Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Terminator 2: Judgment Day ★★★★★

Say what you will about James Cameron, the man knows how to formulate a sequel. While the central conceit is the same, this isn't a blatant rehash of the original. T2 sashays from Sci-Fi Horror to Sci-Fi Action with hip-swaying ease, building upon the mythology of the original with outstanding performances from Linda Hamilton, Arnie, Robert Patrick and fledgling nutter Edward Furlong, and eye shattering visual effects that (kinda) hold up to this day.

I remember seeing this when I was about 8 years old and wearing out the VHS through repeat viewings. I had a whole bunch of T2 toys and the very thought of a 3rd Terminator movie was a vague exercise in wishful thinking (jeez... I don't think I saw the first movie for a good few years after T2).

24 years after first gracing the screens, this sequel delivers on so many levels and (almost) creates a closed loop by which no further sequels could haphazardly follow). But taking the rose-tinted goggles off for a second there are a couple vfx shoots that look smudged and wishy washy (see also the brachiosaur reveal in the first Jurassic Park)* and there's a glaring plot hole in the final reel (Arnie leaves a crushed arm in a machine at the foundry) but these minor points aside this is still a glorious sequel. Terminator 2: Judgement Day is more of the same, but different and as perfect a sequel as you're ever likely to see.

* Don't get me wrong. The special effects are still outstanding for the time but anybody who says they hold up by today's standards are probably seeing the film through early 90s eyes. The reason they still appear so tangible is the perfect marriage between practical and computer effects.