7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Dark Angel Review

It’s time to look at a PS2 movie tie-in to a TV series that I never actually got around to watching. It seems like a cool premise though. It’s basically Maximum Ride but taking place in a futuristic setting. I can get behind that. The actual game mixes stealth with the beat em up genre for interesting results. Honestly I think it would have certainly been sufficient to have just been a beat em up, but I suppose the stealth aspects make sense with the actual plot of the game.

So the story follows Max (You won’t be able to forget her name since it is mentioned a few times for every single level) as she wants to rescue the other people who was kidnapped by the I-Corporation and experimented on. Among those were her sisters. Max broke out (In the show I’m guessing) but now she must head back to face her fears once more. Logan helps her from the sidelines as he tries to shut off some security cameras here and there. He’s basically tech support and I suppose he does go into the field once in a while. Can Max really save her family?

One thing to note here is that in the future the government fell apart thanks to some kind of nuclear situation so now corporations run the world. I-Corp is one of those along with a second one that I’m forgetting. Both sides are evil and do experimentation so you have to decide who to root for. In this case we are going after I-Corp, but apparently Max destroyed a good chunk of the other side prior to the game so she has done a good job of taking out any corporation that stands against her.

The gameplay is very straight forward when it comes to combat. You can punch, kick, and throw. Jumping is also useful even if the jump isn’t very high. You can run and then jump+kick to unleash a devastating tackle that will knock any opponent over. This is really useful for when a bunch of enemies are after you as they have no real counter to this. If you don’t mind taking a little while you can bear all of the enemies this way. To prevent you from cheesing the game for each level though, some will have a time limit for which you can beat the enemies. Just keep mixing up your punches and kicks to resist enemy throws and you’ll be okay. Whenever possible I would ignore the stealth option and just barrel into groups of enemies. Some groups I just barely beat with 1 second left, but that’s the kind of intensity that you want to see. Also, I didn’t quite understand the stealth part for a little while since the game never explains it.

Basically if you crouch from behind an enemy and attempt to throw them it will result in a one hit KO. This is really useful if there are a bunch of enemies. You can take them all out one at a time this way. Otherwise if you just attack one then every enemy in the room will rush at you which can be around 6 and they can take a lot of health out of you if you aren’t careful. 2 of the last levels mix this formula up a bit though as stealth isn’t optional. If you are spotted then you are sent back to the very beginning. These levels can be a little on the long side so I can definitely confirm that it’s in your best interest to proceed with caution. A good technique for mixing the enemies up is just randomly jumping and then running off to hide. It will change their current pattern into one that may be easier. Of course it could get harder so proceed with caution.

To help in your stealth missions you are given some stealth gun ammo. This is a one hit KO to any opponent so it’s a good way to cheese these stealth missions. It is a tactical gamble though as you don’t get a whole lot of ammo. I believe you get around 20 shots for the duration of the game or something like that. Use your ammo wisely. I had already spent all of mine before the last big stealth mission, but I’d say that I did a good job of making it last when you consider how many levels there are. You also have other gadgets like a walkie talkie to lure the enemies closer and health packs which are self explanatory. As with many stealth games you just want to make these items really count.

As far as the characters go, we have a good cast here. Max is definitely a great main character. All of her dialogue is basically mocking all of the minions as she beats them up. She certainly isn’t above hitting someone who’s down as we even see that in a cutscene near the end so it isn’t just gameplay mechanics. She’s had a tough past but has definitely gotten past it and turned into a good hero. Logan is all right. I’m not a fan, but I guess he is useful. I can’t say much about the sisters as they don’t appear until near the end, but Beka was cool. She’s probably the best character after Max. She can certainly fight pretty well too.

The graphics look pretty sharp. A good amount of budget probably went into the cutscenes as they are full cinematics so no text cop outs. I mean, you get a text cutscene at the beginning of each level as well, but so long as you get both that isn’t an issue. The visuals are quite nice and I just wish we could have gotten more outdoor levels as towards the end they all feel a little cramped. The game had reasonable variety though. The soundtrack is definitely pretty solid. A little on the generic side, but nonetheless the combat themes were quite fast and really suck you into the moment. It makes the battles more fun.

