The Terminator 1984 *****

The ‘dirty space’ imagined by George Lucas gave way to the ‘dirty future’ of James Cameron when The Terminator moved the cause of big-screen sci-fi up several notches in 1984. Freely borrowing from the ideas of Harlan Ellison, Cameron envisaged a horrific post-nuclear future with men and machines at war; sent back to the present day are the Terminator itself (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and soldier Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn), with the future of saviour John Connor hanging in the balance. With John Connor yet to be born, attention focuses on Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), who is ill equipped for the carnage that ensues. Making full use of the neon-lit LA of 1984, Cameron’s film is a relentless juggernaut of invention, a construction over al abyss of illogicality that makes something physical and fresh from sci-fi clichés.


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