Terminator 2 still thrills
fans and newbie youngsters simply must make the effort to experience it on the big screen.
Twenty-six years after James Cameron took the helm for the second time, the thrills are manifold and still stand up to scrutiny. The Terminator movies’ themes of fate, predestination, selfless duty and nuclear devastation are pretty enduring (perhaps even more so as we re-enter a new age of nuclear threat…). Remarkably, Cameron’s script delivers not only the one-liners we can recite along with an extremely buff and actually rather handsome Arnold Schwarzenegger, but serious ideas around forgoing fame and corporate greed in order to save the world. Goodness knows that particular message is as timely as any.
T2 gets tricky with time travel, as John Connor, leader of the future’s resistance against a populace of murderous machines, sends a cyborg back in time to protect his mother and ensure his own survival.
While the first film riffs more on complicated (for me, at least) issues of rewriting history/the future, Terminator 2 earns its place as king of this franchise by overturning audience expectations of who the goody and baddy will be, positioning Sarah Connor as one of the first seriously kick-ass action heroines (along with Aliens‘ Ripley, also directed by Cameron) and introducing an unbroken-voiced Edward Furlong as the young Connor.
Best of all, though, is Robert Patrick’s turn as the superior model terminator whose ability to morph into different forms and inability to be destroyed still comes off as utterly, exhilaratingly brilliant. Modern CGI doesn’t hold a candle to Cameron’s 1991 special-effects, and even when you know what’s coming, the effect is very special indeed.
You may have seen Terminator 2 a million times, but this is a true classic that never gets old. – Sarah Watt
Terminator 2 has been remastered and released in 3D.