There is no real replay value here though. There’s no level select and no collectibles to acquire. Basically once you complete the game that is it for your adventure. You have no more reason to play at all. With 22 levels I’d say that this game should last you around 4-5 hours. It will depend on how long some of the tougher levels take you as one took me around an hour before I finally had it beat. It’s no walk in the park and the game’s difficulty is pretty fair. It’s just enough to make you try but not too crazy either.

Overall, Dark Angel is definitely a fun game. The TV show definitely sounds pretty interesting if it’s like that. Max is basically a super soldier after all so that should make for some good action scenes. Hopefully the special effects were on point for that. Considering that I got the game for a few bucks I would say that this was a bargain. If you are looking for a quality action game to get for cheap then this is definitely the one for you. It’s just such a solid action game. Who knows, maybe it’ll get a sequel someday.

Overall 7/10

3 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

True Lies Review

This is of the edited TV-14 version of the film and all thoughts below should be read as such. A review of the uncut version would likely be more negative as edited versions help to address my complaints for a product…typically.
It’s time for another Arnold film and this is one that I definitely hadn’t heard of before. It essentially tries to be a James Bond film and I have to wonder if Cameron has ever seen one. That is one formula that you really don’t want to emulate and this film falls into a lot of the same holes that the Bond films create. True Lies ended up being below average and a film that I would not recommend, but it was decent for the most part. It simply could not recover from its mistakes.

Harry is a double agent who works for a very secret organization. His family does not know about this and they think that he just has a very boring job. His wife knows that Harry is passionate about it though so everything was going well until the Terrorists struck. Harry must now try to stop them even if it may expose his identity and Helen decides to get into an adventure of her own, but this ends up being a bit of a dangerous move. Will she be able to succeed or is she doomed? Those are the main plots of the film.

Let’s dive into the main negative, which crippled the film. That would be Helen’s plot as she essentially decides to abandon her family and practically cheat on Harry as she meets someone who claims to be a secret agent. She stops him after the guy tries to make out with her, but he still succeeded for a little before she stopped him, which was awful. From there, she also accepted a mission to be a hooker and we had a painfully long scene of her dancing for the villain in disguise. It was all just terrible and that scene alone guaranteed that this film would get a negative score. That was just terrible and I don’t think that any film could recover from such a thing.

The Helen subplot was just not necessary and it took quite a while to finish. Harry was also way too mean during those moments as well like when he forced her to take up the mission and do all of those degrading things. He was not a good main character by any stretch of the imagination nor was she a good heroine. She was ready to abandon her family and travel to another country on a whim, that’s just not smart and she also appeared to be very naive.

As for Harry, I’ve already explained how he’s a pretty bad hero. He also flirts with the enemies in classic James Bond style. At least James Bond isn’t married, but Harry is so he really shouldn’t be messing around. He doesn’t actually do anything, but the flirting is still unnecessary. He can accomplish his mission while being stone cold, that’s what the villains do right? He’s a good fighter and typically knows how to beat a group of enemies with a single gun. As an agent, Harry is probably even better than James Bond since 007 managed to lose to a random thief in Skyline while he was at his peak. I don’t think it’s even debatable which agent is more adept at hand to hand combat.

The film’s fairly light toned as it is a mix of comedy and action throughout. There is even a scene where a character drops a gun and the bullets take out about a dozen men. Harry takes care of the rest and he gets an epic one liner as he takes down the leader of the villains. There were no real interesting villains as the main one is very generic. At least the film used him to make the terrorists look rather inept, which is always good and I wouldn’t want him to be likable anyway. One of his foot soldiers is the lady who is around to distract Harry, but she never really gets to try this and just acts to make Helen jealous.

