Partway through Terminator Salvation, Blair (Moon Bloodgood) and Marcus (Sam Worthington) are heading back to their resistance base and are attacked by some human survivors. Marcus is off gathering firewood when the men attack Blair with the presumed intent to rape her, but Marcus comes to the rescue.
Now, I certainly watch too many Joss Whedon creations, but this scene bothered me. It’s not a bad scene, if fairly predictable. What gets me is that the Terminator movies have always depicted women as capable action heroes. It was Sarah Connor, not Kyle Reese, who killed the T-800 at the end of the first film. Yet here, in one of the only fight sequences featuring a woman, Blair has to be saved by a man. Now, in this particular case, the scene serves a number of purposes. It sets up Marcus a someone who does have a heart despite his self-hatred from the crimes of his previous life. It furthers his journey toward becoming a hero. It foreshadows the question of why he can take such a beating, which becomes a major plot point. Still, I’d rather have seen Blair beat those guys up on her own, or even have her be the one who saves Marcus.
Then again, the film has Katherine Brewster Connor (Bryce Dallas Howard) running around a Skynet base in her third trimester, so maybe she’s tough enough for the bunch of them.