The Terminator (1984 / 2001 re-release) – movie review

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TERMINATOR (Re-release)

Movie Review by Alice Castle

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton

Director: James Cameron

Prepare yourself for the “I’ll be back” promotional blurb. While Arnie works on script revisions for TERMINATOR 3, the studio who produced the 1984 sci-fi classic has decided to re-release THE TERMINATOR in “glorious” digital stereo.

For those of you who don’t know the story or you’ve got confused between Terminator and its sequel of 1991, THE TERMINATOR (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is an indomitable cyborg able to pass itself off as a human being – albeit a human being who has spent at least 10 hours a day for the last 20 years working out in a gym. Armed with a very limited vocabulary, the terminating cyborg is travelling back in time from 2029 to destroy waitress Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) – the woman destined to give birth to John Conner the future saviour of the world after the planet is decimated in a nuclear war.

Sarah Connor, unlucky in love with just a pet reptile for comfort, is a refreshing unlikely heroine. We hope our future is safe in her womb. Sarah is joined by Reece (Michael Biehn) a resistance fighter from the future who has sent himself back in time to try and protect her. Suspicious of Reece at first, Sarah finds herself falling in love with her protector from the future. I’m sure the oedipal connection has been discussed ad infinitum by physics students and sci-fi fans all over the world for the past 17 years!

I was 14 years old when THE TERMINATOR was released – too young to experience it on the big screen. But the hype filtered down from the big boys and those who had their growth spurt early enough to be able to blag their way into R Rated (18 certificate) films.

For those sci-fi fans who have never seen it at a cinema it’s a must-see. The special effects are still remarkably impressive (I’m sure they launched the mid 80s laser quest centres in the suburbs phenomenon), the gore is wincingly gruesome, and as 80s fashion is back in style even the clothes look alarmingly trendy again. I don’t suppose Valley Rock will become retro again thank goodness.

As for the immortal words “I’ll be back” I don’t think THE TERMINATOR with all its celluloid imitators has ever really gone away.

The release of the film will be accompanied in the UK with a double DVD including features, deleted scenes and commentaries.

5 out of 6 stars