Monday, December 31, 2018

The Terminator

Movie Name: The Terminator
Year of Release: 1984
Director: James Cameron
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, Linda Hamilton, Paul Winfield, Lance Henriksen, Rick Rossovich, Bess Motta, Earl Boen, Dick Miller
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 8 
Watch it on Amazon

Synopsis and Review:
Director James Cameron started his career working with Roger Corman, and had an opportunity to direct the sequel to Joe Dante's "Piranha", with "Piranha II: The Spawning" in 1981, which he directed with assistance of other professionals. "The Terminator" was his first solo directorial assignment and the first collaboration with star Arnold Schwarzenegger, then making a name for himself after John Milius' "Conan the Barbarian". The film follows the story of Sarah Connor, a waitress living in LA, who suddenly finds herself as the target of a seemingly unstoppable man, intent on killing her. In her defense comes Kyle Reese, a young man who reveals that he is from the future, as is the man trying to kill her, whom he reveals to be an actual machine, going by the name of Terminator. Sarah and Kyle have to resort to their intelligence and wit to escape the persistent Terminator.
James Cameron was able right from the start, to understand that action films only resonate with audiences if there are actual characters to care for. "The Terminator" is able to draw the central characters quickly, and establish their motivations and their arc. Sarah, Kyle and the Terminator, all have very clear goals/motivations, and though their backgrounds are economically exposed, it makes them all compelling enough for the audience to embark on their journey. "The Terminator" is a B-Movie at its core, with a dash of futurism incorporated, and it's a testament to the capabilities of the director/co-writer, that the results influenced so many films that came out in the 80s (and afterwards), specifically on post-apocalyptic films. The actors are all solid in their roles, even if none of them are very memorable, but they all went on to bigger ventures after this, where they were able to showcase their versatility and talent. The cinematography from Adam Greenberg was solid, as was the music from Brad Fiedel, which became iconic and associated with this series. An emblematic film from a very talented storyteller.