ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Film Review: The Terminator

Updated on December 31, 2015
Film Frenzy profile image

Written by: Jason Wheeler, Film Frenzy Senior Writer & Editor.

Background

In 1984, James Cameron released The Terminator, based off a nightmare he had where a robot hitman was sent to kill him. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, Linda Hamilton, Paul Winfield, Lance Henriksen, Earl Boen, Bess Motta, and Rick Rossovich, with appearances by Bill Paxton and Franco Columbu, the film grossed $78.4 million at the box office. Ranked 42 on the American Film Institute’s top 100 Thrills list, the film won the Saturn Awards for Best Science Fiction Film, Best Makeup and Best Writing.

Synopsis

When two men emerge from electrical storms, one stays low and out of sight and the other starts killing women named Sarah Connor. Meanwhile, a diner waitress also named Sarah Connor hears about the killings and begins worrying that she’s next. And then they both find her.

Review

The Terminator is one of those films that remain great throughout the years, withstanding the test of time. At its core, the film is more of a suspenseful monster thriller rather the pure action movies that came after it and its sequel, where the titular cyborg is the monster. Not only can practically nothing stop it from coming, with powerful shotgun blasts simply knocking it down and impeding it, but being an unfeeling cyborg, it doesn’t even change expression, even when it takes a scalpel to its eye and arm. Further, it rarely speaks, providing an atmosphere of dread that when it does open its mouth, something bad is on its way, like a car through the front door or a punk getting killed. And as stated, it doesn’t stop coming, even with the amount of punishment it gets. Rather, it becomes more and more frightening as it is stripped down to its metal corpse. And while it was getting weaker, including walking with a limp and being reduced to a torso, it was still suspenseful because Sarah and Kyle kept getting hurt too. It showed that while they could do things to affect the Terminator, it could still kill them at any moment. Even then, the only way it was defeated was by being crushed by a hydraulic press, not any of the weapons that Sarah or Kyle had wielded.

And with Sarah activating said hydraulic press, where she delivers a one-liner, it shows just how much character development she went through. At the outset, she’s a meek waitress dating a complete jerk who doesn’t respect her and by being thrust into the plot against her will and coming to believe Kyle’s story due to the events at the police station, she grows to become a survivor. And unlike other films, her romance with Kyle feels natural because of that scene and her coming to trust him, that and the Florence Nightingale Effect where she notices his gunshot wound and bandages his arm. And what follows is a sex scene that isn’t simply added for simple titillation, but is actually the most plot-critical sex that has ever been in film.

It’s also interesting to note that even though she becomes a survivor, she’s clearly broken, making it realistic as something so traumatizing would clearly have an effect on someone’s psyche. She’s so emotionally and psychologically wrecked that she can’t even touch the dead Terminator’s arm.

The film also has some well-thought out moments that provide a bit of realism, or as much as a film that involves a killer cyborg from the future can have. Most of them are by the police who actually respond to events that happen in a way that paints the cops as not being incompetent. For one, when they receive death certificates from the first two kills they put out a bulletin to warn anyone else with the name and keep officers on the lines in case any call in. And then there’s when the correct Sarah is in the police station and the Terminator comes calling. They open a crate of M16s and create a wall of guns. They’re not useless and would actually have made the film incredibly short had this been the standard slasher scenario that they believed themselves to be in rather than having been up against an implacable cyborg from the future.

5 stars for The Terminator

the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent WNI's positions, strategies or opinions.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)