Show Me the Romance

No cherubs. No doilies. No crap.

Movie Review: The Terminator (1984)

The Terminator
Movie (108  minutes)
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, and Michael Biehn

You know those action movies that shoehorn a romance between the gunshots as an excuse to put a little TNA into the TNT? This classic from James Cameron isn’t one of them. I saw this movie for the first time a few months ago, and for those of you who tend to forgo action movies because they’re all brawn and no heart, do yourself a favor and go back to this one. The characters and the romance stayed with me for days. I’m not even exaggerating. I read all the wiki pages and and when that didn’t satisfy me, I hit the fan fiction pages. It was that good.

The Premise

In the year 2029, a desperate group of humanity’s survivors defeat the machines who tried to annihilate them. The machines send a cyborg killer back in time to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor, the young woman who will one day give birth to the human leader. Sarah’s–and humanity’s–only hope rests on the shoulders of Kyle Reese, the man John Connor sends back to stop the Terminator.

The Pain

Sarah (Linda Hamilton) has an unfortunate hairstyle. Um…Kyle (Michael Biehn) looks weird in some frames? What else…I’m trying here. Oh! The time travel continuum stuff is a little hard to wrap your head around. They do a decent job of explaining without getting bogged down in the details, but it isn’t perfect.

The Payoff

This is romance at its most raw. Two people looking at each other like no one else exists, daring to love in spite of a bleak future. This is why I love romance. It’s life-affirming and hopeful no matter what cyborg bazooka-wielding beefcake is on the hunt (in this case it’s Arnold, the best of them all).


4 out of 5 arrows

I would give it five except there wasn’t *quite* enough screen time devoted to the particular subject I’m rating. No knock against the movie itself.

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2 thoughts on “Movie Review: The Terminator (1984)

  1. This is pretty much my favorite movie. Since you’re coming from the romantic perspective, you might be interested in a deleted scene from the second movie in which Michael Biehn reprises his role as Kyle Reese during one of Sarah’s dream sequences. It’s not a great scene, but it kind of rounds out the experience.

  2. It’s an awesome movie, even romance aside. I can’t believe I never saw it before this past year. I have seen that scene (we got the DVD from Netflix after I saw this, just to rewatch it, and I suppose they bundled that scene in to the Netflix version). You’re right, it isn’t a great scene, but it was interesting, especially since I knew the backstory. Thanks for commenting!

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