Tuesday 23 June 2015

Review: The Terminator

World of Blackout Film Review

The Terminator Poster

The Terminator
Cert: 15 / 107 mins / Dir. James Cameron / Trailer
WoB Rating: 7/7

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.
Remember that.

Is this film worth paying £10+ to see?
If you can, do.

Well, I don't like the cinema. Buy it, rent it, or wait for it to be on telly?
This should already be in your collection.

Does this film represent the best work of the leading performer(s)?
It's certainly up there, yes.

Does the film achieve what it sets out to do?
With every frame, yes.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?
Just maybe.

Oh, and is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?
'Course there bloody is!.

…but what's the Star Wars connection?
Arnold Schwarzenegger starred in 2014's The Expendables 3, alongside Harrison 'Solo' Ford..

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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