The Terminator (1984) / Sci Fi-Action
MPAA Rated: R for strong, graphic violence, language, and a scene of sexuality/nudity
Running time: 108 min.
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn, Paul Winfield, Lance Henriksen, Bess Motta, Earl Boen, Rick Rossovich, Dick Miller (cameo), Bill Paxton (cameo)
Director: James Cameron
Screenplay: James Cameron, Gale Anne Hurd
Review published September 25, 1996
A killer cyborg (Schwarzenegger, Conan the Destroyer) is sent back to 1984 to assassinate the mother (Hamilton, Dante's Peak) of a resistance leader of the future. A soldier of that resistance (Biehn, Aliens) is also sent back to protect her from harm, but the cyborg is virtually unstoppable in its mission.
My personal pick for the greatest sci-fi action film ever made. The Terminator impresses on every level. A terrifically conceived story, flawless direction, believable acting, and action as relentless as the Terminator himself. It's also one of the most influential sci-fi films ever, with a man vs. computer theme that still rings true today. Terrific special effects despite the modest budget, and not a frame of film wasted in this film that hopefully will one day be recognized for the masterpiece that it is.
-- Followed by Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003), Terminator Salvation (2009), and Terminator Genisys (2015). Also followed by a TV series, "The Sarah Connor Chronicles" (2008)
©1996 Vince Leo