Movie Review: ‘Terminator 2: Judgement Day 3D’


Director: James Cameron

Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Robert Patrick, Edward Furlong

Plot: A second Terminator is sent back in time to destroy John Conner before he can lead a rebellion against the machines, but this time a second Terminator has arrived to protect Conner.

Review: It never occurred to me how awesome this movie would be seeing it without knowing anything about it, especially if you’ve seen the first movie. If you haven’t seen the films then stop right here, watch the first one and then go see this on the big screen. Beyond this point will be spoilers.

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Sequels are one of the most commonly mishandled parts of the film industry. All to often they are rushed cash-ins, retreads of the original or sorely miss the point. James Cameron has a rare and sparsely used gift for not only making satisfying sequels, but arguably doing better the second time. He did it with Aliens and now he’s done it with Terminator 2: Judgement Day.

The first film is, once you’ve stripped out the style, a simple premise there’s an unstoppable villain and you have to run your sorry ass away. The second one does the same thing and builds on it where appropiate. Cameron raises the stakes by taking the unstoppable foe, flipping his switch from ‘evil’ to ‘good’ and then bring in an even more dangerous foe to chase them all down. There’s been a number of years since the events of the first film and the characters are not the same people they once were. Sarah Conner (Hamilton) has become a militaristic survivalist whose predictions of the future has landed her in an asylum. Her son, the Chosen One John Conner, is a young delinquent (who seemed so much older than me when I first saw this…) and doesn’t take much seriously, a far cry from the character he’s been built up to be. Cameron even manages to give the emotionless killing machine (Schwarzenegger) a character arc by bringing in the idea that he can be programmed to learn. New additions to the mythos, specifically Miles Dyson (Joe Morton), add to the film without getting silly. That was saved for the 5th film.

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Terminator 2 was hailed in 1991 for it’s revolutionary computer effects (as well as some clever practical work). Due to the time and effort put in by ILM the effects hold up surprisingly well, much more than most other CGI seen at the time. The creativity and detail use in creating the liquid metal T-1000 (Patrick) makes it just as entertaining as it was when we first saw it.

The addition of 3D is handled fairly well, it’s a good remaster, but there’s no point. You stop noticing after the opening war scene. It’s just an excuse to put T2 back into cinemas. I’d rather watch the regular version.

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This holds up as one of the best written and directed sci-fi action movies we’ve ever seen. It’s an extremely well crafted movie and a better indicator of Cameron’s talent than his biggest earning blockbusters.

Rating: NINE out of TEN.

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