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Battle of the Blockbusters

Action epics big and very, very small come to the city this month, but who is our true hometown hero?


It's summer, so Hollywood wants a piece of San Francisco again. Terminator: Genisys opens in theaters today, while Marvel's Ant-Man scurries into action July 17. Both are set and partially shot here in the city, but if you only have room in your heart for one high-tech action hero, which should you choose? We weigh their merits.


The Scalable Franchise

Terminator: Arnold Schwarzenegger has been playing the unkillable cyborg for over 30 years now, generating oh so many marketable catchphrases.

Ant-Man: The story is loosely connected to other Marvel films, giving it sideways star power by association with the Avengers.

Winner This Round: Ant-Man. Mostly on account of the last two Terminator movies.


Intimidation Factor

Terminator: We asked KC Meade of Robotex, a robotics security company, how scary a robot actually is. "When cops send in a robot, perps get scared. You hear stories. One guy ran into a closet.”

Ant-Man: But California Academy of Science’s curator of entomology, Brian Fisher (also known as the "Ant Man"), argues that ants are formidable foes: strong, tough, and numbering in the millions. "There are some local ant species that produce only soldiers and nothing else."

Winner This Round: Terminator. Sorry, they're still just ants.


The Epic Action Scene

Terminator: An obligatory Golden Gate Bridge chase scene featuring a school bus that flips several times. FasTrak lanes unaffected.

Ant-Man: A miniature Paul Rudd (he shrinks, he's Ant-Man, it's a thing) dukes it out with a mini-bad guy in front of a speeding train pulled by...Thomas the Tank Engine.

Winner This Round:
 Ant-Man. You read the part about Thomas the Tank Engine, right?


Overall Winner: Ant-Man. Chronic RAID vulnerability notwithstanding, he's the hero San Francisco deserves and the one it needs right now.


Originally appeared in the July issue of San Francisco.

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