In light of the release of the most recent Terminator movie, I started to think about Arnold Schwarzenegger's career over the last twenty-five years. Of course, when most people think of Arnold, they think of Conan the Barbarian or Predator or Total Recall. But he is an actor who should be seen as the man beyond the muscles. He is so much more than a killing machine.
1. Kindergarten Cop (1990): John Kimble
If you thought that Arnold was badass when he was trying to kill Sarah Connor's unborn child in The Terminator (1984), your mind will be blown by the badassery of Kindergarten Cop as Detective Arnold protects a class of innocent kindergarteners. Arnold has a ferret that only bites bad guys! And he's a bad teacher! And he does not have a too-mah! Who cares about illegal hijinks when there is the possibility of an Arnold vs. Kindergarteners blowout? It would have been an awesome twist, although it may have boosted the rating a little bit. But it will most likely be the plot of Kindergarten Cop 2: The Next Generation. Just wait. You'll see. He can't be Governor forever.
2. Junior (1994): Dr. Alex Hesse
Arnold Schwarzenegger pregnant. Is there really anything else that needs to be said? The only way that Junior could have been better is if a cyborg from the future came to hunt him down before he gave birth. Danny Devito could have protected him. Danny Devito can protect anyone.
3. Jingle All The Way (1996): Howard Langston
The world would be a better place if all that a man had to do to reconcile with his seriously pissed-off wife and neglected son was to buy the kid an action figure. And the world would be a more interesting place if Arnold Schwarzenegger could only do so by dressing up as a superhero with a jet pack. But if the villains of the world were all postal workers played by Sinbad, the thrill of the chase would be kind of lost. As if Sinbad could ever take on Arnold. As if Arnold needs a jetpack to beat anyone. Although jetpacks do make the world a cooler place. Just ask Boba Fett.
4. Batman and Robin (1997): Mr. Freeze and Dr. Victor Fries
Arnold really got to stretch his acting muscles in Batman and Robin, in which he got the chance to play both a good guy and a bad guy. It took him two Terminator movies to accomplish that. But in Batman and Robin, Arnold wants to freeze Gotham but he also wants to save his wife! He wants to kill most of Gotham but he also wants to cure MacGregor's Syndrome! Yes, he does almost destroy the whole city and its largely innocent population, but he totally saves Alfred. George Clooney is just too pretty to be as tortured and gravelly as Christian Bale, and it would have been hard to see him try to suffer through the death of the most awesome character in Batman. There is no Batman without Alfred. Period.
5. Governor of California (2003 ?): Arnold Schwarzenegger
Give it time.