As you can see, most of the characters are pretty bad. Even Harry’s daughter is rather sad as she actually steals money from people and it’s a very unnecessary addition to her character. She is presented to be overly rude and that’s considering that Helen and Harry are already not the greatest of leads. Harry’s partner is the “funny” guy of the group and he gets a ton of burns and one liners, but he also has a number of them that just make him look bad. I definitely didn’t like him either although he’s certainly more charismatic than the other players.

It’s too bad because the film actually started out really well. The opening scene was like a James Bond film, but without going too far and the snow action scene was good. Of course, the first sign that this film was going to take a plunge was when Harry hit two dogs into each other. That was when I knew that the film didn’t really stand a chance and animal violence is always a sign that the film’s writers did not know what to do. It’s just unnecessary and rather sad. I really don’t mind the fact that this film didn’t get a sequel. It would ideally be better than the first film, but that’s still not saying much.

At least, I got to see another meme in the making. When Harry punches the fake agent while they are in the car, I instantly recognized the scene. It was used a lot online back in the day and I always wondered where it came from. Now that I’ve seen that one and the one from the Planet of the Apes, I’ve seen just about all of the big meme/gifs from the olden days. The main one that I’m missing now is the slow clap gif and I may still have scene that film. The actor in it looks familiar at any rate.

This film could not win so it’s good that Cameron already has a good resume with other films. It will be ironic if James Bond comes back to defeat True Lies with its upcoming film and the scary thing is that there is actually a possibility of that. The next James Bond film looks like it could finally be decent and it has more potential than all of the old ones with the exception of Skyfall. Skyfall wasn’t great, but they cut out most of the romance plots that have plagued the series and this one looks to continue that. Of course, Mission Impossible was always a better James Bond than the James Bond films so it’s all a little moot.

Overall, This is an old blockbuster that really couldn’t match up to the newer ones. Arnold and Cameron were around, but they simply couldn’t produce another winner this time. With such a large budget, they should have put more funds towards making the characters more likable. This review actually came across as even more negative than I had planned, but sometimes retrospect can make a film age even worse than you may have guessed. At the moment, it’s hard to think of any real positives. The film was fun during a lot of the moments, which would have to be its only real pro. It’s easy to watch for the most part and the pacing wasn’t bad, but when you have to endure the Helen subplot for well over 20 minutes…it just gets to be a little too much.

Overall 3/10

6 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Terminator Salvation Review

It’s been nearly three years since I first saw this film and it was cool to see that I am still giving it the same score that I gave it all those years ago. It just goes to show that while some films may vary as the years go by, Salvation has managed to hold its place for quite a while. It’s certainly not as thrilling as the first three films and is mainly an information film.

Judgment Day occurred and John simply couldn’t stop it. He is now one of the pivotal figures in the war against the machines, but he is more of a figure head than a leader. He finds out that Skynet is preparing something big so the resistance decides to destroy it once and for all. As both sides get ready, he realizes that Kyle has been kidnapped. If Kyle is destroyed, John may cease to exist and everything will be wrecked. It’s time to get back onto the front lines to save the world and a new character is also running around.

First of all, I still have to question parts of the time loop. Since it seems like time moves linearly in this universe, Kyle’s death shouldn’t really matter. Just like how Skynet can see that its past Terminators fail because they failed in real time, Kyle’s death wouldn’t stop the fact that he already went to the past. How I see it, John would not cease to exist through Sarah’s death because of Kyle’s death. Of course, this is time travel so there are many ways for this to play out.

The main drawback for Salvation is the fact that the plot moves at a very slow pace. It’s simply not as action packed as the other three films and there is never a sense of danger. The heroes are just moving across a world that has essentially been terminated already. They aren’t trying to save the world, they are just trying to end the war once and for all. The film seems to mostly just be trying to emphasize just how tricky this new world is and you’re meant to ponder why humanity lost so easily. It’s not about explosions and epic action like the first three films and it’s just about taking in all of the information.

