The legacy of the Terminator...
By: Paul Rose
Universal Soldier (1992)
In its search for the next Arnie, Hollywood was happy to cast any old European muscle man. An early effort from arch copyists Emmerich and Devlin, Universal Soldier cast Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren as opposing, Terminator-esque, re-animated super-soldiers.
Predating T2's themes by a good hals a decade, Paul Verhoeven's Robocop turned The Terminator's premise on its head by having a good-guy cyborg learning to be human, albeit between moments of blood-soaked graphic violence and broad social satire.
Swap the concrete jungle of urban LA for the literal jungles of South America, strip out all that sissy love stuff, and you have The Predator. Though Schwarzenegger's playing the good guy this time around, its dreadlocked marauder is another superhuman killing machine, which will not stop, ever, untill its human prey is dead. And perhaps not even then.
Twelve Monkeys (1995)
Though the execution may differ, this sees another saviour from another bleak future sealing his own destiny by returning to the past to save mankind (and, initially, being mistaken for a loony by the love interest). The end result is the thinking man's Terminator, albeit on powerful hallucinogens.
The Matrix (1999)
Another bleak future, where humanity is slave to the machine. The Agents, unstoppable in their dark shades, are surrogate Arnies, and the film's constant cutting back and forth between the alien-destroyed 'real' Earth and the modern day (actually a computer simulation) owes a debt to Cameron's use of flash-forwards to the robot-ravaged future.