Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Terminator 2: Judgment Day ★★★★

if we can teach a robot to believe humanity is worth saving, then maybe we can convince ourselves. that’s the premise of T2: Judgment Day, and as great of an action movie as it is, with practical and digital effects that make my head spin (they flew a helicopter under a highway overpass???), it’s so hard for that message not to ring a little hollow. i loved the image of the thumbs up sinking into liquid metal, but would the same gesture from my google home mean anything? i just asked my google home to tell me a joke, and it said “what’s a potato’s favorite form of transportation? the gravy train!” i could program it to call me dillweed for laughs, and we have our rapport when it comes to setting kitchen timers, but i still think it wouldn’t feel anything at all if the automated future steamrolled the most vulnerable among us into oblivion. 

i guess it makes sense that the most salient action art about the terrifying technologically advanced and morally depraved future wasn’t made in 1991, when there were I think like 12 tv channels, but wouldn’t it be cool if someone took this IP and made something that spoke to this grand unease we’ve slipped so far into, 30 years later? before i’d even seen a terminator film i knew “SkyNet” as comedy punchline shorthand for “evil tech company we compare Amazon/Google/Quibi etc. to”.

regardless, the action sequences are so so cool, arnold is perfect, and it’s a testament to quality that it all still looks so great this far in the future. I far prefer the innovation demonstrated here with limited technology to the soulless mo-cap tech goop of the modern Disneys. also this is Peak Cinema for buff girl representation. excited already for future watches where i don’t have to keep reminding myself what the plot is and i can just fully enjoy the majesty of the practical effects and sarah connor kicking everyone’s collective ass.

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