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THE TERMINATOR (1984)
Director James Cameron's, THE TERMINATOR, is a fun, almost flawless Sci-Fi action thriller.
Promotional Line: "It absolutely
will not stop, ever, until you are dead."
In a sinister effort to change their future, the nasty, evil robotic rulers of the planet earth of 2029, who are fighting freedom fighters in a civil war, come up with an insidious plan to send a robotic assassin, T-800, back in time, to 1984, Los Angeles, and kill the mother, Sarah Conner (Linda Hamilton), of the leader of these freedom fighters. The assassin sent back to try to do the evil deed, was a programmed soldier robot, a cyborg, that is incapable of feeling pain, fear or pity. This makes him capable of calmly killing anyone who gets in his way, with no hesitation or regret, all which adds to the terror and suspense of this screenplay.
However, the freedom fighters get wind of it, and send their own man, Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) to foil this dastardly plan.
This dynamite screenplay, by the talented James Cameron Gale Hurd, and William Wisher Jr. is one of the most terrifying, intense action films. This screenplay is brilliantly efficient, tightly put together, with no wasted time. The three main characters are clearly defined, the storyline is carefully developed. At first, the audience is kept guessing who is the bad guy, and becomes aware only as the story develops. The tension is relentless, and by the end of the film many people had the tendency to check around doors to see if a robot lays in wait.
At the time of the film's original release, some critics noted the story's similarity to a Classic "Outer Limits" episode, "The Soldier," which was written by a SF writer, Harlan Ellison. Cameron and Ellison later came to a settlement on the matter.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is perfectly cast as a
robotic killing machine. Seeing him in this role, it's hard to
imagine anyone else being as good. He is convincing as his character
goes through the telephone book, killing every Sarah Conner listed,
as he continues to find the right one. Or, another favorite action
scene is when he systematically, and calmly shoots police officers
at the police station, as he continues the search for Sara and
The concluding fight for survival that takes place in a factory, which has the audience biting their nails, and sitting on the edge of their seats. It takes some inventive maneuvers by our heroes to battle against this killing machine, that can come back to life.
"The Terminator" is a classic, that is recommended for fans of both science fiction and action genre films.
Rated R for violence.