The Terminal Man (1974)
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...
In this sci-fi thriller, based on a novel by Michael Crichton, a scientist decides to be the lab rat in an experimental surgery to control his violent tendencies. During the surgical procedure, a miniature computer is implanted in his head. Unfortunately, the mechanism malfunctions, and he becomes a vicious killer.
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Michael Crichton Passes Away (1942-2008)
– Rotten Tomatoes
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Critic Reviews for The Terminal Man
While this movie seems unsalvageable, it might have had some punch if we'd been told more about the Segal character's past, before his operation.
By the time The Terminal Man reaches its tragic ending, it has succeeded in the dubious achievement of making us view its subject as dispassionately as any clinician.
Hodges takes a cool, detached approach, designing most scenes in monochrome with disturbing flesh-colours, and manages to make Segal's semi-android a strangely sympathetic monster.
An intriguing premise, and Segal's strong central performance (a break from the light comedies he became famous for in the 1970s) makes up for workmanlike direction.
Audience Reviews for The Terminal Man
Based on a novel by Michael Crichton. If "The Terminal Man" has one fault, it is the general slowness of the plot. Even though the audience is paid in full for their patience, 2-3 minutes could have been edited out. That may not sound like much, but in a generally precise film such as this one, any more would be disastrous. The high point of this film is the style of talented director Mike Hodges. There is a scene about 2/3rds through the picture where a blood drips off the edge of a bed and flows across the floor through cracks in the tile. Those shots, and the murder proceeding it, are masterfully filmed. Early on in the film, he sustains the plot build-up with a series of innovative sequences that look great even thirty years later.
George Segal gives a really superb performance as a man who is basically made into a guinea big. He does an excellent job, and still retains the charm that served him well, even when the films surrounding him were less than perfect.
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