If you walk into the film assuming that you are going to get an action blockbuster, it will definitely be a disappointment. If you walk in thinking that it will be a slice of futuristic life film, then this will be up your ally. There is really only one action scene and that occurs at the very end of the film as John fights against the T-800. That was a cool fight even if it was a little short and there was not as much actual fighting as you would expect. The film didn’t have the budget to pull off the incredible action scenes that the third film had and it’s safe to say that the T-800 should be able to crush Marcus with ease.

The soundtrack is also rather bare bones next to the other films and there isn’t much of an antagonist. A few bullies appear at one point and Marcus gets to beat them up, proving that he is the ultimate main character. At least, that was the intention. He’s not bad, but he’s not very good either. I liked him more than John Conner, but Marcus never did a good job of explaining his intentions and just seemed to want to fight Skynet. There are some twists about this, but Marcus never really got to develop as a great main character. He was fairly generic and while he did beat John from T2 and T3 and Sarah Conner from film 1, he wasn’t great.

I quickly have to pause and praise one of the things that Salvation did right. As in T3, where we find out that Skynet outsmarted the humans, she does the same thing in this film. Everything that happened was part of her plan and it makes the ending that much more satisfying. It’s safe to say that Skynet is constantly toying with the humans and they shall never be able to defeat her. Machines will always trump man and our arrogance is what created Godzilla according to a trailer for that Kaiju’s film. It was still awesome and the opening of the film felt like a scene out of Resident Evil as there as Terminators everywhere. It is certainly the beginning of the end for the resistance.

Back to the characters, I didn’t care for John Conner all that much. I’m glad that he made the hero call to rescue everyone, but he just came off as a little mean at various points and he seemed to have even less of a recollection as to what happened in T2 and T3. I wanted more references to those films and I feel like he didn’t deliver in that aspect. One of his lines when he told Marcus to get him inside the base also came off very awkwardly and just didn’t work. That was supposed to be one of his big lines as well since it even came again during the climax of the film in a flashback. John simply couldn’t pull this off.

Finally, we have the main heroine. Blair was a decent fighter and she always talked tough even when she was in a tough situation. She was a good character even if she did appear to be trying to start up a romance. Marcus was too tough for that and luckily the plot never went anywhere. She still made the hero call when she helped Marcus out of a jam and proved that she was more loyal than just about anyone else. Kyle is a decently important character I suppose, but he’s unlikable and the actor didn’t do a good job of looking like the guy from the first/5th films. His partner wasn’t great either and that subplot really wasn’t needed in the film at all. It was just there to buy some time.

One of the big positives about this film is that they finally went ahead and toned down the violence a lot. I believe that they did the same for language and all other areas of the film as they finally bumped it down to a PG-13 from the start. That was a really great move on the film’s part and helps to make it a safer experience. If not for a few scenes, it could easily have gotten close to a PG as well, but some of the themes alone would prevent that. As it is, it’s one of the tamer PG-13’s. If we had some more action and good fight scenes, then it could have gone far, that just didn’t happen.

As a Terminator film, this title is fairly bad as it has nothing to do with the franchise. Technically, we are seeing the resistance a little, but you can see why it can basically be discarded and nothing would change. The only thing of importance that we saw is how John got his scar. It reminds me of the Chimera Arc from Hunter X Hunter, which was essentially 7 years of filler or a good chunk of the war arc in Naruto, but at least it still felt like Naruto. This Terminator film didn’t really have any time travel and you can’t really have a film in this series without the T-800.

As a normal film, it is still decently interesting. Who doesn’t like to see a future that has been taken over by robots? If you watch this as a stand alone film, then it may pique your interest a lot more. It just didn’t last too long as a Terminator film and I’m confident that the upcoming one will defeat it unless there is some animal violence to stop it. Salvation is a good film, but it can just be a little dull.

Overall, Terminator Salvation wasn’t very exciting. It has some of the worst camera that I have ever seen in a film as everything looked uninteresting and the pacing was very slow. Marcus was a decent lead though and the concept of robots taking over the world is still fairly fun. I’m glad that Skynet continues to have the last laugh and the humans can never stop her. This film does drastically cut down on the violence and other unnecessary content which also helps it. Technically, it does still beat the first film for me although the first one was more exciting. If you want to watch a good sci-fi film, I recommend checking this one out. Just don’t expect a whole lot of action.

