The Terminator

"Listen and understand. That Terminator is out there. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop - EVER - until you are dead!"   - Reese

release year: 1984
genre: sci-fi action
viewing setting: home Bluray 2/2/16 and 8/26/13, cruise ship cabin 4/16/10, home DVD 9/8/06, and a dozen times before that, dating back to the mid-1980s

synopsis: In 2029, machines have almost exterminated humanity, but they end up losing the they send a cyborg back in time to kill the mother of the unborn child who will grow up to lead the human resistance of 2029.

impressions: This movie kicks ass. The plot was based on a short story by Harlan Ellison, and was made on a relatively low budget by a relatively young director named James Cameron. While the plot and effects, and even the acting by the heroes, are all above-average, the movie really belongs to Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator. A hulking, unstoppable killing machine, he mows through anyone and anything that gets in his way, firing as many bullets as he ignores. This was a landmark, if stereotyping, role for Arnold, but it catapulted both him and this movie to mega-fame.

body count: 36

something this movie has that no other movie has: Someone performing eye surgery on himself.

acting: Arnold Schwarzenegger is at his physical peak here: he's huge and has incredible screen presence. A young and slightly plump Linda Hamilton plays the mother-to-be on the run, while Michael Biehn does a great job as the war-weary, haunted, but incredibly resilient human soldier sent back to protect her. Also keep an eye out for minor roles from Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton, and Brian Thompson.

final word: Must-see sci-fi, a classic.

back to the main review page