|Terminator 2 - Judgment Day |
The Ultimate Edition DVD
Actors: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, Robert Patrick, Earl Boen
Director: James Cameron
Genres: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Arnold Schwarzenegger returns as The Terminator in this explosive action-adventure spectacle. Now he's one of the good guys, sent back in time to protect John Connor, the boy destined to lead the freedom fighters of the fu... more »
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Jon P. (pjhunter1) from BURNSVILLE, MN
Reviewed on 8/11/2009...
Not as good as the first but still worth watching
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
The 'Citizen Kane' of Science-Fiction Sequels
JLR | Staten Island, NY USA | 09/30/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Hasta la vista, baby".
A worthy candidate for greatest sequel of all time (along with The Godfather Part II, The Empire Strikes Back, Aliens and Toy Story 2), James Cameron's Terminator 2: Judgment Day delivers everything that a movie should deliver. It's got dazzling action sequences, spectacular visual effects, an intelligent human story, great characters and a nice blend of action, comedy and pathos, all wrapped in this one $100-million juggernaut. A welcome relief from the bloated misfires of Michael Bay, Rob Cohen and Paul W.S. Anderson, T2 is a movie that uses it budget for ideas and emotions instead of hollow gimmicks and indulgences, a movie that dares to thrill you emotionally and provoke you intellectually.
T2 is set nearly a decade after the original Terminator. In the first Terminator, cyborgs from the future sent a machine (Arnold Schwarzenegger) back to time to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), the mother of human resistance leader John Connor. The plan failed when the human resistance sent Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) to protect Sarah and together, they managed to destroy the machine. Flash forward a decade later: Sarah is committed in a hospital when she is falsely assumed to be insane; her son John (Edward Furlong) is raised by foster parents; and Guns N' Roses and Public Enemy are all the musical rage at the time. Once again, the machines send a Terminator (Robert Patrick) back to time, this time to kill John Connor while the humans send back a guardian to protect him. The twist, of course, is that the guardian is basically a replica of the first Terminator, except it is programmed to protect.
There are visual effects that are used to show off and then you have
visual effects that are used to tell a story. T2 rests in the latter category as the centerpiece of the special effects is the T-1000, a cyborg made of liquid-metal that can dissolve into various environments and possess the ability to turn into copies of the human it interacts. The T-1000 is a wonderful creation as we see him emerge from floors, transform into human figures, dissolve down from ceilings and create knife-like weapons from his hands and fingertips to kill. The genius of this special effect is that it is used for storyline purposes as opposed to visual pyrotechnics. In a brilliant sequence, the T-1000 jumps off a motorcycle from the top of the building onto a helicopter. After he headbutts the glass, the villain slithers into the cockpit like a silver snake before turning into his human form. The T-1000 then decides to use the helicopter to track down our heroes and kill them off. It is a brilliantly edited sequence that not only presents the awe of special effects as we see it but also helps advance the story a bit.
But to heavily praise the special effects is to overlook the human element, which separates James Cameron from his contemporaries that rely on showing off with computers. The relationship between T-800 and John Connor is simultaneously funny and moving; one funny bit involves John teaching the robot how to smile while in an amusing scene, John teaches T-800 how to not speak "like a dork" and say phrases like "no problemo", "chill out dickwad" and the now famous "Hasta la vista, baby". The genius of Schwarzenegger is that he can accept roles that are proper for him and make them transcendent and memorable. Unlike the stoic Sylvester Stallone, Schwarzenegger is an actor that is eager to open himself in ridicule, as shown in scenes mentioned above, thus creating a more believable character for anyone to like. He becomes a father figure to John and his impending demise at the end strikes an emotional chord given the relationship between the two.
Besides Furlong and Schwarzenegger, there are equally good performances from other actors, including Linda Hamilton as John's nihilistic mother with a grim outlook on humanity and Joe Morton as the troubled Myles Dyson, who is working on a new microprocessor that will unwittingly set the events for Judgment Day, the destruction of humanity. Cameron's skills with actors are often taken for granted and once again, he shows his skills at getting solid performances from a cast like he did in Aliens (1986).
As usual in a James Cameron movie, there are loads of exhilarating action scenes that will get audiences pumping. The opening car chase as the T-1000 chases after John Connor in a truck is a mind-blowing experience that is also visually playful: The T-1000's menacingly imposing truck chasing down John and his comparably tiny motorcycle is an amusing metaphor of how powerful this machine is compared to the puny, vastly vulnerable Connor. The third car chase, this time with the T-1000 flying a helicopter after the heroes in a S.W.A.T. van, is also an eye-opener as we see an amazing camera shot of an actual helicopter flying over and under the overpasses with ease. Sequences like this would have been via computer; here, it was all done in real life. And the final showdown between Arnold and the T-1000 is exciting as they fight in a steel mill, a symbol of two machines fighting it out in a domain or a setting that created them in the first place.
T2 is the apotheosis of what you call a "labor of love". Here is an action epic that is intelligently crafted, tremendously exciting and very witty. James Cameron often takes flake for his treatment of cast and crew members in pursuing a vision but watching T2 and all his other movies that have box-office successes, it is clear that not only do the ends justify the groans but such principles should actually be considered a good thing for a director."