Wednesday, May 27, 2009

How To Survive The Robot Apocalypse

I went out and saw Terminator: Salvation last weekend, and my over-active analytical brain parts would not stop trying to solve John Connor's little problem of how to efficiently kill terminators. In this movie, the T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger's character in the first 3 Terminator installments) had not yet been created by Sky Net, and the antiquated T-600 was prowling the streets of Los Angeles.

This isn't meant as a movie review. After all it is not flatlandmovienut. But I must say that T4's depictions of gunfights are fairly close to the real thing. In T4, you need air support (provided by A-10 attack aircraft--which I am fond of since a team of them helped break up an ambush for me in Afghanistan), and withering gunfire creates casualties. Also, guns aren't death rays. John Connor's troops mainly used AR-15s or M4s (with the occasional FAL or UZI) and carried a side arm of some kind (lots of H&K Mk23s survived the apocalypse somehow...). The problem was that it took gobs of ammo to kill or wound a T-600, and handguns (as they would in real life) did not penetrate the T-600's steel skull which conveniently holds its CPU much like a human brain.

The intermediate rifles, and even some M60 medium machineguns had trouble hacking through the terminators' hard heads. That got me thinking "What do I own that would take down a terminator?". Those of you who read "Broke Disc Mountain" a while back will know where my mind immediately went--

Why not the Mosin Nagant--either the 91/30 or shortened M44, M38, or M28 carbines? With cheap and plentiful steel core surplus ammo (which would also surely have survived Judgement Day), the T-600s would be mowed down in droves. Following that logic, a good choice of sidearm (largely useless against machines, period) would be a TT-33 or TTC pistol. The weapons and ammo would be in hugely abundant supply worldwide, and young resistance fighters could be very easily trained in their use. Recoil might be an issue for some smaller or younger recruits, but they would ultimately be able to knock down a lumbering T-600.

As the T-800s rolled out, a PKM (below) shooting the same 7.62x54R steel core ammo would have shredded Sky Net's shiny metal soldiers. Of course the bigger (and AWESOME looking) troop transport vehicles would still require some kind of explosive or mega caliber machinegun fire to bring down, but the individual could defend himself very well with a rifle chambered in 7.62x54R.
I ended up on the wrong side of one of these once. Not a place you want to be.

So my realization that the hordes of mechanical ground troops could be easily felled sort of took something away from the rest of the movie. So, if you find yourself among the resistance, and facing a horde of T-600 terminators, just remember this article.

Oh, and as for the movie itself, I liked it (despite the fact that the war would be over as soon as the resistance found a crate of 110 year old (in 2018) MN rifles). There wasn't a lot of character development, and you don't gain any further understanding of the human vs. machine war. The "Marcus Wright" character really stole the movie from Christian Bale, who needs to lose the raspy Batman voice. However, the action and effects were fantastic. The depictions of combat are sort of realistic (stuff still explodes much more often than it should), and the depiction of a post-apocalyptic humanity is pretty much how I imagine it will be. (I say "will be" not because I'm a tinfoil hat wearer, but because everything has an end. Period.) Don't go in expecting a masterpiece of cinema, but it really is entertaining, tense, and action packed. Worth a look if you like shoot-em-ups.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I heard a rumor that a T-600 was once smote by some fishing line, a toothpick, and a pack of Juicy Fruit. That young revolutionaries name? MACGYVER.