Entertainment · Society

The Openings of The Terminator (1984) vs. Terminator 2 (1991): 1980s Masculinity vs 1990s Faggotry

The Terminator (1984) is one of my favorite movies, and quite possibly the movie I watched the most often. Furthermore, I like it better and better the more often I watch it, albeit I also notice the occasional minor issues, like Schwarzenegger’s character walking with a noticeable spring in one scene, which is out of place as he is supposed to play a cyborg. Still, none of this affects your suspension of disbelief.

The sense of dread in The Terminator is second to none. The movie was shot at dark, and the camera angles are very well chosen. The iconic arrival scene provides several examples:

At 1:16 there is a shot of Schwarzenegger’s upper body, but angled and shot from below so that he appears even more threatening. The deadpan expression of Schwarzenegger’s face shows that the terminator is not to be messed with, and this effect is even more powerful in later shots that fully focus on his face. At 2:30, you also see a brutal killing. Within a less than three minutes, you know what kind of movie you are watching, and it only gets better afterwards.

Let us now fast forward a mere seven years. The sequel Terminator 2 was released in 1991, and the first few minutes give you the impression that this movie belongs to an entirely different scene. Here is the arrival scene of this movie:

First, you notice that it is significantly longer than the original (4:53 vs 3:15). It also lacks the dread of the prequel. Sure, the terminator is still a killing machine, but there are several scenes that are supposed to defuse tension before it is even built properly, like the women checking him out. Also, when he enters the bar at 1:38, Schwarzenegger fills only a small part of the scene. Thus, this angle deemphasizes his physique. The camera is also level with his body. Thus, the director went out of his way to make him look less powerful.

Note that the attack at 2:50 is somewhat humorous. Some people laugh at it when there is probably nobody who ever laughed at any scene in The Terminator. The kitchen scene in Terminator 2 is really tame compared to that punk in The Terminator getting his heart ripped out. Well, the movie does not get more brutal afterwards, but it repeatedly attempts to make you laugh, with some pretty lame jokes.

The absolutely worst part of the arrival scene in Terminator 2 is at 3:30 when some licensed rock music plays (“Bad to the Bone”). It frames this scene as comedic, and it gets worse soon after when the terminator snatches the pumpgun out of the hands of that rocker. Sadly, we hit rock-bottom moments later when the main character takes the sun glasses to look cool. At this point, you wonder if Terminator 2 is a parody.

I have watched Terminator 2 two or three times in my life. Every time I watch it, I find it more and more cringe-worthy. It is a lame popcorn-movie sequel for basically the entire family, but it is not edgy in any way. Due to the heavy use of CGI effects, this movie also does not hold up well visually. In contrast, there are many scenes in the prequel that are absolutely masterful. There is nothing remotely as good as the Tech Noir scene in Terminator 2, for instance. Below is the eponymous music video by Perturbator:

Hollywood ditched masculinity in movies in the 1990s, and it only got worse over time. You can see early signs of the utter faggotry movie studios ended up churning out a few years later in Terminator 2, and if you compare it with the raw masculinity of the original, it is quite shocking how quickly Hollywood turned its back on masculinity in movies.

8 thoughts on “The Openings of The Terminator (1984) vs. Terminator 2 (1991): 1980s Masculinity vs 1990s Faggotry

  1. Taking into account, that James Cameron – just like Ridley Scott btw. – is a director with strong deep state/intelligence connections and has allowed said entities to use his movies for quite a lot of predictive programming and social engineering purposes, this shift in tone between the two “Terminator” movies is not surprising.

    1. This is an interesting point. One could argue that the underlying message in The Terminator is that technology needs to be used responsibly as we could lose control over it and be exposed to significant danger. Interestingly, there is an entire field of academic philosophy on the implications of technology use. In a way, Uncle Ted’s manifesto is a popularization of these themes. In contrast, Terminator 2 has a strong trust-me-bro undertone as apparently even a teenager and his mom can use outdated technology to defeat a threat to human civilization that sprung to life partly due to a blind belief in being able to control technology, but also due to naivety.

  2. The best moment in T2 is when John Connor subtly tells his mom to STFU while she’s giving her melodramatic feminist rant in Miles Dyson’s house.

    1. Earlier, in a deleted scene, Dyson talks to his wife about the various beneficial uses to which his AI can be put. I guess that added too much nuance, so out it went, and all we get is Sarah’s rant about how Dyson is as bad as the guy who made the H-bomb and how only strong women can create life and men can only create death and destruction. Never mind that she just tried to blow Dyson’s brains out with an AK-47 that was invented and built by some man.

      At another point, Sarah is watching the Terminator playing with John, and she muses that the Terminator will never get drunk and hit him, or say it’s too busy to spend time with him, etc. I guess the message is that men are terrible fathers, to the point where literal killing machines would do better.

  3. Later on, in 2003, they went full faggot for the arrival scene:


    Now he walks into a strip club (male strippers) to the appreciative howls of the women, and takes clothes from a clearly homosexual male stripper, with a “talk to the hand” joke.

    Of course “talk to the hand” comes back later on in the movie:


    Not to mention that the evil Terminator in this film is the almost six foot tall female model Kristanna Loken, who is much stronger and more badass then Arnie.

    It’s like every decade was just another twist of the thumbscrews.

    1. The people in Hollywood just don’t ever stop. Have you watched Terminator: Dark Fate by any chance? This movie is all about girl power, with three powerful women, one of which seems to be “non-binary”. It makes Terminator 3 look ultra masculine in comparison.

    2. Holy shit,these are things I had never noticed when I had watched the movies back then. Every Terminator movie just got lighter,less serious,and more feminine with every sequel.

      Now that you pointed all these things out,I don’t think I’ll ever see Terminator 3 the same way again.

      I preferred Terminator 2 over the 1st. I think the majority of the fanbase do in general. But I can certainly understand why you’d guys prefer the grittier darker turn of the first movie. It does feel more at home with the vibe that you’re supposed to feel seeing the Terminator.

  4. The overarching theme of Terminator 2 is quite deep. The connection between Terminator and John Connor the younger is certainly something to ponder about.

    While T-101 was getting more human by presumably learning, Sarah Connor loses more and more humanity, leading her to almost assassinate the black actor. The depiction of a cynical and dangerous woman was much more real and offered the best continuation of a once young and innocent Sarah in the first part.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.