Run That By Me Again, Terminator 2?


Quite some time ago, I blogged Run That By Me Again, Top Gun?, a simple observation on the lack of logic in a successful and otherwise entertaining movie I like. I could have made a series out of this phenomenon, but I chose to wait until the next time I re-watched a favorite and noticed a glaring lapse in logic I hadn’t noticed before.

That time is now.



Thanks to Netflix (thank you!), I had the opportunity to see Terminator 2: Judgement Day again. Let me be clear that this James Cameron film is one of my all time favorite examples of how an action movie should flow, complete with explosions, cars getting the shit knocked out of them by big rigs, bullets flying everywhere, and, signaturely, that THUMP sound when Mr. Terminator shoots and reloads his grenade launcher. But even a perfectly scripted adventure like this can have the writers wedge in a scene that doesn’t make any sense, when you think about it.

Case in point: The Cyberdyne  Building Sequence.

So we have a T-1000, who “knows what the T-100 (Arnold) knows about Miles Dyson”, but is not tipped off to the reports on his police radio about a situation at goddamn Cyberdyne until Sarah Connor’s name is mentioned. OK, fair is fair. But here’s where T2 writers went off the map… but it’s all for a cause.




The T-1000 shows up late for the party, but clearly observes that some shit has gone down, probably at the metallic hands of his adversary —  the lowly T-100 series douche who has been fucking this whole mission up since the arcade scene.

Hmmmm, better be careful here. I think I’ll creep into this door, here…


And from there, I’ll awkwardly gun my awesome copcycle up some flights of stairs…


Because…. WHY?

As we all know, by the time this lethal machine has done all of this, Mr. Terminator and his wife and kid have escaped and are speeding away in a fucking police vehicle.


Okay, I’m a huge fan of this story line because it presents a villain that is even more threatening than its predecessor, to the point of irony in some moments. But come on, T-1000, did you suffer from a logic chip malfunction?

You’re a fucking COP in a COP UNIFORM. Of course you could have walked right into the fray of their escape, and carried out your mission, stabbing the absolute shit out of anything that got in your way, and planting a bullet into your target’s gasmasked face. But, no. You chose the more difficult, slinky, obstinate path. I’d accuse you of being a Randian, but I know why you did it. It was so you could do this:


…And land on that helicopter for a stunning stunt. Why the hell else would a terminator in police uniform sneak around, up a staircase on a freaking traffic cop’s motorcycle, unless he was really just down for some helicopter snatching. Oh, and about that helicopter…

Why is it even anywhere near the building after this happens?


(All images courtesy Carolco Films)



One Last Job: One of Hollywood’s Most Repeated Plot Devices


Universal Pictures

When writing your screenplay, keep in mind ways to make it marketable. Studios usually throw away submissions if it tends to be original, so there are some tried and true angles you can throw in to prevent this, and actually make them excited to read something familiar. One of these methods is the One Last Job.

It’s usually either a cop or a thief that makes it clear early on that they intend this job/case/score to be their last, and it always ends up being the biggest/craziest/most frustrating one of their career. Some examples are The Sting, The Killer, Unforgiven, Falling Down, Out of Sight, Entrapment, The Heist, Gone in 60 Seconds, and even Bottle Rocket taps that well a little.

But there’s one actor that gravitates to these roles more than any other, prominently featuring it in Heat (pictured above), The Score, and Midnight Run. Mr. Robert DeNiro. At about the 3:00 mark in this f-bomb filled clip he delivers the best line regarding this character gimmick… hands down.

(YouTube Link)

This works especially well if your name is Christopher Nolan, because as you see from the newest trailer for Inception, he uses it for DiCaprio’s character. “I think I’ve found a way home.” he says. “And this last job, that’s how I get there.” See, it even works when it is placed in a script that otherwise seems pretty original (if you don’t remember Dreamscape).

Warner Bros.

Click to biggify this, my favorite poster for the most anticipated movie of the summer.