Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Terminator 2: Judgment Day ★★★★★

T2 is peak-90s action filmmaking: a masterclass in staging, cinematography, editing, special effects and stunt work. On that final point, it’s refreshing to see a movie that integrates elaborate, original stunt work into its set-pieces throughout its runtime. Remember when the tentpole blockbusters would compete with one another to deliver the biggest and best new stunts? Something we see less and less of nowadays (somewhere, out there, Tom Cruise has just awoken). Surfing on the side of the flipped, coasting truck is simply an amazing piece of work all round.

T2 is great because it delivers a sequel that feels organic to the original and plays by all the rules that were set out within it. Cameron also dares to broaden the scope of his vision and playfully adapt the tone of the piece to fulfil the requirements of a 90s Schwarzenegger blockbuster vehicle. His story has soul — provided via the new John Connor character, nicely played by a young, edgy Edward Furlong. His characters emotional thread around his father figure is not only a gifted bit of writing, it anchors the movie with a humanity that is moving. Indeed, that ending is the kind-of devastating, poignant and yet hopeful beat that perfectly closes out the movie and illustrates that Cameron knows how to go for the jugular & deliver one hell of a ride. One of the very best.

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