wmllmw’s review published on Letterboxd:
After much anticipation, I finally saw The Terminator in April of this year. I knew it was going to be great. No I didn't, that's a lie, because I didn't like The Terminator. I was hugely let down by a "classic" that was shot fine, acted fairly well, and executed "half assed-ly".
Because of that, I had no interest in anything else having to do with the story. Well that lasted until tonight because I was in the mood for a fun action movie, and granted, the first film does do that whole fun action movie thing kind of well.
THIS MOVIE IS SO AMAZING WHAT THE HELL. Ok maybe I'm hyping it up a little, but WOW.
So many improvements from the first film. First of all, IT'S SHOT PERFECTLY. It's really the best work I have ever seen and will ever see from James Cameron (yeah I'm calling it now). He does so many interesting, maybe a little risky, and at times a little clichéd shots, but he pulls every single one of them off.
Secondly, Arnold Schwarzenegger is great. But holy shit Robert Patrick as the advanced T-1000 model Terminator is flawless, and has created one of the greatest villains put to screen. What a great face, like Arnie, for this machine inside the skin of a human. So menacing and unstoppable, giving Schwarzenegger a real challenge.
The acting isn't all great, however. The Connors were up and down for me. John Connor, the kid, played by Edward Furlong, who (worth noting) had no acting training or ambitions before doing T2, is quite good at some moments, and quite over the top in others. Linda Hamilton, who played Sarah Connor, was trying too hard. She tried too hard to be this emotionally disturbed macho woman who is driven and ultimately excused for her actions because of her mental state, whereas if she had focused more on making her character's driving force the love for her son and the length's she would take to protect him, I would have not only believed and been more on board with the character, but liked her and the film more. Is the script at fault for this? Barely, but at times, yes.
This film is so well done and so much fun. Time just flies by when you're watching it.
It's funny how spectacular and truly revolutionary the visual effects are... with the exception of that ridiculous phony blue lightning stuff. But what good is a terminator movie without it?