The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Arnold Schwarzenegger

George Naylor gives us the rundown of Arnold Schwarzenegger's good, bad and spectacularly ugly films

2nd November 2015

The Good: Total Recall (1990)

Arguably Schwarzenegger’s best film, this 1990 sci-fi classic sees him star as Douglas Quaid, a construction worker in 2084 who has dreams of travelling to the already-populated Mars.

However, all is not as it seems as he unknowingly becomes the centre of a secret agent conspiracy holding the people of Mars hostage, questioning his memories and free-will. Directed by sci-fi mastermind, Paul Verhoeven, Arnold is in the peak of his career in this genuinely brilliant action thriller.

The Bad: Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)

One of his last films before becoming the Governator, Terminator 3 was a disappointing send off for such an enjoyable career.

With director James Cameron (Terminator and T2) too busy planning Avatar to return, the age rating going from an 18 to a 12A and a script which was not only stale but ruined some of the philosophical questions brought up in the previous two instalments, T3 is just bleh.

The villain isn’t menacing, the supporting cast is weak, the violence is cheap and the plot detracts from the previous two. It’s not even charming like previously bad Arnold films, it’s just sad.

The Ugly: The Running Man (1987)

Just before he hit superstar status, Arnold stars in this sci-fi action flick set in a dystopian 2017 in which convicted criminals must enter the game show ‘The Running Man’ and attempt to avoid public execution.

If this sounds like Battle Royale (2000) or the Hunger Games saga (2012-15) then you would be right; except it was done first. Loosely based on a Stephen King novel, it is this week’s ugly film because, with an 18 rating, it’s one of Arnold’s most violent films and contains many bloody deaths.

It’s also quite divisive, with some loving its 80s charm, and others simply awaiting The Hunger Games 7.

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