Terminator 2 is a perfect sequel. It takes everything cool about the first one and ups the ante and becomes a better movie than its predecessor. Not only is it a perfect sequel, but also it’s one of the best action movies of all time. James Cameron doesn’t just make movies, he makes blockbusters. Arnold Schwarzenegger plays another T-800 Terminator sent back in time, Linda Hamilton reprises her role as Sarah Connor, and Edward Furlong plays a 10-year-old John Connor.
The move takes place eleven years after the first one. Sarah Connor is in a nuthouse, because that’s where you go when you tell everyone about killer robots from the future. Her son John is the future leader of mankind and our only hope of survival against the killer robots, but for now he’s stuck living with foster parents. It kind of sucks when your mom’s insane and your dad hasn’t been born yet, and so John acts out and is a preteen rebel.
Skynet sends back a T-1000 model robot (Robert Patrick) to track down and kill John Connor. The future John Connor sends back an older model T-800 (Schwarzenegger) to protect kid John Connor. The T-800 is the same model as the killbot in the first movie and the T-1000 is liquid metal and can shapeshift and make stabbing weapons. When this movie came out, it was a big twist that Arnie was a good robot and that the other guy was a bad robot.
The T-800 rescues John from the T-1000. John realizes that his mom isn’t crazy and he and his new robot bodyguard go to free her from the nuthouse. Sarah Connor is in the middle of her own escape, and they have a happy little reunion. Sarah gets over her trust issues with the T-800 pretty quickly and they go on a road trip to Mexico.
Arnie tells Sarah and John all about Skynet and the end of the world. Sarah thinks the only way to avoid Judgment Day is to murder Miles Dyson (Joe Morton), the engineer most directly responsible for creating Skynet. She tries to kill him but can’t. When he learns about Judgment Day he decides to join the team and help Sarah prevent the end of the world. He takes the Connors and the T-800 to Cyberdyne to destroy everything related to Skynet, included the microchip and robot arm from the first movie.
The T-1000 shows up and there’s and epic battle. And the two robots fight and punch each other and you understand what it going on, unlike Transformers. Spoiler alert: they beat the T-1000. The T-800 learns human emotion and sacrifices himself to avoid Judgment Day.
Having a 10-year-old John Connor as one of the main characters could have been disastrous without the right casting. Kids are annoying and stupid and don’t belong in action blockbusters. Edward Furlong pulls it off though. He has a cocky street kid attitude that suits the role perfectly. Compare his performance to Jake Lloyd as Anakin Skywalker in The Phantom Menace. When you leave the theater you want to punch Anakin in the face and you want John Connor to save you when the robots come.
This is a great action movie. Every scene leads into the next one, they all are relevant and they all advance the plot. There’s a great flow and pacing and the action scenes are awesome. This was made in the glorious time where when you see a helicopter chasing a truck, you know that it’s a real fucking helicopter chasing a real fucking truck. The CG effects were cutting edge at the time, and even though they look cheesy now, the story makes up for it. It was a great action flick when it came out, and it still is over 20 years later.
Critically Rated at 16/17