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USA 1984
Directed by
James Cameron
108 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3.5 stars

The Terminator

Co-writer/director James Cameron’s The Terminator is a benchmark action/sci-fi film with Arnold Schwarzenegger in his most famous role as the cyborg sent from the year 2029 when humanity is locked in a war with intelligent machines. His mission is to terminate a seemingly innocent woman (Linda Hamilton) whose unborn son will lead humanity in that war while a soldier (Michael Biehn) his right-hand man, is sent to protect her at all costs.

It’s a simple comic book story and the SFX  are relatively crude but Cameron realizes it with exceptional flair, unfolding the story suspensefully and indulging in the kind of gleefully over-the-top violence that would become de rigeur action blockbusters evermore.

This is the movie in which Arnie utters the classic line "I'll be back" (it was originally scripted as "I'll come back"), which he was in the superior sequel Terminator 2: Judgement Day.

FYI: Cameron's co-writer, Gale Anne Hurd would become his wife, as would, eventually,  Linda Hamilton (with Kathryn Bigelow in between).  Science fiction author Harlan Ellison won a court case, claiming that Cameron’s film borrowed heavily from two of his Outer Limits teleplays, "Soldier", about two time-traveling soldiers who end up in 1964, where they fight to the death and "Demon With A Glass Hand", about a time-traveling robot that looks like a man.




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