For some, the Terminator franchise has always been about the robots-- the T-800 good guy, the T-800 bad guy, the T-1000 liquid metal guy, the new Harvester bot that carries people inside it. And for some, maybe many, the franchise will always be defined by Linda Hamilton and her ridiculous guns in Terminator 2.
But those of us attracted to men have always known the biggest draw of the franchise-- a relentless stream of hunks, starting with naked Michael Biehn crouching in an alleyway back in 1984's Terminator and culminating this weekend in Sam Worthington, the manliest Australian superstar since Mel Gibson in the Mad Max era. Join me, won't you, for a ranking of the Hunks of Terminator, figuring out a way to compare Arnold Schwarzenegger's icy cool with Anton Yelchin's scrappy fighting spirit. Lucky for you, three men on this list are in Terminator: Salvation this weekend. Regardless of what you may think about the movie, you can't call that anything but a blessing.
It's obvious that any list of Hot Women of Terminator would be nothing but endless screenshots of Linda Hamilton. There's no point in that. But it also seems wrong to leave her off a list of hunks, given that she's a bigger badass in Terminator 2 than virtually anyone in the history of cinema. Flex those muscles, girl. You're who we all, when lifting 8 pound dumbbells at the gym, imagine we could be some day.
I admit, this is the only Terminator movie I haven't seen, so I'm really just going on pictures here. But still, John Connor is supposed to be 20 here, old enough to be making the moves on his future wife, but looks barely older than Edward Furlong in Terminator 2. Plus, having watched the beginning of the movie on YouTube, he's the kind of guy who drops a glass bottle in a river for no reason. And what's with the blond highlights? Not cool, Stahl. Not cool.
It was hard enough for me to include the Governator on the list at all, given the bad haircut he sports in the first movie and everything that's happened since he prevented Armageddon in the second one. But looking back at images from Terminator 2, Schwarzenegger definitely struck some balance of biker cool and accessible human heart-- OK, he's still a Terminator this time, but you know what I mean. Extra points for the thumbs up through the molten ore, just because.
Shut up for a second and stop calling me a pedophile, OK? I clearly remember hanging out with my best friend's older sister around 1992, and seeing her bedroom walls completely plastered with pictures of Edward Furlong. For pre-pubescent girls of a certain age, Furlong was their baby-faced dream come true, the cutie for the generation that came just before JTT. Plus he handles himself pretty well through the madness of Terminator 2-- no one else in the history of the franchise has been capable of teaching a Terminator to love.
I don't know about you, but I tend to forget that Patrick is even in the movie-- the liquid T-1000 is by far the most potent image of the whole thing. But take yourself out of the mindset of supporting some punk juvenile delinquent playing video games in the mall, and take another at the cop trying to track him down. Not bad, right? Many, many extra points for the undying cool of the bad guy-- you know you want him, even though he will transform into a sword and stab you. Ah, love.
John Connor is the least interesting part of the new movie, mostly because he doesn't do much but run around with a gun and talk about how much he hates Terminators. But Bale, as ever, is effortlessly sexy, with all that too-busy-fighting-for-the-future-to-shave stubble and the raspy voice, which can be annoying but, admit it, is also hot. The actor has been in beefcake mode for a while now with this and the Batman series, but still has enough of that cerebral vibe to also make you want to sit down with him for a chat about the consequences of artificial intelligence.
Shut up for a second and stop calling me a pedophile, OK? First of all, Kyle Reese is a teenager in the new Terminator, but Yelchin is 20. Second, he's great in this movie, packed with the resilient charm of a guy who has been living by his wits for years. He also knows how to shoot a gun, disable a Terminator using a series of pulleys, and take care of a small child in a post-apocalyptic world. Also he's the father of the savior of humanity. Try that one on for size!
Lucky for us, Yelchin and Bale are only half of what's crush-worthy in this movie-- Worthington, who is bound to be huge after this movie, is really the star of the new Terminator, and commands every scene with his steely gaze and ridiculous fighting ability. The movie's PG-13 rating cut out a sex scene with resistance fighter Moon Bloodgood, but I have no doubt that Worthington could take a lady to bed as if he were creating the future savior of humanity (more on that in a second). And as Marcus Wright he actually gets a chance to show some real emotion, at one point literally revealing the beating human heart behind that hunky body. Worthington's rough-hewn mystery man, in contrast to Bale's tightly-wound warrior, is by far the best part of the movie.
He is the reason for this list, as I saw The Terminator for the first time recently and constantly wondered "Who is this guy??" Even with bad 80s hair and an inability, in the end, to save his lady from the T-800, Biehn's Kyle Reese is exactly the kind of guy you want to see hurtling, naked, from the future. He's intentionally a smaller, more vulnerable counterpart to Schwarzenegger's Terminator, so fragile that he has to have his wounds tended by Sarah after he repeatedly saves her life. But you know how that Florence Nightingale instinct kicks in, and once he's patched up she's taking him to the bedroom, in the only sex scene of the Terminator franchise. Biehn's career mysteriously stalled after this movie, maybe because it took until this decade to bring about action heroes who matched Biehn's scrawny, scrappy appeal. Kyle Reese isn't just the father of John Connor; Michael Biehn is the reason that skinny eggheads like Christian Bale get to be action stars.