Overall 6/10

7 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Terminator 2: Judgment Day Review

This is of the edited TV-14 version of the film and all thoughts below should be read as such. A review of the uncut version would likely be more negative as edited versions help to address my complaints for a product…typically.
It’s time to look at the sequel to the first Terminator. This was the big film and you could say that this is what really put the franchise on the map. As well received as the first film was, the second would show us what the series could do with a real budget. We could get some more action now and a new villain who may even be stronger than the Terminator! I enjoyed this one more than the first and it got rid of one of my main negatives with the first film.

Sarah may have survived her last ordeal, but she is now being kept in an asylum as the police don’t really believe the fact that she destroyed a Terminator. They just think that it was a random guy with a cool pair of shades who managed to take everyone down. When The Terminator does appear again, Sarah prepared for the end, only to fnid out that he is on her side now along with her son, John Connor. Sarah doesn’t have much time to celebrate this as she decides to destroy Skynet before it is ever created. Can she get past the new Super Terminator from the future?

First off, the film did a good job of being very action packed like the first one. The Terminator shows up and quickly starts to mess his opponents up and then we meet the new and improved Terminator. With two enemies gunning after her, Sarah wouldn’t have stood a chance. Luckily, the first Terminator is on the side of the heroes for now. Like the last film, something is basically always happening and the film keeps up with a quick pace. With the budget improved, the liquid Terminator can really show off his strengths.

Time to talk about one of the plot devices, which I thought was a little iffy. In the first film, Kyle mentions that Skynet sent a Cyborg into the past so the humans countered with him. In this film, we find out that Skynet actually sent two Cyborgs and we used the time loop to our advantage to reprogram the first one and send it after the second. Hmmmm……I don’t think that this adds up too well. I guess you could say that we were able to reverse engineer the Terminator from the arm and chip that survived the first film, but how did the main characters get it? Also, adding in the fact that two Cyborgs were sent just seems like a mild retcon. Reprograming the original Terminator is another iffy part.

Regardless, plot holes rarely hurt films and they are just fun to look at. You can also make the case that they aren’t plot holes and that I just need to refill my Popcorn and continue with the review. Just keep that in mind since in Genysis…..it seems like more time twists are going to occur.

The Terminator is an iconic character and I’ve always known him as a good guy so it’s nice to see him be a protagonist here. He’s still a Cyborg and doesn’t really feel emotions, but he starts to get the hang of them by the end. He seems like a nice guy even when he’s shooting everyone as he is still trying to help John. Deciding not to destroy humans anymore was also a pivotal part of his character development. This film was also where he got his famous sayings and iconic weapons like the Mini Gun. (I love that weapon in just about every shooter. It’s just so good!) He was definitely the best character in the film.

Now, I know that many people consider Ripley Scott to essentially be the ultimate female protagonist of her time. She was tough and knew how to fight. Alien did come out before the Terminator films so it’s a valid reputation although I was never very impressed by her. That being said, I’d say that Sarah is much more impressive than Ripley and especially in the first part of the film as she breaks out from the Asylum and helps the Terminator fight against the new one. (I’ll just call him the T-1000 from here on out) She did start to lose some of her edge in the second half as she panics when trying to destroy Skynet and the dreams overtake her, but by and large, she was a very impressive hero. Not backing down from the T-1000 shows just why I consider her to be in the top 3 female movie protagonists. (Humans only and only counting her depiction from this film. Let’s ignore what happened in the first film)

There are a few dogs around like last time and they manage to stay uninjured. I wanted to quickly reassure all of you that the film didn’t make the big mistake of including animal violence. That would have been quite sad. Unfortunately, John is a very unlikable character and easily one of the worst in the film. Just about every scene where he has a “tough” moment is sad. He is in the rebelling phase and he actually steals money from people to use at the arcade. He’s certainly no hero and I can see why the Resistance is getting blasted by the Terminators. The film tries to push the argument that the humans will win and the Terminators are scared, but I can’t picture the humans winning. They simply don’t have what it takes at this point.

