An amazingly effective picture that becomes doubly impressive when one considers its small budget.
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Schwarzenegger is presented as a lumbering slab of dumb, destructive strength--the image is more geological than human--and Cameron plays his crushing weightiness against the strangely light, almost graceful violence of the gunplay directed against him. The results have the air of a demented ballet.
A B-movie with flair.
An efficient, cold-blooded sci-fi splatter movie that never makes the mistake of forgetting that on some level it is deeply ridiculous.
The movie's scares are intense, but the notion that the Terminator would move on to politics is even more frightening.
Director James Cameron and producer Gale Anne Hurd (both of whom co-wrote the script) demonstrate their storytelling virtuosity.
Plenty of tech-noir savvy to keep infidels and action fans satisfied.[26 Nov 1984, p. 105]