A cyborg known as the Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is sent from the future in order to stop a war in the future. To do this, the Terminator must kill Sarah Conner (Linda Hamilton), a woman whose son becomes a leader of a rebellion. In order to stop the Terminator, the other side of the future war sends back a man named Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) to assist Sarah. Now Sarah and Kyle must destroy the Terminator before it destroys them.
The first thing that sticks in my mind is the admiration I feel for the writers. They clearly know how to keep their focus on a topic. Lots of films try to cram too much in and it therefore loses focus however this comes at a price since you could argue that the film is too short. I'm not going to disagree but I feel that it let things develop well...okay, a BIT too quickly but that's more down to pacing problems. The focus is great but it's at war with the film's pacing.
Arnold Schwarzenegger gives one of is best performances in this film. While he may be enjoyable in films where he's shouting gibberish or is being delightfully hammy, he really excels at playing an emotionless robot. His intimidating look helps drive this point. The other actors also do a good job and create characters who get the job done. Sure, their performances aren't exactly memorable but they certainly personify the emotion of a situation well.
The Terminator is certainly a game changer for the sci-fi genre that also mixes a bit of horror too (stop frame animation is 100% scarier than CGI any day). The writing is pretty good due to it's focus and also the characters that are created (that's also helped by some good acting). I guess the biggest problem is the pacing as it goes by waaay to quickly.
It keeps it's focus and also makes so great characters. Arnie is at his best but the pacing makes things feel to quick.