''3 billion human lives ended on August 29th, 1997. The survivors of the nuclear fire called the war Judgment Day. They lived only to face a new nightmare: the war against the machines. The computer which controlled the machines, Skynet, sent two Terminators back through time.''
The cyborg who once tried to kill Sarah Connor must now protect her teenager son, John Connor, from an even more powerful and advanced cyborg.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: The Terminator
''Hasta la vista, baby.''
The first Terminator project was a modest success at the box office in 1984; by 1990, millions of people were anxious for a sequel. James Cameron granted their wish and again exceeded expectations with his effort.
The sequel is 10 years later, based upon the age of the central character (played by newcomer Ed Furlong from American History X). Cameron was provided with a budget exceeding the original picture a hundred fold over, and used this to his advantage. Notably, this was an early use of computer FX which are prevalent today; back then, they were simply amazing to behold (this was before even Jurassic Park, and each instance of their use was mind blowing). Most of the best examples of effects used in T2, revolved around the T-1000 super-villain (Robert Patrick), a revolutionary approach to depicting a fantastic menace. Arnold was back as another durable cyborg, a multi-layered hero this time, the big man was on the side of good.
The film was another impressive progression of action and suspense, interlocked with the theme of nuclear holocaust. More than just building on the threat of nuclear annihilation from the 1st pic, the picture throws the concept at the audience with some striking images. It slows at about the halfway point when the heroes evade the pursuing super-killer for a time, but then you see that nuclear bomb going off, still about the best such depiction ever seen. Just when you think you can relax for a few minutes, a city blows up. By this time, the definitive version of this film is the extended cut Cameron presented a couple of years later. The extra scenes accentuate the plot and elaborate the story wonders, not that they needed it, but it's a nice little dessert for fans.
''I need your clothes, boots and your motorcycle.''
Like all the best sequels, it presents characters which progress and advance. This is especially true of Linda Hamilton's character; she's really lived those past 10 years and is a much older, much stronger mother figure here, moulded by ceaseless struggle. She really does turn out to be the mother of the future, as mentioned in the original Terminator, obsessed with saving us all from a nuclear Armageddon. Arnold, of course, has to play a more human-like, more understanding cyborg, very different from the mono-syllabic droid he interpreted in the previous installment. The film pulls another fast one in the beginning, still keeping the audience guessing as to which is the heroic protector, Arnold or the T-1000(the T-1000 actually seems more human than Arnold in the first segment). When the hero turns out to be Arnold, the viewer claps in appreciation for a fine role reversal. We had to wait another dozen years for the next one, but it could never match this baby.
Overall, Terminator 2: Judgement Day is not like other typical actioners, which are usually mindless, moronic and are little more than an excuse to eat snacks and put on in the background as mindless accompaniment. Instead, it's got depth, emotion, character and is highly memorable, and keeps you glued to the screen throughout – as well as boasting some astounding action and suspense while flaunting state of the art effects at the time, which still look good to this day. T2 is quite possibly the best action film and a unrivaled sequel, in existence, and I'm predicting that it will hold that honour for all time...Lastly, just picture this; Patrick Patrick running; his arms going up and down; his hands straight; that droning, mesmerizing sound of toned dread pounding in the background. This is a thrilling, timeless piece of action/thriller art which squeezes at your heart strings. Just writing about T2 makes me want to watch it again, then melt everytime...and hear those iconic lines...Arnie will be back! and thus viewers will be back for repeated viewings everytime.
''The future's not set. There's no fate but what we make for ourselves.''