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Terminator 2: Judgment Day

James Cameron's 1991 sci-fi film and the second film in the "Terminator" series.

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  • Jun 26, 2009
  • by
The original Terminator was something very special and was the film that kick started the career of one of the biggest action movie stars in history. Arnold Schwarzenegger in the original Terminator was the definitive bad guy; violent, emotionless and unstoppable. That same character returned for the sequel, but this time he joined the defending team and was sent back by future John Connor to protect the past John Connor. Arnold is still a T-101 but was reprogrammed by future Connor to fight on the human's side, and rather than having a human enemy, the story is very much Terminator vs. More advanced Terminator.

Judgement Day focuses around a 10 year old John Connor whose mother, Sarah has been put in a mental institute for telling the stories of the original Terminator assassination attempt and John is a rebel living in a foster home. Another Terminator has been sent back to kill the future leader of the human resistance, now a much more powerful enemy, the T-1000 (Robert Patrick) which is a machine that is made almost entirely of liquid metal. It can morph itself to look exactly like anything it touches and mould parts of its body to sharp objects to assassinate those who get in its way. As the protector, a reprogrammed T-101 (Arnold) is sent back to protect the young rebel.

Taking the guise of a police officer, the T-1000 goes on a rapid search for John and comes very close to catching him, but at the right moment is found by the T-101 and has the best man (or machine) for the job as his protector. Once John becomes aware of his possible future, he and the T-101 embark on a journey to not only break Sarah Connor out of the mental institute, but to destroy Skynet and prevent Judgement Day and the rise of the machines. Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) is now a tough woman who appears tougher than the T-101 and becomes the leader of the attack on Skynet.

The original Terminator movie at the time was considered really hard to top as at the time of the sequels release, the original had gained a massive cult status. Nobody really considered just how good this film would be and it came along at a time when Arnold was developing his career as a diverse actor, whilst still remaining loyal to the action movie genre. Also, hot off the cusp of the massive film, The Predator, there was no doubting there would be more interest in this solely because of Schwarzenegger's involvement. Of course, a massive budget of $102 million and the involvement of Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn't necessarily make a good film. What made this great was its pace, atmosphere, acting, action, script and special effects all masterfully combined to create what was undoubtedly the film of that year.

The clarity of the special effects of the time was revolutionary, much like the special effects exhibited in the first Terminator. They managed to make the T-1000 machine utterly believable in its presence and ability to mould itself and transform at will as we were treated to particular moments in which it did just that. Most impressive was its rising from the mental hospital floor behind one of the guards, only to kill him and take his form. The makeup of the damage taken by the T-101 was also very well done and really did make it believable that Arnold was possibly really a machine underneath that masculine exterior.

Linda Hamilton is triumphant in this role and a complete re-imagining of the character we know from the first film. The Sarah Connor from this movie is vociferously brutish in her demeanour and is clearly a woman who has experienced something very traumatic that has meant she needed to lose the core emotions that weakened her in order to survive. Edward Furlong as the main protagonist for the entire Terminator story arch displayed a perfect character and the rebellious kid attitude was performed really well by him. It almost makes me wonder what the hell those involved in the third Terminator movie were thinking by not casting him in the lead role once more.

I honestly adore this film as it manages to become unconsciously deep and expressing of the idea to remain emotionally close whilst at the same time remaining strong in your convictions. It was well deserving of the awards it won at the time and it's quite sad to know that any future Terminator movies will not pale in comparison to the brilliance of Terminator 2.

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More Terminator 2: Judgment Day reviews
review by . November 28, 2013
posted in Movie Hype
The Terminator is one of the most iconic characters in popular culture, but his track record is rather bumpy. He had a strong start in a debut movie that is a classic of science fiction. He followed it up with his defining moment in a movie that became a classic across all genres. After that, there were two more movies and a TV show which make the argument for The Terminator existing on a split timeline.     T2: Judgement Day was the last unequivocally great movie the robot who …
review by . October 10, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I judge thee awesome
It's been a long time coming but I'm finally going to talk about the movie I most remember from my youth, Terminator 2: Judgment Day.  It's the movie I've seen probably more then any other, the movie that I always looked forward to seeing even if I'd seen it 3 times earlier that week, and a movie that I'm finally talking about cause I really don't have much to say, but I'll try.  Much like when I reviewed Star Wars it's hard to say things that everyones …
Quick Tip by . October 10, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Super sized sequel and Arnold's most famous movie about two cyborgs that fight each other over a young boy who will help save the world. Fantastic
Quick Tip by . October 19, 2010
I liked the intriguing take on time travel that began to appear in this, and the way appearance and character were kept at odds.
Quick Tip by . July 04, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Super Duper sized follow up to the original 84 sci fi action movie has Arnie "back" as a good guy to protect a young John Connor from the newly created T-1000 played with cold menace by Robert Patrick for one of the most unbeatable badguys ever. Full of action and keeps the themes of the first film. A classic and Arnold never made a better movie.
Quick Tip by . July 27, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Very rare that a sequel surpasses the oringal. One of the best action movies of all time.
Quick Tip by . July 17, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Did not meet up to the first one, my opinion though
review by . November 27, 2009
An amazing sequel to the film that started it all...
While Terminator  set up the beginning of John Connor and created  a new  era in FX and unbrash action and suspense   this  no holds bar sequel Improves on the first  and  pushes the special effects further  than ever for it's day. Terminator 2: Judgment Day  is smart, taunt,  stylish, dark  and oh so much fun.  It's the perfect action sequel  and  one of the best films  of the '90s.         …
Quick Tip by . September 29, 2009
Fantastic follow up to the original Terminator with Arnold returning to protect John Connor and take on a nearly invincible foe. A Classic.
review by . November 18, 2003
posted in Movie Hype
This movie had some of the most amazing special effects I have ever seen and a really relentless and nasty terminator to boot!If you get by the flawed premise of the story's beginning (that another more advanced terminator and a terminator protecter were sent back, even though we were told in the first film that the grid was smashed after John Connor went through) we have a great heart-pounding action film. Not quite as good as the first film (otherwise I would have rated it a 5) but still one of …
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Steven Stewart ()
Ranked #95
Currently studying Law at University, my main interests revolve around Politics. I read quite a lot and love learning about History. Not just the history of a specific time, place and person, but I'm … more
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A decade after Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) destroyed the original Terminator, a second unstoppable killing machine (Arnold Schwarzenegger) arrives from the post-apocalyptic year 2029. But this time his mission is to stop an even deadlier Terminator, the T-1000 (Robert Patrick), made entirely of shape-shifting liquid metal and determined to kill young John Connor (Edward Furlong), the future leader of the human resistance. Sarah, John, and the Terminator counter by going after the scientist responsible for developing Skynet, the computer system fated to destroy humanity, leading to an explosive and spectacular clash with the fate of humanity in the balance. Whereas James Cameron's original THE TERMINATOR was a low-budget marvel of efficiency and speed, TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY is an action-packed blockbuster with some of the most amazing stunts ever filmed and ground-breaking, Academy Award-winning special effects. Star Schwarzenegger was paid in the form of a $15 million dollar jet to revisit his mos...
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