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The Terminator review
My Summary: Most people know the entire plot so I'll keep this part short. A killing machine arrives from the future from which a nuclear war between humans and machines called Terminators took place. The machines sent one of their terminators to kill the mother of the unborn leader of the human resistance. On the other hand a human was also sent back in time to protect her and the Cat and Mouse game is on. It actually sounds like a pulp story if it wasn't for the relationship between the two human characters.
The Good: The awesome action is something everyone remembers from this film. But how about the tone and atmosphere of the entire film. The atmosphere just feels so incredible as if you've just entered a dark world. I have to be honest, darkness in 80s films are not very convincing when you watch them now. Sure you may have exceptions like Aliens and Batman but most of the movies usually don't convey a dark worldly feeling when you watch them now. This film manages to keep you in a world of pure darkness both literally and figuratively. I used to think The Terminator had elements of a horror film more than an action film but it's all the more reason why this film is so effective. Like Batman, the external world around these characters helps convey the emotional dread and fear of their situation. And let's not forget the theme of the film that is still interesting despite being upgraded in the sequel. Also I got to give it up for James Cameron for finding the perfect role for Arnold to play. Did you know Arnold was initially going to play Kyle Reese? Also Arnold wanted to change the famous "I'll be back" to "I will be back" because he struggled with the pronunciation. Luckily we can thank Cameron for changing both those decisions. I believe the chemistry between Kyle and Sarah is the main reason this film isn't just some B movie action film. The two work off each other very well and their performances were amazing. Sarah Connor is the character you can identify with and Kyle Reese is the bad ass stubborn loud mouth working soldier who will not stop until the mission is complete.
The Bad: The special effects are definitely dated now which is something that most 80s films suffer from. The scene where the terminator cuts his eye out is so recognizably a practical effect that it's actually kind of funny. First time I saw that it scared me when I was 4 or 5 but a few years later I recognized what it was. But in all fairness if you look at what James Cameron had to go through to get this movie made you can empathize with him. The whole plot is actually very generic like I just explained in My Summary which isn't terrible but not very original.
Verdict: A Must see
If you still haven't seen this film you definitely should. You might be a little late but you'll still have a great time. It's more than likely that your friends, family, co-workers, or any one else you know has seen it already. This is an action film with a purpose and has enough thrills to keep you on the edge of your seat. It isn't a masterpiece but it will satisfy most people who love action, science fiction, or even a little romance. There are only a few scenes that are dated in this film and most of it has to do with the budget the film had. It's fast paced, fun, energetic, insightful and all around good time.
Disclaimer: I don't hate all 80s films and I love plenty of them. I like Raging Bull, Platoon, Robocop, The Breakfast Club, Rain man and so on.