The Terminator (1984)
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The Terminator has long been one of my favourite films and rewatching it on the big screen just a few hours ago, I realized to what extent the film is embedded in my memory. I could remember practically every sequence, every dialogue and every track of Brad Fiedel's unmistakable soundtrack. If that isn't sign of a film's impact, then nothing is.
Although the sequel is admittedly the superior film in many aspects, it possesses a more commercial approach as opposed to the nightmarish atmosphere of The Terminator. Cameron's early films were masterclasses in tension and non-stop action sequences, and he consistently exhibits these qualities throughout the film's numerous set-pieces, which provide a relentless and intense experience with few contemporary equals. Also of note is the fact that unlike Cameron's recent and overbloated works, there's not a single unnecessary moment in the film.
My enjoyment of the film still remains as intact as usual despite the dated special effects and ocassionally clunky acting from the leads. Linda Hamilton's performance, although superior in the sequel, is still very fitting as the innocent and desperate Sarah Connor. Michael Biehn provides a rugged quality to his character and Arnold still remains an undeniably intimidating presence.
The Terminator is a unrelenting action film which will long remain to be among my top films of all time.
This movie holds up well, but not because of its action sequences which are average. Rather, it's the music, the atmosphere, the ideas behind the story, a very good cast with great chemistry between the two main leads, and especially Scwarzenegger in his most iconic role ever. More of a thriller and perhaps less fun than the second and even third movie, but grittier and darker. When it comes to the Terminator character, this is the one I prefer, no comedy, no mercy - just plain badass!
Re-watched it today. Definitely stands the test of time!
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In 23 official lists
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This movie ranks #7 in Total Sci-Fi's The 100 Greatest Sci-Fi Movies
This movie ranks #14 in Marshall Julius's Action! The Action Movie A-Z
This movie ranks #18 in Time Out's The 101 Best Action Movies Ever Made
This movie ranks #22 in IMDb's 1980s Top 50
This movie ranks #29 in IMDb's Sci-Fi Top 50
This movie ranks #42 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Thrills
This movie ranks #43 in IMDb's Action Top 50
This movie ranks #56 in iCheckMovies's Most Checked
This movie ranks #76 in BFI's 100 Science Fiction Films
This movie ranks #96 in FilmTotaal Forum's Top 100
This movie ranks #97 in MovieSense 101
This movie ranks #159 in Reddit Top 250
This movie ranks #218 in IMDb's Top 250
This movie ranks #308 in Empire's The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time
This movie ranks #331 in Emma Beare's 501 Must-See Movies
This movie ranks #519 in Library of Congress's National Film Registry
This movie ranks #540 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films
This movie ranks #685 in Sight & Sound's The Greatest Films of All Time
This movie ranks #718 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
This movie ranks #877 in David Thomson's Have You Seen?
This movie ranks #882 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die
This movie ranks #910 in TSZDT's The 1,000 Greatest Horror Films
This movie ranks #910 in Time Out's 1000 Films to Change Your Life