By Kirk Combe, Brenda Boyle (auth.)
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11 The rebellious cry that Ann and Kong, alone, share in Jackson’s movie is a single word: Beautiful. Initially, both Ann and Kong are ensnared by the charms of Beauty. Ann accepts Denham’s offer of “money, adventure, fame . . the thrill of a lifetime and a long sea voyage” out of her desperate poverty and her aspiration to land a part in a Jack Driscoll script. Kong is swept away both by the novelty of Ann’s blondeness and by her Vaudeville act. Denham’s comment to Ann about Vaudeville being “a tough audience.
He then goes off to save John Connor. In this way, Terminator Salvation seemingly cultivates two Heroes. Of course, the suspense of the movie lies in whether or not Marcus will turn out to be an It or a Man. 1). At this point, viewers can’t be sure if Marcus will become John’s enemy or John’s ally. That tension is resolved, though, at the very end of the film when Marcus volunteers his own heart to replace that of the mortally wounded John. Here Marcus’s humanity comes shining through. Women kiss him, small children grasp his exposed Machine skeleton hand, and in another tight close-up, this time in reverse shot, John offers him a manly nod of thanks just before the transplant operation begins.
The upgrades include an unusually powerful heart—one that later in the film withstands a direct hit from a T-800 and winds up beating in the chest of John Connor. Ergo, John Connor is no longer completely human, but a cyborg as well. “Noooo! ” you shout? You’d rather go with the indomitable fortitude of the human heart? That’s your choice. Understand, though, that monsters have the capability to disrupt everything, to call into question all categories, all conventions, all cultural constructs—political, economic, legal, moral, religious, racial, gendered, sexual—all of it.
Masculinity and Monstrosity in Contemporary Hollywood Films by Kirk Combe, Brenda Boyle (auth.)