Movie Review: Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Posted: December 4, 2011 in Drama

Its 1991, and The Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is back.  This time he’s been re-programmed by future John Connor, to protect teenaged John Connor (Edward Furlong) and his mother Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) from the T1000, (Robert Patrick) a new prototypical Terminator, sent to terminate Sarah and John before John grows up, and leads the resistance against the machines.  Sarah’s in a mental institution and John is being chased by the T1000, but soon The Terminator is protecting John and taking him to rescue his mother from the mental hospital.  The Terminator and John break Sarah out of the hospital, and The Terminator tells Sarah that a scientist named Miles Dyson (Joe Morton) is working on a military enhancement that will eventually lead to Skynet, the network that controls the machines and will lead to the death of three billion people. Sarah gets an idea to kill Miles, but is stopped by her son and The Terminator.   They blow up the lab where Miles works, but the T1000 is still chasing Sarah and John.  Does the T1000 terminate John and Sarah or does the Terminator terminate the T1000?

This is probably one of the seminal action films of recent history.  Most sequels are not as good as the original, this one is better.  The action is non-stop, from motorcycles, to cars to trucks, the chase scenes are exhilarating.  There are a few clunky special effects, the fighting in the year 2029 looks like Space Invaders, but the special effects that illustrate nuclear war are quite good.  The politics are kept to a minimum, although Hamilton has one speech where she browbeats the Joe Morton character, saying that he is not interested in life only death.  This speech is thankfully cut short by Edward Furlong.  Unfortunately, non one cut the political grandstanding from James Cameron’s other blockbuster, Avatar. In a movie full of explosions and violence, oddly only a few people die.  Of course Miles dies, Hollywood has no problem killing black people in movies, but hardly anyone else is killed.  The ending is a little schmaltzy, like something out of Shane or Old Yeller or the Champ, but acceptable.The acting is pretty solid for an action flick.  Everyone will criticize Schwarzenegger’s acting, but he delivered his lines with mechanical precision, and also humor, whether intended or not is up to the viewer.  Linda Hamilton pays a badass female character well.  Everyone thinks she’s a psycho, but she’s muscling up to protect her son.  She plays a take no prisoners female much like Sigourney Weaver played in the Alien series.  The only problem I had with acting was with Edward Furlong, his adolescent voice grated on me and his timing wasn’t the best, he really detracted from the movie for me. But overall, a fantastic film, and a star vehicle that Arnold rode all the way to the governor’s office in California.

Terminator 2:  I guess Arnold is now an Ex-Terminator.

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