As for the T-1000, he’s a good villain. He starts to show some mild emotion at the very end like when he shakes his finger at Sarah, but for the most part he is not very emotional. His liquid metal abilities make him quite the threat and it’s safe to say that The Terminator doesn’t stand much of a chance against him in a fist fight. The original Terminator does seem to physically be stronger than the T-1000 though and he was winning in pure fisticuffs until the T-1000 started to use his Liquid Abilities. With them, he is very hard to destroy and his regeneration is also impressive. He made for a very good villain and it’s going to be tough for the future films to top him.

The soundtrack is excellent and I would expect nothing less from the Terminator series. As much as I enjoyed the music in the first film, this one managed to top it. A lot of the themes are very epic and make you feel the intensity of the scene. The iconic main theme is also very pronounced here and I can see why it is still remembered today. A good soundtrack really makes all the difference in a film and Terminator 2 certainly did a good job with it.

One of the things that holds the film back a little is still the fact that it can be pretty violent at times. Thanks to me seeing the edited version, it wasn’t too bad. Usually, the screen would cut away when a character got stabbed so while you can tell how the character was destroyed, it’s not brought to the screen’s view too often although you can usually see the corpse in the background as a quiet shock moment. Naturally, the film could have certainly trimmed the violence down without affecting the story and the film could have easily been PG-13 level if they really tried although I’m not sure if the rating was around back then.

There was one scene that nearly made me take away a star though. To show that the Asylum is not a safe place, we get a scene where the guy in charge of guarding the prisoners is actually a psycho himself. The scene literally has no point to it and it just serves to show us that there are always shady characters around. It was still a pretty distasteful scene though and nearly brought the film down. Had it gone any further than what was shown, I certainly would have had to cripple the score a little more. Luckily, it never went that far.

I did actually feel bad for the two guys who tried to help John when they thought that the Terminator was about to attack him. They came to help only to get some broken bones out of the ordeal when John thought that it would be funny to inflict a little pain. Once again, John proved that he was definitely not a very heroic protagonist and someone that you couldn’t root for. I can only hope that he is better in Terminator 3.

The best scene in the film is probably when the Terminator meets up with the T-1000 in the Asylum as the heroes finally manage to find Sarah. That’s where the film really got interesting and the death race got going. That’s the kind of moment that I hope to see in Batman vs Superman or in the Infinity War. Two big characters finally meeting up and the other characters as witnesses. That scene will definitely be remembered as a classic.

Overall, Terminator 2 was a worthy successor to the first film. It’s really going to be tough to top this installment as we had a great villain and good heroes in Sarah and the Terminator. John was a really bad character, but at least he wasn’t too integral to the plot so it was easy to ignore him. The sci-fi elements are always fun to watch and the opening scene with the future really showed off just what the series could do with a big budget. I definitely want to see more of the future soon since that plot looks super interesting. In Florida, they had a ride where a great part of the movie inside took place in the future. Something like that would make for a great film. There may be a few plot points that I found iffy, but you can safely jot it down to the time travel aspect. I definitely recommend this if you saw the first Terminator film and if you’re looking for an intense time travel film, this is what you’re looking for.

Overall 7/10

5 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

The Terminator Review

This is of the edited TV-14 version of the film and all thoughts below should be read as such. A review of the uncut version would likely be more negative as edited versions help to address my complaints for a product…typically.
All right, it’s time to take a look at one of the cinematic legends! The Terminator is a film that many people grew up with and it has quite the reputation. I’ve now seen most if not all of the great film classics like Jaws, Alien, and Twister. Most of the iconic legends were fun to watch, but still crumpled when it came down to the overall rating. Whether it was through animal violence, excessive violence, or just an unimpressive climax, they couldn’t match up to today’s films like Avengers, Man of Steel, and Tron. I’m happy to say that The Terminator was more fun than most if not all of the other classics. Twister gives it a decent fight. The Terminator still makes enough mistakes to keep me from giving it a truly solid rating, but I can see why this title is a classic.

