I noticed a marked improvement in Arnold Schwarzenneger's ability to move like a cyborg (ie. move his head slowly, turn before moving...) in Terminator 2 as opposed to The Terminator (1). Likewise, I noticed a reduction in his abilities in Terminator 3 as opposed to Terminator 2. Anyone know why this is? Was it Cameron's absence?

  • It seems a mite subjective as far as analysis of "acting ability". Do you have at least critical reviews to back it up? – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 19 '12 at 6:51
  • @DVK true, I edited it. – puk Jan 19 '12 at 6:57
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    Nobody! It's just how his mother raised him :D – Andres F. Jan 19 '12 at 12:19
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    Although this question is on-topic here, here is now a Movies & TV site which may have more expertise on such “behind the scenes” questions about movies. If you'd like this question to be migrated, flag your question or reply to this comment. – user56 Sep 26 '12 at 12:26
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    @Gilles I have a hard time understanding when to use this site as opposed to Movies and TV. Here is a perfect example scifi.stackexchange.com/q/8797/4044 – puk Sep 26 '12 at 19:24

#1 => #2: Multitude of simultaneous reasons: older, more acting experience, better English skills, more "human" role (T1 he was supposed to be a machine killer, T2 he was supposed to become gradually more human-like).

#2 => #3: The technical term for his performance is "Phoning it in".

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    Directors and editors have quite a bit of say with regard to an actor's performance. So it's at least plausible that Arnold's poor performance in T3 was the result of bad editing, direction, or both. – Chad Levy Jan 19 '12 at 10:25
  • lol. I always felt Arnold's performances (De Laurentiis Conan as the exception) were robotic enough as not to warrant additional training ;) – DukeZhou Dec 7 '17 at 20:09

In the Ultimate Edition DVD the director's commentary (Jim Cameron) states that

"I've never seen an actor to take physical direction like Arnold".

Is it possible that Schwarzenegger and Cameron gelled to the point that it would produce the kind of results that you're talking about? Mostow was the director for the third film which might explain any differential from II to III.

Witness his performance in True Lies as well for further evidence of the partnership between Cameron and Schwarzenegger...

  • Could you elaborate on what you mean by " gelled to the point" – puk Mar 18 '12 at 19:40
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    'Gelled' (as I've used it here) is the past tense and past participle of 'gel' which means to develop a rapport. – noonand Mar 19 '12 at 21:35
  • Very few directors can be great artists and big-budget directors. imo most big-budget films have "workman-like" direction because the projects are so risky per the budgets. Few directors are going to have the influence of a Spielberg in terms of technique, but most people I know, especially action fans, consider Cameron to be a great director. This is a pretty reasonable assumption, imo, in that Cameron probably cared about every detailof the project more than hired-gun directors. – DukeZhou Dec 7 '17 at 20:14

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