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The Terminator (1984)

Visitor Comments

Re: Terminator, The (1984)
Added by Chris (email) on 2003-07-17 17:59:10

I just read the review by John Ulmer and I must say it is very well done, however, I think I did find a plot hole and I was wondering if you could help me out. In the future, which is truly the present, John Connor leads the resistance to the machines. So the machines send a Terminator back in time to kill his would be mother, in response to this John sends back a human to protect her, who is ultimatly John's father. So think about this, if John Connor exsisted in the year 2029, but wasnt concieved without someone time traveling back to 1984 to concieve him, how would he have exsisted in the past to exsist in the future, and more than that, if he wasnt concieved in 84, why would the machines send the terminator back to kill him, because if you think about it, if the machines had sent nothing back in time, then neither would the humans, and john Connor would not have never been concieved....Ultimatly what I am suggesting, if the machines didnt send back a terminator to kill someone who doesnt exsist, and wouldn not have exsisted unless they sent one back, then why would they send anything back to kill a ficticious character.So I am saying John Connor could never have truly exsited because the movie suggests that for the past to happen the future would have had to happen already, and that doesnt make sense, thats it, thats what I think could be a plot hole, help me out if I am wrong please, thanks.

Re: Terminator, The (1984)
Added by John Ulmer (email, web) on 2003-07-21 14:40:52

That's the whole point of this movie, it makes you think. It's like the time parodoxes in "Back to the Future" and such films--don't think too hard about them, just have fun watching them.

Re: Terminator, The (1984)
Added by Harry   on 2004-02-22 22:15:49

are you sure he didnt rip it off from roger ebert?

Re: Terminator, The (1984)
Added by Jesse Janssen (email, web) on 2004-03-04 01:28:46

"The Terminator" is one of my favorite movies of all time. Arnold is great because he never at one second was unconvincing as a machine. Every word he spoke, every step he took, every ice cold look he gave, he was incredibly robotic. He turned simple lines into classic one-liners. Take, for example, the scene in the police station, where Arnold slowly and mysteriously says "I'll be back." Every time I tell someone "I'll be back", I find myself uttering it in Arnold's/Terminator's voice. There are little things like this that can affect you, things that make "The Terminator" brilliantly acted and scripted. Schwarzenegger is supported by Michael Biehn, who is terrific as Kyle Reese, a battle-hardened, affection-starved warrior from the nightmare future. There is something desperate about Reese in every line that he speaks, "It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or pain, or remorse, or fear, or ANYTHING! And it absolutely WILL NOT STOP. Until you are DEAD." that tells how horrible his life has been and the utter contempt he holds for the machines. We see that he will do anything in his power to bring down The Terminator and save the future from the terror of the machines. Linda Hamilton is great as Sarah Connor, an innocent, naive young woman who has no idea to as to how important her survival is to the human race. We see how unwilling she is to run off with Reese when he first saves her from The Terminator because of how scared she is, "This is a mistake...I didn't do anything!" but how she matures and adapts to her role as The Mother Of The Future Resistence Leader, doing whatever it takes to survive and carry on against the enemy. What truly made this film great, however, was that the director was James Cameron. Cameron didnt let us know that Arnold was actually a machine until the shootout between him and Reese at Tech Noir. Until this point, we had seen what a heartless "thing" he was, but we were left to assume that he was just a well trained, cold-blooded killer, possibly a former Marine or navy SEAL. When he takes a dozen shotgun shells to the chest and gut, and gets up immediately, our suspicions arise that he is something inhuman. Our suspicions are confirmed when we see that his "eyes" are actually an infrafed screen, when he is running after Reese and Sarah. Cameron didn't come out and tell us that Sarah was the ultimate target of The Terminator, that there was a nuclear war which would lead to the rise of the machines, or that it would take every single skill Reese had ever learned to bring The Terminator down. Because Cameron didn't lay everything out on the line at once, "The Terminator" has a type of nonstop tension throughout the entire 108 minutes. This film has an incredible plot/storyline, with great action sequences, great looks at the possibility of such a bleak future - which might make you fear how smart computers are becoming - , and great acting. One of the most important factors in making the story believable was making The Terminator absolutely relentless - twice Cameron fools us into thinking he is dead, but he rises up to pursue and try to exterminate his target yet again. "The Terminator" also makes you think about time travel and develop your own theories about how it works and how it immediately affects future events. Having said that, let me adress the issue of so-called "plot-holes" that various people find in "The Terminator." Someone saying that it has plot-holes is the equivalent of someone saying that all aliens have big eyes, no noses, and green skin. I say this because, as far as we know, aliens don't exist. As far as we know, time travel is impossible. Therefore, there are no plot-holes in "The Terminator" because we have no idea how one does travel through time or how soon events changed in the past would affect the future. It is all in theory. There are many interesting theories about time travel, from the idea in "Back To The Future" that events changed in the past immediately affect the future, to "Dragonball Z", where changing events in the past creates an alternate timeline. But, at least so far, there is no way to say that any theory about time travel is inaccurate. Overall, "The Terminator" is dark, thrilling, and makes you think. It is rare to find such a film that combines these elements with a terrific storyline and great acting. It is one of the greatest films of all time.

Re: Terminator, The (1984)
Added by John Ulmer   on 2004-03-08 08:36:30

Janssen: I agree.

Harry: get lost.

The Terminator
Added by FOA   on 2004-12-17 03:47:43

I think in all the over-elaborated garble that has been spilt on these pages - you forgot one crucial element - the Fiedel soundtrack. Wouldnt be the same movie without it. And although Arney IS Terminator. I think it would have been a better film with Lance Hendrickson as the T-800 as originally intended. Or at least very intreaging to imagine - even darker I expect.

Re: Terminator, The (1984)
Added by John   on 2009-04-30 01:21:57

Holy hell, did I *really* attempt to illustrate the logistics of time travel using underscores for a film review of "Terminator"?

If I could go back in time I would kick my 13-year-old self in the head. Hard.

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