Cert: 15 / 107 mins / Dir. James Cameron / Trailer
I'm a terrible sci-fi fan. I always forget how fantastic the first Terminator film is until I re-watch it. And sure, it's a shonky old ride, but all the more fun for it. Every voluminous 80s bouffant hair-do, every Louis Tussauds-esque rubber mannequin, every 15fps stop-frame animation sequence just makes me enjoy it more. If anything, I love the film because of its faults, not despite them.
Because while it's true that Judgement Day is a far better example of film-making, The Terminator is about phenomenal storytelling. There's a greater sense of menace to Schwarzenegger's T-800, as his dialogue (ie his ham-fisted witticisms) are kept to a bare minimum. The plot is explained but not earnestly over-egged, and the story takes place mostly (well, mostly) from Sarah Connor's point of view, so the audience only finds things out as she does. This lends an incomparable sense of urgency as she's pursued by her would-be assassin; we have to take her protector Kyle's word as much as she does. And as the net closes, as Sarah's dependence on those around her slowly - irretrievably - deteriorates, we're witnessing character development in its purest form. The final showdown, where a human woman is chased around a factory floor by a crawling puppet, is by far the most genuinely tense piece of cinema I've witnessed this year.
The Terminator is proof that as cranky as it is, the old tech is often the best.
If you can, do.
This should already be in your collection.
It's certainly up there, yes.
With every frame, yes.
'Course there bloody is!.
Arnold Schwarzenegger starred in 2014's The Expendables 3, alongside Harrison 'Solo' Ford..
• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
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