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The Terminator - Movie Review

The first 'Terminator' film was a landmark in action movies. The movie, made with a low-budget, featured a lesser-known Schwarzenegger (who's only big role was 'Conan the Barbarian) back then as the film's villain and newbie director James Cameron. It's a surprise to see how the film's thrill holds up to now, equipped with a very effective performance by Schwarzenegger and classic 80s action fare. 
The year is 2029, the human race is wiped out and machines ruled the Earth. A team of resistance, led by John Connor, is at war with these machines called terminators to reclaim what was once theirs. Two robots was sent back to 1984 to Connor's mother Sarah. One (Scwarzenegger) was tasked to kill her to permanently erase John from being made, and the other (Michael Biehn) to prevent it from happening. And a game of cat-and-mouse chase ensues.
James Cameron shows skillfully how to blend terror and excitement. The picture moves fast, so he doesn't have much time to establish elements of horror, but he is adept at throwing something into the frame – such as the prominent window behind Linda Hamilton – to introduce a little note of uncertainty and danger. 
The movie looks neat despite its relatively low budget for the era and genre. They have really gone to town on all the tropes of the 80s action movie. Very often of course it is hiding the clunkiness of the special effects, which are strictly old-school. Personally I love the movie's pre-CGI charm. This really was a golden age for animatronics, even as they were becoming obsolete.

Acting fares from typical sci-fi par to some impressive performances, and most of the main characters do surprisingly well-Biehn, Hamilton, and Schwarzenegger. Lance Henrikson has a small but worthwhile role. Most of the lesser performances come from smaller characters, but the world James Cameron has painted is so well conceived and so inviting that unless everything from production on down stunk, you'll forgive it. 
Overall, 'The Terminator' is one of those unforgettable masterpieces that will always be admired for how it stunned us. Cameron managed to create such a tense and passionate movie is, but it's not as good enough to what follows next.

The geek rates it 8/10!

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