From the highs of James Cameron's first two classic films to the lows of the forgettable sequels, we take a look back at the great and not-so-great Terminator films.
The Terminator (1984)
The classic original film that announced Arnold Schwarzenegger as a star and launched James Cameron's career as a stunning director. The gritty sci-fi thriller introduces Schwarzenegger as a cyborg assassin disguised as a human that travels from 2029 back to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton). Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) follows the Terminator back to protect Connor, and reveals the looming threat of Skynet, an artificial intelligence system that will initiate a nuclear holocaust. Skynet targets Connor to prevent her unborn son from leading the human rebellion against the machines.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
Superior to the original and one of the best sequels ever made, T2 raised the bar for big blockbusters with groundbreaking CGI and stunt work. This time Schwarzenegger stars as a reprogrammed T-800 trying to save Sarah Connor and her young son, John (Edward Furlong), from an advanced T-1000 prototype (Robert Patrick) made of liquid metal that can take the shape and form of almost anything it touches.
The film's badass image was reinforced by the theme song, You Could Be Mine, by Guns N' Roses, which featured on their fourth studio album Use Your Illusion II.
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)
The disappointing third instalment featured Schwarzenegger but was made without any involvement from James Cameron or Linda Hamilton. The story is basically the same as T2, with Skynet again sending a new Terminator, the T-X (Kristanna Loken), back to kill key members of the human resistance, with Arnie again on hand to protect John Connor (Nick Stahl) and his future wife, Kate Brewster (Claire Danes). A run of huge action sequences and the appearance of the first female Terminator fail to make up for a shoddy script and a lack of originality.
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Terminator Salvation (2009)
The only Terminator film that doesn't involve time travel, Salvation is set in the dystopian world of 2018 and centres on the post-apocalyptic war between the human resistance and Skynet's army of killing machines. This time Skynet tries implanting a dead man's personality into a killer cyborg (Sam Worthington) sent to kill an adult John Connor, played by Christian Bale, while the origins of the T-800 are also explored. The film falls well short of its potential with Schwarzenegger admitting he was glad his name wasn't attached to it, saying: "Thank God. It sucked."
Terminator Genisys (2015)
The fifth Terminator movie leans heavily on the plot of the original film but manages to mess it up big time. We meet Kyle Reese again after he is sent back in time to protect Sarah Connor, but he is shocked to discover she has been raised and protected by a reprogrammed Terminator (Schwarzenegger). The altered timeline had some potential but Emilia Clarke lacks Linda Hamilton's heart in the role of Connor, and Jai Courtney is similarly unconvincing as Reese. The movie bombed at the box office, thankfully putting an end to ideas of a Genisys trilogy.