The Looper of its day. Some elements aren’t aging well (the music, which is hokey, stop denying it, and the effects, seriously stop denying it), but it’s a great flick with an incredible amount of tension. Everybody from the Coen Brothers to Rian Johnson and George Lucas (a large sequence in Attack of the Clones borrows from this particularly) owe Terminator a serious debt of gratitude. 

Pacing is tight, but otherwise, almost everything about the sequel is better. It’s not that this is bad; it’s an undeniable classic. But the romance in this movie is awful, much of the dialogue is trash, the music is weird, etc. It’s a low-budget sci-fi thriller. A great one. And a ton of fun. But the love for a lifetime” line, and others like it, really hold the flick back. 

I think those of us who saw this as young teenagers will always love it, but anybody who finds it later in life won’t be conflicted at all: they’ll write it off as the inferior film of the first two and not watch it again. So this is me admitting my score is higher than it should be, and I like the film more than I ought to, and some of it is nostalgia. 

But the pacing is ace and Schwarzenegger is perfect.

Reply on Letterboxd