Terminator: Dark Fate polarized both audiences and critics alike. Some thought it the best Terminator since T2: Judgment Day, while others didn't find it much better than Terminator 3 or Genisys. Regardless of one's opinion, at least the recent release prompted a stroll down memory lane to the peak days of the saga.
The first two movies are timeless classics, while the next entries are of drastically varying quality. Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day revolutionized action cinema, so it's only right to rank the best action scenes from the sci-fi franchise. They are not ranked by scale of believability, but instead by how impressive they are and how hard they get the audience's blood pumping. Here are the 10 most impressive action sequences from the films.
10 Terminator: Salvation - John Connor Vs. T-800
Terminator: Salvation shook up the formula to some mixed results. The change in scenery to a post-Judgment Day world was admirable, but the execution left much to be desired. The ending fight between John Connor, played by Christian Bale, and a T-800 is still a noteworthy moment, however.
Because of Arnold Schwarzenegger's gubernatorial duties, he was unable to participate in the production. However, he was still put into the final product with some classic movie magic. The effect looks quaint by today's standards, but it deserves commendation for the attempt.
9 Terminator 3 - T-101 Fighting T-X At Cyber Research Systems
Terminator 3 feels like a lackluster remake of Terminator 2 until the last act when the heroes go to Cyber Research Systems. After Skynet becomes self-aware, chaos erupts and the world starts falling apart. During this, Arnold's T-101 fights the T-X in the research facility in a hand to hand bout.
The T-101's disadvantage is clear from the start, as the T-X is faster and better equipped. They duke it out and eventually end up in a bathroom, which they wreck like it was the opening scene of Casino Royale. It doesn't have the tension of other fights in the series, but it is fun seeing these two machines throw each other around.
8 Terminator: Genisys - Golden Gate Bridge
Terminator: Genisys is bogged down by a nonsensical plot and PG-13 rating, but it is a solid thrill ride if one is willing to let go of critical analysis. Near the end the three heroes are on a school bus going over the Golden Gate Bridge when the villain, a fake machine John Connor, attacks.
He throws Pops, this movie's T-800, out of the bus onto a police car, and then proceeds to flip the bus over like the truck in The Dark Knight. Of course, this one wasn't done with practical effects, but it was cool none the less.
7 Terminator: Dark Fate - Opening Fight And Car Chase
The most recent entry into the franchise starts off strong, but quickly takes a dive after the first act. Before its steep decline is an impressive sequence when Grace first saves Dani's life from the Rev-9. The augmented human fights the machine in a factory before they flee and the robot pursues them in a truck.
The ensuing car chase is classic Terminator action. Despite how hectic it gets, one can always tell what is going on. The only downside to such a great opening is the rest of the movie's failure to come anywhere close to it again.
6 Terminator: When The T-800 Finds Sarah
The three central characters of the first movie all find each other at a night club. Moments before the T-800 is about the put a bullet between Sarah Connor's eyes, Kyle Reese pulls out a shotgun and blasts the cyborg before. Kyle then grabs Sarah and the two get in a car.
The Terminator gets back up and jumps on the hood, unphased by the explosion Kyle sets off prior. The sequence isn't only impressive for its low budget, but also for the tension leading up to the moment when all hell breaks loose.
5 Terminator 2 - In The Factory
After a lengthy car chase, The heroes find themselves in a factory cornered by the T-1000. Fortunately, the cyborg is malfunctioning from putting itself back together after being frozen. The extended version adds more to this encounter, showing the T-1000 losing control of his shapeshifting abilities.
It still almost manages to complete its mission, seemingly putting the T-800 down for the count, but the protagonists manage to blast it over the edge of a railing and into molten steel.
4 Terminator 3 - Car Chase
Early in the movie, the T-X chases John and his future wife with a truck possessing a crane. To make matters worse, it is also able to control other cars. The T-101 is close behind on a motorcycle however, and eventually finds itself hanging onto the crane as its adversary rams it through a building.
It then commandeers a firetruck not long before flipping the T-X's car over, ending the intense chase scene. The moment where the truck flips utilizes some poorly aged CGI, but all the action beforehand holds up.
3 Terminator 2 - First Encounter With The T-1000
Moments before the T-1000 is about to complete its mission, the T-800 interrupts it via shotgun. This eventually leads to John and his protector fleeing on a motorcycle as the T-1000 pursues them with a truck.
So many impressive shots and stunts are present in the scene, but a highlight is when the truck drives off a bridge into a storm drain. The truck eventually crashes and explodes, but that only serves to momentarily slow down the T-1000.
2 Terminator: Ending
After a small car chase, Kyle and Sarah are convinced of their victory until the T-800 emerges from flames with all of its fake skin burned off. The metallic skeleton's reveal is an iconic moment in the franchise, and its design is menacing to this day.
The stop motion effects aren't fooling anyone into believing it's real, but the movement is impressive to behold. It eventually gets crushed in a factory, but not before putting Kyle Reese out of commission.
1 Terminator 2: Helicopter And Truck Chase
Before ending up in the factory where they eventually put down the T-1000, the heroes are chased by the seemingly unstoppable force in a helicopter and truck.
The most spectacular part of the whole sequence occurs when the helicopter flies underneath an overpass, something accomplished by filming a particularly brave stuntman. After the T-800's ingenuity causes the helicopter to crash, Robert Patrick's character then takes a truck and continues the intense pursuit.