Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong
Director: James Cameron
Running Time: 137 mins
Terminator 2: Judgement Day is an American film and the sequel to The Terminator. Ten years after failing to kill Sarah Connor, a new terminator, the even more indestructible T-1000, is sent to kill Sarah’s son, John Connor, while a cyborg, identical to the one that attempted to kill Sarah in 1984, is now sent to protect John from the T-1000.
Well, I’m going to buck the trend a bit here, because despite what everyone else says about this being a superior sequel, I don’t think this comes anywhere close to the first film. It’s still a hugely entertaining film, and the special effects are fantastic, but I think that it loses that uniquely dark and tense atmosphere that made the first one so exciting to watch, and it replaces that with often too much action and explosions, at the expense of real excitement.
When I was watching this, I was drawn to comparing it to the change between Alien and Aliens. Alien is famous for its ‘haunted house’ atmosphere, which was incredibly suspenseful and dark, whilst Aliens, also directed by James Cameron, is just a full-blown action movie, which doesn’t have the same sort of intelligence that the first film did.
And that’s pretty much exactly what happens here. The first Terminator was slower and more tense, whilst this is a more blockbuster-like pounding ride of action and mayhem, while the story also suffers, and is nowhere near as comprehensive and interesting as the one in the first film (plus the setting (is it 1991,1994 or 1997!!?) really got on my nerves throughout).
That’s not to say that this film still isn’t exciting to watch. The action is still really good, and it’s got such a fast pace that it’s difficult to take your eyes off of the screen, whilst Robert Patrick as the new, ruthless T-1000, is almost as scary as Schwarzenegger was in the first film, if not a little less cold and chilling.
One of the most impressive things about this film is its visual effects. For the time, they’re absolutely astonishing, and they still hold up today as really good-looking and realistic graphics, which was a definite improvement over the first film, however I still don’t think that they contributed as much to the overall feel of the film as I had expected.
There is one thing that really did get on my nerves here, and that’s making Arnold Schwarzenegger a good guy. He does a perfectly good job at it, and is very funny and entertaining in that new role, but I think that it was a missed opportunity to retain some of the fear factor that the first film had just because he was a more bankable movie star, but despite that, he, and the whole film were still perfectly entertaining, so that’s why this gets an 8.0 from me.