The Terminator

The Terminator ★★★★

I’m one of those weirdos that actually might think this is a better film than T2. I love how small scale it is, how it plays more like a slasher film than a traditional action movie. And the effects (which still mostly look good and were pretty groundbreaking for the time) have this undeniable low budget charm. The plot is so streamlined, us rarely receiving straight-up expositions dumps (and if we do they’re during already intense sequences so it hardly slows the thing down). The performances are all solid, the standout being Linda Hamilton in her turn from traditional “final girl” to hero. And the mere idea of the movie is just so simple yet so clever. This is James Cameron in his second movie and somehow already at the top of his game. 

If this movie has any flaws, it would be that the relationship between Sarah and Kyle is maybe a bit underplayed. And the future sequences could maybe do with a little trimming down, as they are overall pretty inconsequential to the story (beyond just showing us how desolate the future has become). But these are tiny things. And the movie more than makes up for them with the sheer amount of iconic scenes and fun ideas packed into the rest of it.

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