The Terminator (1984) – Movie Review

The Terminator is a 1984 film directed by James Cameron and it stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Beihn, Linda Hamilton, Lance Henrickson, Paul Winfield, and Earl Boen. The film is about a killer cyborg who time travels to the year 1984 to kill a woman named Sarah Conner where her unborn son will lead a rebellion against the machines in the future. Kyle Reese travels back to the year 1984 to protect Sarah Connor at all costs.

Opening Thoughts:

The Terminator is one of the films that I grew up watching as a kid. I grew up watching the sequel more than the first. But I watched this film frequent enough to know the film by heart. As a kid, I was shocked to see this movie because I wasn’t used to seeing Arnold Schwarzenegger as the bad guy. I was used to seeing him as the hero in the sequel. This movie and the sequel will always be one of my favorite films of all time. You can watch this movie multiple times and still never get bored of it.

The Positives:

The main great thing about this movie is the story. It’s a simple plot to understand as the execution of it was flawless. There are so many great scenes and one liners that are still iconic to this day. The music composed by Brad Fiedel is also an iconic one still to this day. You are immediately drawn to the story once the movie begins.

There are scenes in this movie that makes it feel like a horror film. And that’s a compliment. The scenes when the T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) arrives at the year 1984 and kills a couple of woman with the name Sarah makes it feel like a horror film. On top of that, the music in the background of those scenes makes it feel like you are watching a horror movie. The scenes where the T-800 asks one of the street punks for his clothes and kills the gun shop owner were memorable. The scene where the T-800 finds the real Sarah Connor at the Tech Noir bar and attempts to shoot her but gets shot by Kyle Reese was the turning point of the film. It was the first time you saw the T-800 get taken down a bit and the line “Come With Me if you want to Live” instantly became a classic line. The scene where the T-800 attempts to fix the damages he got in his face and puts the shades on became an instant classic scene. It makes you appreciate the make up that was applied to the film. The scene where the T-800 comes to the police station and kills all the police officers in order to get Sarah Connor was an iconic scene. The Terminator’s line “I’ll be Back” from that scene immediately became Arnold Schwarzenegger’s signature line. The scene where the T-800 hijacks the truck and tells the person sitting in the passenger seat “Get Out” is also another signature line and an iconic moment in the movie. The scene where the T-800 survived the fire explosion and chases Kyle and Sarah inside a factory as his cyborg form was a cool scene. The movie showed it wasn’t a cliche ending and it continued to portray how unstoppable the T-800 really was. The scene where Sarah kills the T-800 and saying “You’re terminated f**” was another memorable line and scene from the film. That scene was really creative because it showed how exactly you can kill a terminator since using weapons is no match against it. The last scene as Sarah drives off while the iconic Terminator theme was playing in the background was amazing.

The concept of the movie was really creative. Instead of having the cyborg arriving in it’s real form, it arrives in a human form of someone and that is really creative in my opinion. Ideas like this makes me love movies so much. The practical effects and makeup on the T-800 was mind blowing top notch. Any movie that includes practical effects is always a good thing.

Another great thing about this movie is the character development. Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) developed really well as a character. At first you see her as a regular waitress that does not want anything to do with her role in the future war against the machines but as the film progresses, you see her accepting who she truly is meant to be. Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) also developed great as a character. He was at first a character that wanted to get his job done but then he starts to became a soft hearted person and confessed to Sarah that he loves her which is why he traveled back through time to protect her. The T-800 has no character development which is totally acceptable. His job right from the beginning of the movie was to arrive and kill Sarah Connor with no excuses.

I believe this film is the movie that made Arnold Schwarzenegger be widely known as an actor. The pacing of this movie is flawless and there are barely any dull or slow moments.

The song “Burnin’ In the Third Degree” which was playing at the Tech Noir bar in the movie is a really good song in my opinion. I have that song and the main theme from the film in my iPod!

The Negatives:

I actually have no flaws or nitpicks with this movie!

The Verdict:

The Terminator is definitely a science fiction movie classic and it will always be one of the greatest films ever made. It’s a movie that will always be one of my favorite films of all time. I’m going to rate the movie five out five stars. If you haven’t seen this movie, then I would highly recommend you to see it. You won’t be disappointed!

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I hope you guys enjoyed reading my review of The Terminator and stay tuned for my next review, which is one of the greatest sequels ever made, Terminator 2! 🙂

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