The Terminator – He’ll Be Back
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‘The Terminator’ 1984 – Review
It is no exaggeration to say that the Terminator is by all means a unique film. A rare example of the plot, directing, acting and cinematography – all lined up in a perfect harmony. But above all, the uniqueness of the Terminator is in the universality of the main character. Terminator, in fact, is the ideal movie hero. The machine combines all the necessary features for being and ideal action movie character.
Terminator as a real action hero. Moving towards the goal, he does not distract the viewer with such trifles as love scenes, psychological experiences and sufferings, and other nonsense.
Terminator as a dramatic character. His drama is in the hypertrophied sense of duty. And if in the first part of the movie (1984) his self-sacrifice can be attributed to the unreflecting incogitant implementation of the program, in the second movie (Terminator 2: Judgment Day) it is a real moral choice.
Terminator as an intellectual hero . He is laconic. But if he opens his mouth, then rest assured – a phrase articulated is worth to be cut in stone and quoted in ages.
Terminator as a self-ironic character . He is a stranger in this world, so he sometimes gets in ambiguous situations.
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In addition, the Terminator has all the necessary features of a true macho, which contributes to his popularity among female audiences.
Add the brutal charm of Arnold Schwarzenegger to all the above-mentioned – and get a character with a unique appeal of chrome metal. Not surprisingly, the audience identifies itself with the grim villain Terminator, and not with the hero played by Michael Biehn. “I think people are sympathetic to him because everyone has a little quivering demon sitting in the subconscious, which you would like to turn into for a minute or two to go to your boss and slap the door open with your foot,” – that’s how Schwarzenegger explained the phenomenon. By the way, the Terminator part is generally considered to be the best role of Arnold. Moreover, today with full confidence we can argue that Schwarzenegger is an actor of one role – the role of the cyber-killer.
“Terminator” has become a launching pad not only to James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Linda Hamilton, the leading female part, has also been receiving more visible parts since the Terminator movie. Adam Greenberg, who was little known before the “Terminator”, is now one of the most respected (multiple “Oscar” prize-winner) and paid cameramen in the world. Also discovered by the “Terminator” movie became a little-known composer Brad Fiedel, who wrote a truly original, mechanical-futuristic music, which became a fully fledged part of the image of Terminator.
But do not forget that the “Terminator” is first and foremost the child of James Cameron. He wrote the original script. Spent a lot of time and effort to get the project moving, to interest “Hemdale” studio in his story (and it was not easy: many of the major film studios immediately rejected such a crazy project), got the necessary budget, found suitable actors. Cameron, a staunch perfectionist, completely controlled the whole shooting process. That’s why this movie is so integrated and harmonious. Cameron managed to achieve perfect editing, so that the Terminator movie is still quoted as an action movie standard.
Curiously, the Terminator was a low-budget movie which turned out to be a box-office hit. At roughly $6.5 million, the film went on to gross more than $78 million worldwide. Cameron previously worked in the studio of Roger Corman and learned from the cheap movie guru how to make movies out of nothing. Every cent has been spent wisely. The modest but tastefully done special effects do not dominate the subject, but only slightly back it, which in no way detracts from the movie’s eye-catching entertainment.
Visual sequence of the movie is also perfect. Not trying to shake the viewer with impressive images of future or colorful action scenes (the first part of the “Terminator” in general is strictly minimalist), the director, shot by shot, weaves bleak atmosphere of despair, making the audience forget about the popcorn.
Moreover, Cameron has made the impossible – shot a sequel, which is nothing inferior to the original (and in terms of visual effects, even surpasses the original). Fantastic special effects used by the director in the second part of the “Terminator”, with full confidence can be called revolutionary. Once again, Cameron has proved himself to be the true professional, with a fine sense of proportion and style. He just knew what he (and the spectators) wants to see in the picture. Therefore, despite the huge budget (90 million dollars) and an abundance of special effects intrinsically related to the subject plot, there’s nothing extra or over-the-head in his movie – not a single meaningless frame, not a single unnecessary scene. All the special effects in his film are subject to a plot, rather than vice versa.
Needless to say, with what enthusiasm I was looking forward to get my eyes on the third Terminator movie. But hearing that Cameron has voluntarily left out of the project, that he had not only abandoned the directing chair, but also will not take part in writing the script, I’d prefer that the Terminator was left to be a dilogy. You cannot become a Terminator. You should be born a Terminator.
Terminator (1984) International Release Trailer
1980’s – times of pure action movies and real action heroes.