Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Terminator 2: Judgment Day ★★★★★

*Note: I watched the extended director's cut of Terminator 2 with the alternate ending as it remained the only version of the film I hadn't seen before.*

Look, I'll keep this brief: You've probably seen this before, and if you haven't, go and watch the first and second Terminator and stop there because it doesn't get much better than those two films. I've seen the original well over 20 times, it's a stone cold classic and one of the best sequels ever made. I hadn't seen the alternate ending of the movie before until tonight and I actually think I like it more than the original ending, especially because it negates the later sequels, don't @ me.

The adult fears of nuclear annihilation was genuinely terrifying to me this time around. When I was a child (because I was watching this when I was 4), it didn't sink in before and I watched the movie for the action scenes. As an adult, I respect the effort that went into the action scenes and they are really good. The camera operator isn't shaking to make the movie more intense, the stunt work of just guns firing is all very well done. Robert Patrick is terrifying as the T-1000 and the scenes in the Hospital play more like a straight up horror film, and the beats were working on me pretty effectively through those moments.
A few stray observations:
- Someone who worked on this movie saw Fritz Lang's Metropolis, because the robot hand being a black glove might be coincidental, but more than likely not. I appreciated the reference.
- Edward Furlong isn't the first child actor James Cameron worked with before, so he knew what he saw in him. Furlong's John Connor is played with an arrogant and sarcastic streak throughout, and that's teenage John Connor, even though he's supposed to be 10. Furlong's weaknesses as an actor came later in life, but he's just fine here.
- I don't find the ending emotionally affecting. Maybe it's because I've seen the movie so much, but I cry at everything, so maybe the emotional aspect just doesn't work for me here.
- The comedy stuff does work in here. The first movie used Schwarzenegger's imposing stature to make him a terrifying killing machine, this one makes Arnold's personality and charm shine and he made him more palatable for the audience. It's good, I laughed a bunch and I think it was a smart choice for this film.
- Hooray! The early CG isn't all terrible, just the stuff near the end!

Beyond that, this was a great movie to revisit. It's still the high watermark for action movies, Sci-Fi movies and sequels. It does have small flaws, but nothing deal breaking. It is fantastic.

Logan B. liked these reviews