Today I want to talk a bit about The Terminator, one of the classics of sci-fi out there!
I’m in no way an expert about this stuff, I just enjoy it for what it is!
Terminator is one of the franchises that has a strong resonance with my youth, along with similar stuff like Judge Dredd and the like. I do love a good dystopia, and I suppose Terminator is one of the classics of the genre! The first film, from 1984, I only remember in parts (such as the nightclub chase sequence and the hydraulic press), but the second film, of 1991, was really a big thing when I was growing up, and I suppose I was at the sort of age where I was just a little too young to be able to see it, which made it take on a whole new lustre!
The rise of self-aware machines is, I think, a fantastic social commentary on the so-called “progress” of mankind, where we are determined to make ourselves obsolete. At times, it genuinely frustrates me, but as presented in the Terminator franchise, it’s not all that bad, and I can enjoy them for the human-rebellion aspect. Time travel is something that I usually try to stay away from, as it’s so often not done well, but that’s never been an issue for me with this, I suppose because the story is essentially ensuring the future happens as it is supposed to, and not changing it. But anyway.
The first movie is a really awesome piece of theatre. As with a lot of film franchises, Terminator suffers from having such an incredible first film, nothing that follows can really measure up to it. The pacing has, quite rightly, been lauded as being particularly tight, leading to some incredibly tense moments, and the action sequences are phenomenal. And is there anything more freaky than Arnie with no eyebrows?! When I first watched the film as an adult, something that first struck me was how the love story felt a bit tacked-on and, while not false, still a little forced. However, re-watching the film last night, it felt a lot more natural, with a lot of subtlety that I hadn’t picked up on the first time I watched it. It’s also worth mentioning that the soundtrack is just phenomenal, and really helps create the overall ambience of the film.
The second film, for me, doesn’t have the same “classic” feeling, instead becoming a product of its time – the early 90s, when punk had somehow become softened into an acceptable norm, and people are dropping f-bombs like there’s no tomorrow. It feels inferior to the first film when seen in close proximity, but otherwise it’s a pretty good movie, and well worth the watch. The T-1000 stuff was particularly groundbreaking at the time, and even today holds up really well, I think. I suppose the thing that puts me off the most is the fact that the story necessarily involves a lot of kid-time, as Schwarzenegger’s T-800 is sent back in time to protect the young John Connor. It still has a lot of nostalgia, though, and if nothing else, and a lot of fantastic action sequences!
Something else I’d like to mention is the comic 2029-1984, which is one of the best movie tie-in products I’ve ever come across. It’s from Dark Horse Comics, so you know you’re getting some good stuff, and I believe this is the last arc they’ve published. As its name suggests, the comic takes place partly in the post-apocalyptic 2029, and then in 1984, immediately after the first film ends. The story follows Ben, a freedom fighter alongside Kyle in the future, who is sent back to 1984 with his own mission and forms what can honestly be called Terminator 1.5. Something that I really enjoyed was the government’s reaction to Kyle’s interrogation tape, and fun little bits like this make it a real delight to read. I’ve not read any other Terminator comics, though it seems that most of them aren’t worth the time, but this one is a great read, and I can highly recommend it!!
So yeah, such are my thoughts! Stay tuned for more movie ramblings from me in the future, though, as I hope to make this something of a thing!