Sarah was living her life as usual when things suddenly changed. A mysterious cyborg from the future was sent to destroy her so that the human resistance in the future would never come to be. The humans sent back one of their own to her time and his name is Kyle Rayner Reese. He has to destroy the cyborg and keep Sarah safe, but that will be tough since The Terminator is just about invincible. Destroying him will take a lot of guts and determination. Sarah is also not helping matters since she doesn’t trust Kyle and goes to the Police. Can the cops help out or will they add to the body count!?

Let’s start off with the positives of the film. I have always loved time travel as the main focus. There are so many things that you can do with it so long as you head to the future or the future comes to the present. As long as you completely disregard the past, then I’m all set. We’ve seen great time travel adventures in shows like DBZ and Justice League in the past. Just about every big franchise has dealt with this plot and Terminator was probably the first to really popularize this. The concept of a machine coming to destroy you from the future is a good one. It’s hard to say who had handled it the best, but I’m tempted to say that Sonic The Hedgehog 2006 did.

The film also had a really fun soundtrack. This was during the time when it was okay to add quick techno themes to films in theaters. The battle themes are a lot of fun and the beats are catchy. Nowadays, it’s a little harder to picture a big film doing that, but some gems are still hidden among the others like with the Tron film. Having a nice soundtrack definitely helps to rise this film even higher among the classic titles.

I was also pleasantly surprised to see some more glimpses of the future after the initial scenes in the film. The blasters were fun to watch and the humans were managing to hold their own. Personally, I don’t think that they stand a chance against the powerful forces of Skynet, but it was still fun to watch. The future was definitely a grim place and it reminds us why robots shouldn’t be given too much power too quickly.

Finally, the film is just very interesting. There’s a constant sense of danger as Sarah runs away from the Terminator and the backdrops hold up fairly well. Something is always happening and the action rarely lets up to give you a breather. Unfortunately, that’s when things tend to get a little dicey, but the film’s tempo was another one of its strong points. Once you stop moving, it’s game over.

For time travel, there are many different theories on how it would work and I tend to like them all except for the one which claims that you can never alter the future. DC tried that in the Booster Gold comics and I definitely disagreed with that. As long as you can go to the past, you can certainly alter it. Whether you experience the changes in real time or not (Like in DBZ, where it just affects another timeline) you will still have changed things. This series is essentially using a closed loop system. The instant that The Terminator and Kyle went in the time portal, everything began to happen infinitely. Everyone would keep on doing the same things over and over again. The future would always go on and the past would always happen time and time again. It’s fun to wrap your head around that and it sort of starts the Chicken and Egg story.

Time for the negatives. Well, let’s start off with Kyle and his relationship with Sarah. Only in the movies will a character be running from deadly machines and the notion of time travel take time to quickly have a baby before doing some more running. Kyle and Sarah getting together did not make any sense and the whole thing happened way too quickly. They only knew each other for like a day and they were still willing to go all the way like that. Kyle claims that he loved her ever since he saw a picture of her and that also proves that he’s very shallow and just liked her for her looks. Possibly her reputation, but falling in love with someone because of a picture is pretty bad. Kyle ended up being my least favorite character in the film.

It was cool that he had a similar voice to Silver (Sonic) and Trunks (DBZ) but that was really his best quality. He was quick to threaten Sarah and he was constantly panicking when he showed up. It was pretty funny to see him take the conversation with the cops so seriously when they were clearly making fun of him. I guess that there is less time for sarcasm in the future eh? Kyle means well as he tries to save the future, but he should have stayed in the friend zone.

