Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn
Director: James Cameron
Running Time: 104 mins
The Terminator is an American film about a cyborg who is sent back to 1984 from a future where man is at war with machines to kill the mother of the not-yet-born leader of the humans’ rebellion, and the man who also travels back to try to protect her from this seemingly invincible killing machine.
Now, this film is cool. It’s already an absolute classic, and that’s because it’s just so original and well-put together. Stunning visual effects for the time, which are still relatively decent nowadays, a consistently and strongly dark and tense atmosphere, a fascinating and intelligent plot, and a chilling performance by Arnold Schwarzenegger all turn this into a hugely thrilling watch.
The main reason that I love this film is because it’s so full of suspense instead of being a full-blown action movie. Of course, there are still loads of explosions, car chases and gunfights, but the genius and uniqueness of this film to other action/sci-fi stories is that it slowly builds an atmosphere of tension throughout, which really heightens the fear factor every time that it does erupt into big action.
The story effectively revolves around Schwarzenegger, ‘The Terminator’, ruthlessly pursuing this woman, attempting to kill her at any opportunity possible, and as this story goes on, there are various terrifying flashpoints throughout where the two do clash, and whilst you may have to wait another ten or so minutes until the next one, each time, it’s more and more violent and brutal, making it even more tense in that in-between period.
Obviously, Schwarzenegger’s performance is absolutely fantastic. He pulls off both the emotionless aspect of The Terminator and the frighteningly brutal aspect of this killing machine brilliantly, and it’s that mix that really turns him into one of the scarier movie villains I’ve seen in a long time.
Another reason that this film is just so good is the story. As I’ve said, it does fantastically well in mixing the action and the tension throughout, however the whole time travel plot actually gets pulled off rather well. The vision of the dystopian future is totally convincing, and the paradoxes and parameters for the time travel are all hugely interesting, which kept me fully engrossed in this story from start to finish.
Overall, this gets an 8.4, because it’s not only got that classic Schwarzenegger Terminator performance, but there’s also some brilliant tension and excitement coupled with an intelligent plot that make this a thoroughly enticing watch.