Terminator, The

The Terminator
Come with me if you want to live.

"Listen. And understand. That terminator is out there. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead."

In writer/director James Cameron's, "The Terminator," Arnold Schwarzenegger plays the titular character - an unstoppable cyborg assassin who has been sent back from the year 2029. In the future, a race of artificially intelligent computer-controlled machines have risen from the ashes of a nuclear apocalypse and waged war on mankind.

Their war to exterminate the human race had raged for decades, but the final battle will not be fought in the future. This race of machines has sent the Terminator back in time to 1984, where its mission is to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) - whose future son will lead a resistance against the machines.

Luckily, those pesky self-aware machines aren't the only ones who can time travel. To counteract the Terminator's assassination attempt, the human resistance has sent back Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) to protect Sarah Connor at all costs.

The film is a suspenseful, adrenaline-charged pursuit, placing the unassuming Sarah Connor in the middle of an epic battle between man and machine. The cybernetic Terminator is a metal endoskeleton covered with living human tissue, disguising its true form from Sarah Connor and her fellow inhabitants of 1984.

The Terminator systematically tracks down Sarah Connor. He obtains clothing to blend in, makes a stop by a local gunstore to accumulate weapons and ammo. Next he acquires a phonebook and finds listings for every Sarah Connor in the area. With his mission in hand, and a list of possible locations, the Terminator murders each Sarah one by one in search of his target.

Before the machine can accomplish its mission, Kyle arrives in the nick of time to rescue ‘the' Sarah Connor. After a shootout at a nightclub, Kyle explains the whole story to Sarah. It is clear that Sarah Connor must live - the future depends on her survival.

Kyle and Sarah must always stay one step ahead of the deadly Terminator as it moves with unyielding, cold determination and zero conscience. It's the ultimate struggle of good versus evil, with few shades of gray in between. Arnold Schwarzenegger is pitch-perfect as the merciless inhuman murderer, thanks in part mainly to his lacking acting abilities. His spoken lines, which are few and far between, give a great feeling of precision, emptiness and inhumanity to his cybernetic character.

Michael Biehn plays the tough guy soldier with ease, a role he would later reprise in Cameron's 1986 action flick, "Aliens." Throughout the film you pull for Kyle Reese and he protects Sarah. His sheer humanity against an uncompromising, heartless monster shows his courage and bravery - he's just one tough hombre.

The film was also extremely low budget, even for the ‘80s. "The Terminator" was made for roughly $6.5 million dollars and went on to gross more than $78 million worldwide. It's the film that put writer/director James Cameron on the map and enabled him to make many high-quality films over his long, illustrious career.

"The Terminator" is compelling science fiction, filled with themes about fate, destiny and mankind's ability to overcome. Surely you've since this film referenced and parodied in multiple mediums since its debut in '84 - but if you haven't seen this classic flick, then you're truly missing out on one of the best sci-fi films of all time.

Reviewed by: adam