The Terminator Screen 4 articles

The Terminator

1984

The Terminator Poster
  • As science fiction with a time-travel and alternate-worlds premise, “The Terminator” is the start of something interesting that it never engages or develops—and that’s because the movie is conceived and realized not as a science-fiction film but as an action film. “The Terminator” blows itself up to distorted proportions, leaving its basic, central, crucial, and finest inspirations far behind.

  • There’s no place for sentimentality in the universe of "The Terminator," although gallows humor and tenderness are allowed. From the instant that Schwarzenegger’s nude cyborg rips a punk rocker’s heart out, "The Terminator" establishes itself as a relentless. mainly visceral experience that owes less to "Star Wars," "Close Encounters," "E.T." and other then-recent science fiction spectaculars than to the lean and mean horror flicks of Carpenter-Hill.

  • A breathlessly efficient B-movie of choreographed momentum and comic-book-panel compositions, The Terminator showed sci-fi could be as brutal and lean as the starkest pulp; Schwarzenegger’s angular physique would never be put to more perfect use.

  • Were the 1980s the last period when popular Hollywood movies consistently had something to say? A sleeper hit in the aftermath of Ronald Reagan’s 1984 reelection, this dystopian, technophobic time-travel crash-fest, shot in a style suggestive of Jack Kirby’s comic books, made James Cameron’s career, boosted Arnold Schwarzenegger’s, and more than holds its own against the current crop of digitally-enhanced superhero films.

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