Monday, July 3, 2017

Sci Fi Top 100, #16: "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" (1991)

Movie Stats:
Released 1991 (USA)
American & French, in English (minor non-translated Spanish)
Director - James Cameron
Stars - Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, Robert Patrick

Plot Summary:
In the 21st century, the human race has nearly been wiped out by intelligent machines. Those machines send the assassin cyborg T-1000 (Patrick) back in time to kill the leader of the human resistance, John Connor (Furlong), as a child. Adult John Connor sends a cyborg Terminator (Schwarzenegger) back in time to protect his younger self. Hamilton co-stars as John’s mom, Sarah. This movie is the sequel to “The Terminator.”

Strong blue language; violence; gore.

Bad Stuff:
I hate the voiceover. The stuff at the beginning is okay, but when it turns up later in the movie it feels clunky and out-of-place.

It’s cheesy. I know it spawned a lot of catchphrases back in the day, but you watch it now and a lot of that stuff is pretty cringey, like the thumbs-up at the end.

Idk, I feel like John Connor sending back a replica of the machine that terrorized his mother to protect himself is a little cruel to Sarah. Like, was there no other model he could have possibly captured and sent back? It seems like just a convenient way to make sure Arnie was in the film since he was the breakout star of the first.

Good Stuff:
I love Robert Patrick in this. He makes such a great killer cyborg.

The special effects have held up surprisingly well. I thought this early CGI would look bad to me now but it really doesn’t. In fact, it's some of the practical effects that look terrible (for example, both Schwarzenegger’s and Furlong’s stunt doubles are very obviously not them). Even so, there’s no denying that this film is still quite impressive visually.

I always appreciate an action film that doesn’t feel the need to shoehorn in a love story.

The Verdict:
Another film I saw in the theater when it came out & hadn’t seen since. I remember not being completely thrilled by it back then. I feel the same way now. I certainly don’t think it’s bad, and I understand why it’s so beloved. It’s entertaining, and it’s great to look at. I just don’t seem to connect with it the way other people do. Plus, I’m not convinced that it truly addresses the time travel paradox. I mean, they change the future, so how could any of this have actually happened? I suppose that’s why there are still sequels being made, more than 30 years after the original.

I give it 3.5 stars.

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