Terminator 2: Judgement Day

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

In 1995, eleven years after the events of The Terminator, John Connor (Edward Furlong) is ten years old and living in Los Angeles with foster parents. His mother Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) had been preparing him throughout his childhood for his future role as the leader of the human Resistance against Skynet, but she was arrested after attempting to bomb a computer factory and remanded to a hospital for the criminally insane under the supervision of Dr. Silberman (Earl Boen). Skynet sends a new Terminator, a T-1000 (Robert Patrick), back in time to 1995 to kill John. A more advanced prototype than the Terminator that was sent after Sarah, the T-1000 is composed of “a mimetic polyalloy”, a liquid metal that allows it to take the shape and appearance of anyone or anything it touches. Though it cannot mimic complex machines such as guns or bombs, it can shape parts of itself into knives and stabbing weapons and can mimic the voice and appearance of humans. It assumes the identity of a police officer and goes in pursuit of John. Meanwhile, the future John Connor has sent back a reprogrammed T-800 Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger), identical to the one that attacked Sarah, to protect his younger self.

The Terminator and the T-1000 converge on John in a shopping mall, and a chase ensues in which John and the Terminator escape by motorcycle. The Terminator explains that he has been programmed to protect and obey John. Fearing that the T-1000 will kill Sarah in order to get to him, John orders the Terminator to help free her. They encounter Sarah in the midst of her own escape attempt, and she is initially terrified by the Terminator but accepts his assistance after he helps them to escape the T-1000. The Terminator informs John and Sarah about Skynet, the artificial intelligence that will initiate a nuclear holocaust on “Judgment Day” and go on to create the machines that will hunt the remnants of humanity. Sarah learns that the man most directly responsible for Skynet’s creation is Miles Dyson (Joe Morton), a Cyberdyne Systems engineer working on a revolutionary new microprocessor that will form the basis for Skynet.

Gathering weapons from an old friend, Sarah plans to flee with John to Mexico. However, after having a horrific nightmare of a nuclear explosion she awakens with strengthened resolve and sets out to kill Miles Dyson. She wounds him at his home but finds herself unable to kill him in front of his family. Deducing her plan, John and the Terminator arrive and inform Miles of the consequences of his work. They learn that much of his research has been reverse engineered from the CPU and arm of the previous Terminator sent after Sarah. Convincing him that these items and his designs must be destroyed, they break into the Cyberdyne building and retrieve the CPU and arm. The police arrive and Miles is mortally wounded, but stays behind to trigger the detonator that will destroy his research.

The T-1000 pursues John, Sarah, and the Terminator, catching up to them in a steel mill. In a climactic battle, the Terminator fires a grenade into the T-1000 and it falls into a vat of molten steel where it is destroyed. John throws the pieces of the first Terminator into the steel as well. The Terminator then sacrifices himself, asking Sarah to lower him into the steel so that his technology cannot be used to create Skynet. Sarah looks to the future with hope, believing that if a Terminator can learn the value of human life, then perhaps humanity is not doomed to self-destruction

REVIEW:

This was actually the first film of this franchise that I saw, and it blew my mind. Now, years later, I still get that feeling of wonder everytime I watch Terminator 2: Judgement Day.

The film picks up years after The Terminator left off. Now, there is a Terminator after John Connor, and one reprogrammed and sent back to protect John and Sarah. Before these two Terminators come to blows, there is this little thing about a certain microchip from the original Terminator that is responsible for the launch of Skynet, which in turn, is responsible for the rampant death and destruction that goes on in the future.

The thing that sets this film apart from its predecessor is the special effects. The liquid Terminator was cutting edge stuff at the time of this picture’s release. Of course, nowadays, it seems just as common as CGI-ing in a crowd of people or something.

However, back in 1991, this hadn’t been seen before, so it was a big thing and blew audiences away. In turn, it made James Cameron look like a genius, much the same way Avatar did last year.

 Despite the lengthy runtime of this film, it does keep one’s attention almost the entire time. This is, of course, excluding the middle section where they end up in Mexico. That whole part nearly brings the picture to complete stop.

It isn’t helped that the scene following it doesn’t exactly start things back up. The whole cybernetic microchip explanation thing serves as nothing more than a way to make the plot convoluted and complicated.

Luckily, the climax isn’t far behind this boring hour or so that could have easily been taken out and not hurt the film at all.

I won’t dwell too much on the acting here, except for to say that Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor seems to be a completely different woman that she was in the first film. I mean, she was more or less your damsel in distress in that one, but here she looks like she could go jump in a WWE ring. Look at the guns she’s sporting and you’ll know what I’m talking about. I’m not sure if I care for the change in character or not, but that is some good acting on her part to make the change believable.

Robert Patrick and Arnold Schwarzenegger are great as the Terminators showing no humanity and staying stone faced and monotone the entire time. Patrick does have a little more freedom to move with his character, as he is an upgraded, newer model.

Edward Furlong seems to tiny riding on that bike with Schwarzenegger. For this being his first major film role, the kid didn’t do half bad. Shame his popularity didn’t stave off the apparent child actor curse, but hey, at least he’s still working and alive. I hear he’s in The Green Hornet.

I hear time and time again about how this film or that film doesn’t stand the test of time. My response to those that say such things is so what. The retro vice of some pictures is what makes them charming and memorable. Having said that, I believe that Terminator 2: Judgement Day does a good job of still standing after 20 years..yes I said 20 years!!!! I rank this up there as one of my all time favorite sci-fi flicks, along with the holy trilogy. This is for sure a must see before you die film.

5 out of 5 stars

6 Responses to “Terminator 2: Judgement Day”

  1. […] I see Terminator: Salvation, but I can say that this is a serious drop off from its predecessor, Terminator 2: Judgement Day. Of course, given the sheer awesomeness of that film, anything would seem less than spectacular, so […]

  2. […] franchise very well should have ended with Terminator 2: Judgement Day, if you ask me. With these last two films, all they seem to have been doing is making a sad attempt […]

  3. […] Terminator 2: Judgement Day The Terminator The Witches Inception   …and the winner is   Terminator 2: Judgement Day                             Best Action/Adventure: here are the nominees   The […]

  4. […] after Mahoney left, House Party 3 + 4, anything relating to The Terminator following T2: Judgement Day, and a host of […]

  5. […] didn’t work, especially since a few years earlier liquid metal was done so convincingly in Terminator 2: Judgement Day, a technique that still stands up here in 2013, so there’s no […]

  6. […] I figure it would be best to bring this feature back with a bang, so how about one of the best sci-fi/action movies of the past 25 years, Terminator 2: Judgement Day […]

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