Tuesday, August 10, 2010

MEN & MACHINES: IS THERE A TRUE DIFFERENCE, ULTIMATELY?

On Sunday night, I sat down with my two young nieces from Vietnam to watch the sci-fi fantasy movie, 'Terminator Salvation' on StarHub cable television for the first time. [The movie was released to the theatres only last year.]

It was supposedly the third sequel to the popular 'Terminator' movie series, which had Arnold Schwarzenegger in the principal lead.

In this particular one, Arnie was obviously missing, although there was a short CGI segment showing him as a menacing new-generation Cyborg.

The story plot wasn't as good as the earlier trilogy. In fact, it was somewhat confusing, because of the introduction of one strange character, Marcus (played by Sam Worthington) who was both man & machine, unlike the earlier fellow predators.

[There are some other seemingly confusing parts, but they are not the focus of this blogpost.]

To put it bluntly, he felt truly - psychologically & emotionally - like a human being [to the chagrin of his masters, known as Skynet], but fought precisely like a machine. He was originally a convict on death row, who was given a second chance by donating his body to scientific research, but was, unknown to him, rebuilt as a new generation Cyborg.

Nonetheless, the principal premise of the exciting movie quadrology had remained unchanged:

All the Cyborgs, under Skynet, were programmed with only one deadly mission: to hunt & destroy John Connor (this time, played by Christian Bale), the leader of men's last stand against machines.

To be frank, who cares, as long as the action sequences involving men & machines or rather Cyborgs were, as usual, terrific to watch, at least from my perspective as a movie buff.

In fact, I like the ending part, which more or less answers the question posed by me in this blogpost title.

After the final battle scene, with all the Cyborgs & the Skynet base destroyed, Marcus decided to give away his life to John, who was very badly wounded, in order for the latter to live. The last battle was won, but the war wasn't over yet. According to him, everybody deserved a second chance, just as he had been accorded.

That's when he uttered (with voice-over):

"What is it that makes us human? It's not something you can program it into a chip. It's the strength of the human heart. The difference between us & machines."

Wow! that's really great!


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