Terminator 2: Judgement Day was released in 1991 and since then, it has been remembered as not only one of the greatest sequels ever made but one of the best action sci-fi movies. Not only is Terminator 2 revolutionary but as time has gone, people can now appreciate the deeper aspects within the film that aren’t discussed as much as the action sequences.
T2 takes place ten years after its predecessor with a Terminator being sent back in time to kill John Connor. However, unlike the original, this time we have two Terminators: Arnold Schwarzenegger, the good guy contrary to his previous outing, and Robert Patrick as the T-1000 in his most recognisable role.
Though Schwarzenegger plays a great Terminator, he walks, talks and acts like a giant robot whereas Patrick’s T-1000 blends into the crowd with his perfect disguise as a cop. The T-1000 definitely inspired the future Terminators of the franchise to be disguised better, from T-X in the terrible Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines to the TV spin-off The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
Made out of liquid metal so he can take any form, the T-1000 is one the franchise’s most iconic characters. At the time T2 was released, CGI wasn’t used like it is today yet it has still aged well and the T-1000’s effects haven’t lost any visual appeal. Watching his arms morph into stabbing implements, it is still as bone-chilling to watch today as it was in 1991.
The action sequences in T2 are doubled to its predecessor with such iconic scenes as the motorbike chase, the T-1000 running after the T-800, John and Sarah Connor in a car, and the minigun standoff. Arguably, the reason why this film has more action is because we have two Terminators. In The Terminator, if Kyle Reese had tried to directly fight the T-800, he would be been killed with one punch. Now, with two machines, they can easily send each other flying through walls which is absurdly entertaining to watch.
As far as non-robotic characters go, here they’re incredibly human and sympathetic. Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) in the first movie was considerably normal and timid but with T2, she’s gone from waitress to soldier. Strong yet tense and unstable after years of being institutionalised and knowing the horrors of Judgement Day, Connor tries to convince the world that Judgement Day is real without evidence. With people thinking she’s insane, Connor’s forced to essentially become a human Terminator which leads to harrowing moments.
The Terminator kept knowledge on John Connor minimalistic but T2 changes this as we’re introduced to him as a prepubescent boy who’s less leader and more ordinary. Played by Edward Furlong, John is originally led to believe that everything he knows about his future is a lie which results in him becoming an angry delinquent. When he eventually discovers that his future is real, he keeps his sense of humour and wit whilst risking his life to prevent Judgment Day. Emotional and sometimes immature, he commits crime but doesn’t condone murder. It’s good to see a kid in an action film that actually contributes to the plot, helping the T-800 and his mother to defeat the T-1000. Through John’s teachings, even the T-800 becomes more sympathetic and therefore relatable.
Terminator 2: Judgement Day stays familiar to its predecessor whilst adding something different to make it stand out. Everything is improved including the plot, which now has a larger scope, and the characters who are more fleshed out and written better so that the movie has more of an emotional weight. The iconic villain T-1000 is terrifying in every way possible, so much so that the franchise will be bringing him back in Terminator Genisys, as played by Byung-hun Lee; only time will tell if he’s as menacing as Robert Patrick. With a powerful and well-rounded ending, who’s still disappointed that the franchise didn’t end with Judgement Day in 1991?
Are you a fan of Terminator 2: Judgement Day? How do you think it’s going to compare with Terminator Genisys?
Comment with your thoughts.