Thomas’s review published on Letterboxd:
Even though “The Terminator” is already a cinematic milestone and timeless classic, the sequel “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” is superior in almost every aspect. It just is nonstop mind-blowing entertainment from beginning to end.
The world is bigger and more fleshed out, the story is more engaging (it takes familiar story beats and gives them an exciting twist), the set pieces are amazing, the action sequences are breathtaking, the pacing is perfect, and the visual effects are groundbreaking and still hold up today.
Besides the action, my favorite aspect of the movie are the characters and their development. Sarah Connor is now in full-on badass mode and this film made her one of the most iconic female action heroes of all time. Nevertheless, the biggest star is still Arnold Schwarzenegger´s T-800, who is now one of the good guys. He is still cool and badass but, in this movie, he can also show his comedic and loveable side. “Terminator 2” is mostly remembered for its action spectacle (which is amazing) but it also has a lot of heart and a strong emotional core. The main theme of the film is “family”, since Sarah´s character arc revolves around reconnecting with her son and John and the T-800 develop a cute father/son bond. The different dynamics between the three leads are heartwarming and entertaining. And then there is the T-1000, who is even more intimidating, dangerous, and indestructible than the T-800. He is terrifying, memorable, and one of my favorite movie villains of all time.
Like I said, in my opinion, “Terminator 2” is clearly a better movie than “The Terminator”. For me, the really difficult question is if “Terminator 2” or “Aliens” is the best action movie of all time. Right now, I would say “Terminator 2”, but this could change after every rewatch. Anyway, it is amazing that James Cameron made both of my two favorite action films (“Die Hard”, “Mad Max: Fury Road”, and “The Raid 2” complete my top 5).
To conclude, “Terminator 2” is the perfect action film and the benchmark for the whole genre. The whole movie is iconic scene after iconic scene and even roughly 30 years after its release, it has lost nothing of its power, charm, and entertainment value.