple of minutes, others say his face has been CGI’d into the background, and others still are adamant that he’s not involved in any way. In other words, we’re going to be surprised. Kudos to WB for playing this one so close to the chest.
I, like everyone else, can’t comment on Schwarzenegger’s presence (for the simple fact that I don’t actually know…) but I am in an excellent position to make broad speculations and share my personal opinions.
So let’s start with a nice big hyperbole:
At no point in the long history of Hollywood has any actor been as synonymous with a single role as Schwarzenegger is with the Terminator. Not Clint Eastwood as the Man With No Name, not Sean Connery as Bond, not even James Earl Jones as Vader. Schwarzenegger’s entire career (at least as an actor…) has revolved around the fact that he is the Terminator. Plain and simple.
And, on the flip side of that equation, the Terminator franchise has survived on the fact that it’s the one true place to see Schwarzenegger playing his definitive role. Even James Cameron, the creator of Terminator, had to admit that Schwarzenegger was just as responsible for the character as he was. In short, the Schwarzenegger Terminator is one of the greatest, most recognizable pop culture images of all time.
So it seems almost cruel to make another Terminator movie with Mr. S.
Because - if we’re all being honest - it needs to be said that Schwarzenegger is not a great actor. In fact, there’s a strong argument to be made that Schwarzenegger is a terrible actor (not an argument that I’d support, mind you, but I’ll admit that the evidence is there).
But, it’s undeniable that the man knows how to play the Terminator.
The one thing Schwarzenegger does really, really well is playing emotionally devoid killing machines. He does it better than anyone else. It’s why God put him on Earth. And we love watching him do it! It’s legitimately and unapologetically entertaining. He manages to play the role convincingly while also bringing a subtle (yes, I said subtle) humour to it. I challenge any other actor to walk that line as well as Schwarzenegger does. He’s a master at this one, small role, and why should he be denied the chance to flaunt his mastery?
Now, obviously it should be noted that such a cameo could potentially derail T4. McG has worked really hard to create a serious, gritty movie, and the presence of Schwarzenegger (who has become a gigantic punch line in recent years) could undo all that. On the other hand, the cameo seems almost necessary to authenticate Salvation as a member of the Terminator family.
Personally, I really do hope they gave him a shot in T4. Schwarzenegger and the Terminator are like Simon and Garfunkel – we love seeing the reunion. Plus, what other movie would ever be able to boast the current Governor of California playing a robot?
As always, let us know what you think in the comments below!!
AND A REMINDER!!!
On Tuesday, May 19th we’re holding a special preview screening of Terminator Salvation, and you have a chance to win tickets. If you show up at Dundas Square (at the corner of Yonge and Dundas in Toronto) at 6:30 PM dressed up as one of John Connor’s Resistance fighters, you have a chance to win VIP seating to a 7:00 screening at the Yonge and Dundas AMC theatre, as well as the chance to win a bunch of cool Terminator swag! Get creative: come dressed in army fatigues, covered in robot bits, or whatever you think a Resistance soldier should look like.