The Terminator – 1984 – English
Film directed in 1984 by James Cameron, and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn, Paul Winfield, Lance Henriksen, Rick Rossovich, Bess Motta, Earl Boen, Dick Miller, Bill Paxton, Franco Columbu, Brian Thompson, Brad Rearden…
Synopsis: Sent back from a dystopian 2029–where the cold machines have conquered the entire world–to 1984 Los Angeles, the indestructible cyborg-assassin known as the «Terminator» commences his deadly mission to kill humankind’s most important woman: the unsuspecting, Sarah Connor. However, from the same war-torn post-apocalyptic future comes a battle-scarred defender–Kyle Reese, a brave soldier of the human Resistance Army–bent on stopping the cybernetic killer from eliminating the world’s last hope. But, the Terminator has no feelings, he doesn’t sleep, and above all, he won’t stop until he carries out his grim task. Does our future lie in our past?
Review: Is there a better person to play a cyborg than Arnold? For this movie he was a massively built oak tree of a man. His strange accent makes for a perfect callous robotic sounding killing machine. It’s almost like his voice is a computer read out ( which I guess it is in one sense ). Terminator is one of those films that started something huge. People didn’t realize it at the time, but the careers of Arnold, Cameron and perhaps even guys like Micahel Biehn, Lance Henriksen and even Bill Paxton were substantially started because of this film. And Cameron must have liked working with them so much that he gave all of them substantial roles in his next film ( Aliens ).
As we all know what the story is, I’ll just tell you a bit about what is so fascinating about it. First I have to mention Michael Biehn. He has the real starring role. He is the character that has to explain everything to the audience. He has to explain this complicated story so that we know what is happening and why. It is not an easy job to do something like that and still come off looking all right. But Biehn is simply awesome in this film. A microcosm of his performance can be seen when Sara bites him. Biehn ( Kyle Reese ) replies » Terminator’s don’t feel pain. I do. Don’t do that again. » That is such a great line delivered with the perfect expression, the perfect tone and the perfect timing. Biehn is perfect for the role.
This is also the first film that I saw as a youngster that ever warned me of the dangers of nuclear war and of the rapid advancements of machinery. Perhaps I was too young and naive to fully understand all that James Cameron was trying to say, but now that I am older, I can honestly say that the two Terminators are perfect anti nuke films. And they are so passionate with what they have to say. I like it when a film has something to say. I enjoy being entertained in the process but if you can manage both then you have a masterpiece. This is a masterpiece.
Finally. there are two other reasons to enjoy this film. One, this is the first film where «I’ll be back» was spoken. Now it is part of Arnolds vernacular. Secondly, Bill Paxton is in it. And he adds spark to any film that he’s in. Especially here, as the idiot punk leader that really gets the hell beat out of him, he has some great lines.
A great film.