IMDb Top 250: #230 The Terminator

The Terminator (1984)

Director: James Cameron
Writers: James Cameron, Gale Anne Hurd
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn

A seemingly indestructible humanoid cyborg is sent from 2029 to 1984 to assassinate a waitress, whose unborn son will lead humanity in a war against the machines, while a soldier from that war is sent to protect her at all costs.

***

 

What a pleasant trip down memory lane. A classic SF flick that has everything going for it; good non CGI special effects, action, some horror, a little bit of romance. And it also showed big Arnie as the bad guy. Maybe in his best performance ever.

In the near future a defense program becomes self aware and decides that humans are evil. So it starts a nuclear war and then goes on a rampage killing the survivors. But surprise, surprise. The humans fight back. And they are winning. After being nuked, taken by surprise in a brutal attack and outgunned they are winning the war for their survival. And yet, the machines somehow create time travel and they send an efficient killing robot with a powerful endoskeleton that looks just like a human to kill the mother of the future leader of the resistance. At the same time, the humans also send a soldier to help the mother. What comes next is a pretty hopeless battle between good and evil, a futuristic battle between David and Goliath.

Ever since it came to the big screen, this movie has been a phenomenon, gaining a cult status in the sci-fi world and starting one of the most successful movie franchises of all time. The work that James Cameron did with such a small budget is beyond words. It helped him become of the greatest players in Hollywood.

The only thing that I object with this movie is how poorly it has treated the subject of time travel. John Connor, the leader of the human resistance sends his trusted lieutenant to save his mother. Along the way the mother and the lieutenant become lovers and they have a child: John Connor! As I said in an earlier review, I am very curious regarding time paradoxes. And this one is the grandfather paradox, without the killing part.

But time paradox or not, this is still a cinema classic and it everyone should have this movie on the “to see list”.

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