Terminator 2: Judgment Day Reviews
"Terminator 2: Judgment Day" is directed by James Cameron and written by James Cameron and William Wisher. Released seven years after the original film, this colossal sequel smashed the box office, and came at the height of Arnold Schwarzenegger's popularity. "T2" was a pop culture phenomenon and blew the doors wide open for science fiction and visual effects in the 90s. Without which, we probably wouldn't have films like "Jurassic Park."
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as the titular character, Linda Hamilton returning an aptly hardened and tortured Sarah Connor, Edward Furlong as the young John Connor, and finally Robert Patrick as the menacing T-1000, "Terminator 2" brings its A game with its casting.
Linda Hamilton does an outstanding job as Sarah Connor, and her transformation from the first film is amazing. That's how you do character development! Arnold just pretty much does his thing as the Terminator, and his one-liners are legendary. Edward Furlong is quite annoying, but he is just a kid in "T2," so it's excusable. Lastly (but not not least), Robert Patrick's understated yet sinister performance makes the T-1000 one of the most malicious villain to ever grace the screen.
With this vast and ambitious sequel, James Cameron pits our protagonists against a villain with twice the power and intellect. This is a chase film, much like its predecessor, but Cameron takes care to infuse "Terminator 2" with deep themes like nuclear war, fatalism, and the human condition. The main theme of the film, I think is summed up nicely in the last line: "If a machine, a Terminator, can learn the value of human life, maybe we can too." I think that's what really makes "Terminator 2" great among other science fiction films. There's a human-centric story at the core of it, and the characters are very much important in this film.
Themes aside, James Cameron steers the audience through grand action sequences peppered with car chases, Arnie firing a mini-gun, and giant explosions, and spectacular visual effects that still hold up to this day. Mirroring the first film, "T2" does slow down in its second act, but it actually serves a thematic purpose. Rather than shoving exposition down the viewer's throat in one single scene, the film draws out its runtime a bit to dig deeper into the relationships between Sarah, John, and the Terminator.
"Terminator 2: Judgment Day" surpasses the original film with its staggering action, visuals, and rich characters. If you haven't seen "T2," I would very much suggest that you watch it after you read this review--this is probably my favorite film. You can watch "Terminator 2" as strictly an action movie, but you can also see it as an examination on what makes us human, and what it takes to connect with one another on a deeper level.
"The future is not set, there is no fate but what we make for ourselves."
Revived in 3D just recently, and just brushing aside the now very off dating of things that have already happened, this film was pretty groundbreaking during the time it was made in terms of effects. The storyline is also not dated, which can't be said for a lot of the movies from this decade.