The Terminator franchise may have declined in quality, but it created iconic characters in T-800 and Sarah Connor, who delivered epic action scenes.

Four decades after a metal skeleton emerged from the flames in a feverish dream on James Cameron’s head, the Terminator The franchise has become one of the most popular science fiction properties in the world. After the double hit of The terminator Y Terminator 2: final judgment, the series has stumbled from a reboot attempt to a reboot attempt. Even Cameron himself couldn’t save him with 2019 Dark destiny.

RELATED: Terminator: 10 Things That Made The First Two Great (That The Other Sequels Missed)

Despite the franchise’s struggles to perpetuate itself, its first two installments remain beloved classics. The 1984 original is masterfully crafted tech-noir and its 1991 sequel is a mind-blowing action show, both anchored by sharp narrative and witty character development.

10 Character: T-800 (from Terminator)

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator

Although he’s a nice guy in almost all of the following Terminator movies, Arnold Schwarzenegger is portrayed as the bad guy in the first one. He’s just a ruthless cyborg who will stop at nothing until Sarah Connor dies.

It’s easy to make a joke that an emotionless robot is Arnie’s best role, but Schwarzenegger really delivers a compelling performance as an unstoppable killing machine.

9 Action sequence: The bathroom fight in Terminator 3

While Terminator 3 follows the same basic premise as Terminator 2, with a T-800 played by Schwarzenegger protecting John Connor from a more powerful Terminator model, it turns things around in a crucial way: the villain Terminator this time is encoded as female.

The TX, strangely nicknamed the “Terminatrix,” was played by Kristanna Loken, whom the producers decided after a long casting search that included both men and women. The brutal final fight of the T-800 and the TX in the bathroom is one of the few highlights of the threequel.

8 Character: John Connor

Terminator 2 - Edward Furlong as John Connor in Blue Light

Then The terminator revolved around ensuring the birth of John Connor, who was touted as the savior of mankind, T2 He featured him as a rebellious 10-year-old boy who robs ATMs and shoots Guns ‘N’ Roses from the back of his motorcycle.

John develops a real connection to his cyber protector, in large part thanks to Edward Furlong’s on-screen chemistry with Arnold Schwarzenegger, which gives the film’s ending a lot of emotional depth.

7 Sequence of action: The chase down the desert highway in Terminator Salvation

The road chase in Terminator Salvation

Since everyone else Terminator movies copied the T2 formula, it is refreshing that Terminator salvation In fact, I tried something new by showing John Connor’s adventures with the Resistance in a post-apocalyptic future.

RELATED: The Terminator Sequels: 5 Things They Got Right (& 5 They Got Terribly Wrong)

There is an impressive chase sequence in which the protagonists are chased by Moto-Terminators, Terminators that can turn into motorcycles, along a desert road.

6 Character: Kyle Reese

The success of T2 meant that the Terminator The franchise would double its Terminator-versus-Terminator formula in the coming decades, but The terminatorThe original dynamic of a mortal human protecting another mortal human from an invincible machine provided a lot of tension.

Michael Biehn’s performance as Kyle Reese is fantastic. Play every emotion from falling in love with Sarah to future wars PTSD flashbacks and his frustrations as he explains time travel to cops who think he’s insane, with a stark human truth that elevates the story above the show.

5 Sequence of Action: Take down Cyberdyne Systems in T2

The T-800 fires a machine gun in Terminator 2

When Sarah Connor attacks Miles Dyson and explains that Cyberdyne Systems will eventually destroy the world, he agrees that he must be stopped and goes with Sarah, John, and the T-800 to infiltrate the company’s lab and blow it up.

Dyson ends up sacrificing himself for the greater good, while the T-800 meets John’s demand that he not kill anyone leaving the surrounding police victimless.

4 Character: T-800 (From T2)

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2

After giving an incredible performance as a T-800 villain in the first film, Schwarzenegger gave an even greater performance as a heroic T-800 in the second.

RELATED: James Cameron: 5 Reasons Aliens Is A Perfect Sequel (& 5 Why T2 Is)

Of many ways, T2 it’s a “boy and his dog” story, except that the dog is a murderous cyborg. John tries to teach the Terminator to feel emotions, and although he never learns how to feel them, he comes to understand them, just before he makes the ultimate sacrifice and gives the most polarizing thumbs-up in movie history.

3 Action sequence: The assault on the police station in Terminator

Terminator Police Station

When Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese are detained at the police station, the T-800 enters and asks the receptionist to let it in. The receptionist tells him he can’t, so the T-800 says: back. “He leaves and returns seconds later in his car, crashing into the front of the station, crushing the receptionist behind his desk.

Cameron builds up the suspense as Sarah desperately tries to hide from the T-800 and the cops are shown to be ineffective against a bulletproof cyborg.

two Character: Sarah Connor

Sarah Connor in Terminator 2

At the beginning of The terminatorWe meet Sarah Connor as a waitress who lives paycheck to paycheck, dates her best friend, and goes out with her boyfriend; she is not ready to take responsibility for saving the human race. But when a robot from the future chases her, she steps forward and becomes a hero. He even signs with a cool phrase: “You’re fired, damn!”

After taking out the Terminator who haunts her in the first movie, Sarah becomes a kick-ass warrior and is determined to take down all of Skynet in the sequel. Thanks to the impeccable acting of Linda Hamilton, this transformation is believable. Hamilton is 100% compelling like all the women featured in The terminator and 100% convincing like the rue he becomes T2.

1 Sequence of action: The pursuit of the storm drain in T2

The truck chase in Terminator 2

When the T-1000 relentlessly chases John Connor’s little dirt bike in a giant truck, John tries to escape by turning into the Los Angeles storm drain system, but the T-1000 simply crashes through the barrier and drives the truck. down the drain John.

As the truck quickly approaches John, the T-800 appears triumphantly on a Harley, reloading a shotgun single-handedly and narrowly preventing John from being crushed by the truck. The T-800 blows up the truck to give them enough time to escape. Seconds later, the T-1000 emerges unscathed from the wreck.

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