Canadian-born director, producer, and writer James Cameron has directed 13-movies to date with a total worldwide box office estimated at more than 6.2-billion United States Dollars by The Numbers, a website established to project and ultimately track movie sales and box office revenue in a systematic way. Cameron won Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Film Editing Oscars for Titanic (1997), a film that does not appear in the Matt Lynn Digital listing of Top 20 Movies.
The sole James Cameron movie to break into the Top 20 listing is The Terminator (1984), a film that stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, and Linda Hamilton. As actors, each is known for this movie franchise more than any other, though Schwarzenegger had success before and after that eclipsed that of the other two. The Terminator also is the movie that brought Cameron the prominence that would allow for Avatar (2009), Titanic (1997), and Aliens (1986).
As articulated in the Internet Movie Database summary, The Terminator offers an original premise of time travel, a nebulous cause and effect premise that works for this film, and a science-fiction premise with intrigue that allowed an entry into a sequel that makes for a dynamic two-movie punch.
As pertains strictly to The Terminator, you get:
A seemingly indestructible humanoid cyborg is sent from 2029 to 1984 to assassinate a waitress, whose unborn son will lead humanity in a war against the machines, while a soldier from that war is sent to protect her at all costs.
As indicated above, the movie takes place mainly in 1984 … in the city of Los Angeles. Schwarzenegger is a cyborg assassin called a “Terminator,” and his mission is to prevent the birth of human resistance fighter John Connor from ever being born. His mission in accomplishing that outcome is to kill Sarah Connor (played by Linda Hamilton), though the Terminator does not know which Sarah Connor of Los Angeles will become John Connor’s mother.
Soon after The Terminator arrives, Kyle Reese (played by Michael Biehn) arrives to carry out a mission of his own on behalf of humanity. Reese gets to the ever important Sarah Connor moments before the cyborg intent on killing her, and a pursuit ensues that ultimately carries the viewer through 1-hour and 47-minutes of exciting movie.
The Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus tells us that The Terminator is an influence for both Science Fiction and Action movies alike:
With its impressive action sequences, taut economic direction, and relentlessly fast pace, it’s clear why The Terminator continues to be an influence on sci-fi and action flicks.
In 2008, The Terminator was selected for preservation by the Library of Congress in the National Film Registry. If action, loud noises, good pacing, and a pop-culture line to rival many a line isn’t enough for you, then maybe these reviews aren’t for you. However, there is a chance after this review that “[You’ll] be back.”
Matt – Monday, January 30, 2017