Terminate, Already

Local comedian Jimmy Danelli gets a rise from the machines

Arnold makes his debut standing buck naked in what looks like Joshua Tree National Monument, and the guy appears as solid as ever. But Danelli wasn't buying it.

"It was typical Arnold. Restrict his dialogue and he'll do a good job. But if he has any more plastic surgery, he's going to start looking like Joan Rivers," Danelli cracked.

In the last movie, Arnold's terminator protected a young boy and his mother from a killing machine able to adapt itself to look like anyone. In this movie, Arnold's terminator protects a young man and his future wife from a killing machine able to adapt itself to look like anyone. But there are big differences, really. Last time, Connor rode a motorcycle while trying to evade a rampaging semi. This time, he's in a veterinarian's truck while being chased by a giant crane. You could almost see the excited studio execs at T3's story meetings -- "We'll throw in a fire truck! A hearse! A Winnebago!"

Jimmy Danelli: "I didn't fall asleep in the first Terminator."
Emily Piraino
Jimmy Danelli: "I didn't fall asleep in the first Terminator."

"I didn't fall asleep in the first Terminator," Danelli complained after fidgeting through nearly the entire film. "This movie was a chase. The entire film was based on a chase. It became boring and monotonous and I was praying for it to end."

The pursuit had begun so early and persisted for so long, he said, there was little reason to care about Connor, Brewster, or either of the machines. "You had to be familiar with the history of the characters. They didn't fill you in. If you didn't know the previous story," Danelli said, "you were guessing. I think that hurt the movie. There was no emotional investment in the characters."

At least the bikers in the audience seemed entertained by all the automotive chicanery. But even they seemed mystified by the movie's long, dreary ending, which rivaled Star Trek: The Motion Picture for its flaccid deflation. Kirk and Spock discovering that their dreaded nemesis was really the Voyager spacecraft was lame and may have set some sort of mark for most dimwitted science fiction surprise ending ever, but Connor and Brewster's "judgment day" revelation is nearly as much of a letdown.

Still, Danelli said the experience wasn't a complete waste of time.

"It did work out kind of nice. I wanted a bag of popcorn and a soda, and I ended up with a bag of weed and a biker babe. It made my evening worthwhile."

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