The greatest action movie of the ’90s returns to cinemas and I am a very happy man. It’s a blessing and a gift to experience James Cameron’s masterpiece on the big screen once more, with a fresh paint job that modernises a classic without removing one iota of charm. Time has been kind to the iconic set pieces and the extra dimension achieves the unthinkable – it improves them, albeit in an understated way. The most pronounced bit of 3D is in the opening credits, with the Terminator’s face coming at you out of the flames. Elsewhere, it’s simply a delicate enhancement of a well known tour de force.
Thankfully, the theatrical cut has been used, sans those awful extra scenes you get in the special editions – but there are a few subtle changes as well as the 3D. The most noticeable one is the stunt double riding the Harley having his face changed to Schwarzenegger’s, and that’s a good thing. The proto-CGI effects look as primitive as they always have — fans wouldn’t want it any other way — while the restrained digital tweaks and updated colour grading are unnoticeable unless pointed out and scrutinised with side-by-side images. Rest assured, this is nothing like George Lucas digitally vomiting over his original trilogy; the changes are all excellent.
The only stink thing about the upgrade is, yes, it’ll be absolutely worth buying for repeated home viewings, no matter how many times you’ve bought this film on however many formats and even if you don’t have a 3D TV. And before that, missing it on the big screen while you briefly have the chance is akin to self-terminating. Trust me.