- James Cameron
- Reviewed by
- Gon Curiel a.k.a. Groucho
- Review date
- Thursday, September 13, 2007
Thatís because this film is an exemplary thriller. I wouldnít call it a perfect film, but thatís absolutely NOT on account of the way it works in that department. Youíll still be shocked by the suddenness of its happenings, by the bleakness of its future, by the amazing change of Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), by the heroism of Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) and by the unbelievable determination of the Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger).
In a possible future, machines take over and set to terminate human beings, creating a holocaust like has never been seen. This human-looking cyborg has come from the future with the sole mission of destroying (or rather, terminating) the mother of the one man who will threaten to destroy the machines, John Connor, before heís even born.
Sarah is a simple young woman who canít handle a situation like this. But neither Kyle, who has been sent by John to protect his mother, nor the Terminator, is kidding. Sarah is caught between a hero and a villain and sheís not sure what hit her. The glorious moment comes when she realizes sheís really on her own, and will be, until her son is a rebellious leader.
I guess The Terminator could have been easily forgotten if it wasnít for some key elements: Schwarzenegger for one, brilliant as the unstoppable machine; Brad Fiedelís music, sometimes unbearably 80s style, but sometimes haunting and quite moody; and of course Cameronís donít-stop-for-a-darn-second approach in his direction, which is why heíll be remembered. These elements bring attention to the film, and itís easy to watch it and be immersed by its irresistible reality. Itís humanity weíre talking about after all, and we donít really get to see the future, except in a couple of quick scenes. Itís a reality that we donít see, which we fear the most. It works like magic, and has proved quite successful.
This film is also responsible for Arnold Schwarzeneggerís superstardom. He became the most famous stiff actor Hollywood will ever have. His casting is so perfect that one wonders why he hadnít been cast as a robot before. Frankly, Iíve always liked this guy (as an actor, though heís usually not a good one), but I like him much better as a killer robot than as any other character. Because this killer robot, as scripted by James Cameron and Gale Anne Hurd, has an edge: sense of humor.
Hamilton and Biehn are a good contrast to Arnoldís ďroboticĒ performance. Though their most important love scene is awful, most of the time theyíre credible human beings and sheís especially poignant and believable throughout. I love that subplot about the photo, and how it develops into something larger-than-life. I spent years believing that this movieís reality was indeed real. Now I know itís not. Or is it?
ďIíll be back.Ē
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Other reviews of The Terminator (1984): Vincent