by Adam Ferenz
1984. Written by James Cameron and Gale Anne Hurd. Directed by James Cameron. Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn and Paul Winfield.
Present day, Los Angeles, 1984. A hulking, naked male figure arrives in a flash of light in an alley, soon followed by another man, slimmer, also nude. The first man proceeds to kill a punk and steal his clothing, before vanishing into the night. The other steals the clothing off a homeless man and slips away from a pursuing police office. Later that day, Sarah Connor, a young waitress, is having a truly miserable day at work. It is about the get a lot worse.
The two men are from the future, where the machines of a defense system have taken control and systemically eradicated the majority of the human population, whose survivors are lead by John Connor, the as-yet-to-be-born son of Sarah, and, as we find out, Kyle, the second man to arrive. John sent Kyle back, to trace his mother and protect her from the Terminator, the first man, a cybernetic being sent to kill her. The Terminator begins by killing two other Sarah Connors, as the data from the future did not specify which Sarah Connor was the mother of the leader of the resistance. Only her name and city, and a year.
As one can expect, Sarah only gradually believes Kyle’s story, while the police never do. Not even after the Terminator upends the precinct, sending Sarah and Kyle once again on the run from the Terminator, who follows them. During the 24 hours they run from the killing machine, they build a small arsenal and make love-thus making their son-before the Terminator locates them. Kyle dies trying to stop the machine, which Sarah finally does, by crushing the construct in a steel press. At the end of the film, she is seen driving into a storm, somewhere in Mexico, a young boy having just snapped the photograph that John had apparently given Kyle in order to properly identify her. (more…)