Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Genre Character of the Week: Kyle Reese

Ask most people who said the phrase “Come with me if you want to live” and they’ll point straight to The Terminator Franchise – totally correct.  Then they’ll likely say it was Arnold Schwarzenegger who said it in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and if you’re like me, the answer will make you a little sad, because it was actually said in the first Terminator film by this week’s genre character, Kyle Reese.

To be fair to the folks who answered with Arnold Schwarzenegger, yes, he did say that phrase in the second film, but it was meant to remind the viewer of what Reese says in the first, not to stand alone on its own.

Kyle Reese, (Sergeant Tech-Com, DN38416) is a man out of time, sent on a mission to do the impossible, to save the life of his best friend’s mother from an unstoppable killing machine.  He has no weapons (or clothes, at first), and as he comes from an era after ours has been destroyed, he hits massive culture shock almost immediately.  Although he possesses the skill set of a guerrilla soldier (irregular tactics, the element of surprise, extraordinary mobility), the machine he is trying to beat is pretty much unstoppable.

What I love best about Kyle (played by Michael Biehn) was his humanity, his everyman quality, and the fact that he had fallen in love with a woman across time (a story concept I’m totally a sucker for) which altogether makes him not just one of my favourite characters of the franchise, but of Science Fiction in general.

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