Determining The Terminator: James Cameron’s Masterpiece Revisited
Great examination of Cameron’s masterful style of economy, something I’ve been wanting to write about for a while myself! But for now, this is some great insight into the style of his work.
It’s nearly 30 years since Cameron shocked and thrilled the world with his harrowing tale of a time-travelling cyborg trying to erase humanity’s future, and while no one disputes the success or quality of Cameron’s film, few critics have attempted to discuss it with any sort of view towards arguing what makes it so successful (and I’m not just talking about the hundreds of millions it has raked in over the years).
Movie scholarship, likewise, seems almost embarrassed by The Terminator, if only because theoretical apparatus seem at a loss to explain its virtues. The film is undoubtedly a kinetic thrill ride than anything else. Scholars acknowledge, if only in passing, that the film is a hallmark of the science-fiction genre, but always with that unavoidable tinge of placation, as if they are required to state this axiom forced upon them from the realm of popular discourse. They acknowledge…
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