Monday, 16 January 2012

Terminator (5 Stars)

Some films are just so good that they have to be watched over and over again. This is one of them. I think most of my readers will know what it's about, so I won't go into too many details. In the near future the human race will be conquered and enslaved by machines. A leader called John Connor succeeds in rallying humankind against the machines. To prevent this happening the humans send a cyborg, a "Terminator", back in time to kill John Connor's mother before he's born.

This is one of the greatest action films ever made. It has a different style to the sequel, "Terminator 2", which was made seven years later. It's not just the sequel's bigger budget and more impressive special effects. The first film has more of the style of a horror film, an unstoppable monster such as we know from films like "Halloween". In the second film we move into typical science fiction territory. I'm often asked which film I like more, the first or the second. The honest answer is that I don't know. They're both so good, in their different ways, that I can't decide between them. I just checked the list of my 10 favorite films that I posted three months ago and I didn't include "Terminator 2". That was a mistake. I have to redo that list. One day. It's too difficult, I change my mind all the time.

In recent years James Cameron has become more famous for making other films, "Avatar" and "Titanic". Those two films are good, but nowhere near as good as as his two Terminator films. They will stand the test of time and be valued as masterpieces centuries from now.


  1. I'm definitely with you about titanic, but do think for the time it came out it was a true phenomenon and deservedly won Oscars galore. Cameron would never win Oscars for the terminator classics so he got paid his due by going into sentimental territory.

    Terminator is a disturbing film at times. Perhaps the darkest moment is the off screen death of Sarah's mom, and arnie speaking on the phone with the voice of his latest 'collateral damage' victim. Some reviewers at the time likened it to the exploitation films and video nasties that were so prevalent. But of course there is so much more to it.
    Paul Winfield and Lance henrikson are great in support, both being very strong character actors. The 3 main leads are just right as well but are more the movie star variant.
    I always wondered how much of gale Anne hurd's contribution to the script made this film the best written of the franchise.

    1. According to James Cameron, Gale Anne Hurd wrote nothing at all.

      There was something about seeing Arnie on the big screen walking around with his gun. He seemed somehow "cool". He reminded me of Adam Ant (the way he was in the 80's). Does that make sense to you? He looked like an early goth boy.


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