As for Sarah, she’s a decent lead. Of course, she also panics a lot and does allow herself to be with Kyle. So, I wouldn’t say that she’s a great character, but she’s not too bad and she does keep the dog in the end. That was a good move on her part and it does lead into one of the big positives of the film. I also enjoyed the police officers as they did a pretty good job of securing the perimeter. Did you think that the Terminator would scare these guys? Not a chance! The chief had it all figured out and he had about 30 men at his disposal for the fight. The officers were outgunned, but they had a lot of the best moments in the film. You can’t forget how one of them took pokes at Kyle’s story and showed why it could make a good novel..or film.

One of the big positives that I noticed in the film was a distinct aversion to animal violence. Just about all films nowadays could learn a thing or two from this one. At one point, The Terminator comes face to face with a dog and decides not to shoot him. That one moment had more depth than the entirety of the Jurassic Park trilogy and the writing was stellar. I feel like the film could have won an Oscar for that moment alone. There were several other dogs who appeared in the film and all of them lived. Even the two police dogs who went up against the Terminator came away from the battle unscathed. I was quite worried during those moments and I was mentally jotting notes on it. It’s safe to say that a scene of animal violence would have certainly pushed the overall score into the red.

Naturally, this film was originally in the mature rating so the film is excessively violent at different points. The scene where the Terminator shows his true eye is particularly gruesome and he impales quite a few people for the lolz. As far as the violence goes, it could have certainly been worse or better. It’s still a little more than there should be so I added it to this section. Again, due to the rating, it’s to be expected and it’s why most of the legendary films never get to have a great rating. Compare these to something like The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and that film will almost always have the edge as it had an incredible fight scene with many epic things happening. The film dragged on a little though and still had its issues as well.

It also needs to be mentioned that there is an abundance of plot hax in this film. Again…it’s to be expected since the film is about humans trying to fight a super powered cyborg. They never stood a chance of defeating such a villain. So, I could name a few scenes in particular, but you get the jist of it. Terminator missing gunshots at point blank range many, many times. The army not coming to help the town (Welll….a bit of a nitpick there) and others. Mainly, it’s just the Terminator not destroying Sarah parts since he really had a chance to do so in just about every scene. His intelligence also seemed to greatly vary as he would make plans in one scene and just seem to walk around aimlessly in others.

As for the actual Terminator, he made for a good villain. Robots/Cyborgs are great when they’re played straight. The fact that he has no emotions is what makes him a very intriguing villain and he did a good job of hunting the heroes. He doesn’t have his iconic shotgun yet, but I mostly know him from the latter films. Seeing him as the antagonist was definitely interesting and I actually forgot that he used to be the bad guy. I’m just too used to him being the hero at this point.

As you can see, the film had many good and bad points. I’d say that they roughly cancel out into a decent film. Decent sounds more positive than negative and you can make that case. On a technical level though, the negatives were numerous enough to slow the film down. The film was still fun to watch though and I’d say that it’s similar to Alien. An engaging plot even though the score was certainly doomed at times. Terminator is a big step up from Alien and I still to consider it to be one of the best classics.

Overall, Terminator was a very interesting sci-fi film and handled the time travel aspect well. I’m not sure if I’m crazy about the loop, but I suppose that it was inevitable as soon as we found out why Sarah was being targeted. How will the sequels work? Well, in the future, Skynet will likely just put their next plan to work and that’s how things will get started. I’m definitely hyped for the sequel and the Terminator is definitely a fun franchise. I became a fan of it through the games so it’s nice to see what they were based off of. As far as the concepts go, the only classic film to really be about on par with this one is Men in Black, which was pretty incredible. I definitely recommend checking this film out if you’re a big Sci-Fi fan and know what you’re getting yourself into. The film can be a little intense, but you are likely aware of that. Take away the scene with Kyle and Sarah and I’m confident that the score would have been higher and more like what you would have expected for a review of this title. It’s neat that the film did so well with critics across the board and it was definitely something new and innovative for the time that still works well today. That’s why I’m hoping that the new film coming out soon ends up being really good. I’ll be checking out the sequel soon so definitely keep your eyes open for that!

Overall 5/10