Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Movie Review #11: The Terminator

Yikes! I'm behind both on blogs and on movie reviews!

The Terminator is one of those movies I've heard about and have watched a lot of stuff around it, but have never actually seen the original. I mean, I've seen Terminator 2 and bits of Terminator 3, but I think think I've really seen anything from The Terminator before now. Which is a shame, because I think the first one might be my favorite one.


In the future, 2024, a great war has been raging for decades between man and machines. However, in 1984 Los Angeles two figures suddenly appear in a flash of light: one an intimidating killer, the other a determined and clever young man. Both begin looking for a waitress named Sarah Connor.


On the one hand, the story of The Terminator is your standard hero's journey. On the other hand, the setting sets up a fascinating and frightening mythology.

The movie fast-paced, and I like it. I never felt bored while watching it.

The music and the fashion of the characters is painfully 80s, but that's to be expected. The special effects were rather dated, but that's also to be expected. None of it pulled me out of the movie.

It was fun to watch the Terminator work. He tries to integrate into human society just enough to get what he needs, but he's kind of amusingly mechanical in all of his motions--even turning the pages of a phone book makes him look unnatural. Even when he's fighting, he's not very fast or anything--he's lethal, and bullets don't affect him, so he doesn't need speed very much. His every motion seems calculated, which is strange to any human watching, since people move so differently.

It was also cool to watch him have to repair himself and put on disguises to hide his robotic after an injury.

In short, Arnold did a really good job.

The story had a sense of destiny to it, right down to the time travelers--as it turns out, the events of this movie had to happen the way they did for the future the Terminator and Reese came from to happen. It's a cool idea to me, for time travel to not affect history, but to become a part of it. Reese didn't simply come back to protect John Connor, he came to conceive him. And it turns out that Skynet comes to exist thanks to the remains of the robot Skynet sent back in time to kill Sarah Connor. It all just turns out to be a part of the flow.

Unfortunately, the sequels kind of mess with that idea of time. Instead, in the sequels the characters begin to affect time, changing the future, which kind of ruins the effect a bit for me.


I don't know why people seem to ignore this movie. It was great. If you want to watch a fun action film, I highly recommend it.

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