In this sequel to 'The Terminator', young John Connor (Edward Furlong), the future leader of a human rebellion in a machine-dominated world, is under threat from the new T-1000 Terminator (Robert Patrick) - an improved, virtually unkillable model. The adult John sends a copy of the original Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) back in time, this time to protect the boy and his mother, Sarah (Linda Hamilton). As the battle of the behemoths begins, those on the side of good realise that they can alter the future enough to stop the slaughter on 'Judgement Day' when the computers commenced Armageddon.
Arguably the finest movie of its kind, Terminator 2: Judgment Day
captured Arnold Schwarzenegger at the very apex of his Hollywood celebrity and James Cameron at the peak of his perfectionist directorial powers. Nothing the star did subsequently measured up to his iconic performance here, spouting legendary catchphrases and wielding weaponry with unparalleled cool; and while the director had an even bigger hit with the bloated and sentimental Titanic
, few followers of his career would deny that Cameron's true forte has always been sci-fi action. With an incomparably bigger budget than its 1984 precursor, T2
essentially reworks the original scenario with envelope-stretching special effects and simply more, more, more of everything. Yet, for all its scale, T2
remains at heart a classic sci-fi tale: robots running amok, time travel paradoxes and dystopian future worlds are recurrent genre themes, which are here simply revitalised by Cameron's glorious celebration of the mechanistic. From the V-twin roar of a Harley Fat Boy to the metal-crunching Steel Mill finale, the director's fascination with machines is this movie's strongest motif: it's no coincidence that the character with whom the audience identifies most strongly is a robot. Now that impressive but unengaging CGI effects have come to over-dominate sci-fi movies (think of The Phantom Menace
's pivotal blending of extraordinary live-action stuntwork and FX looks more and more like it will never be equalled. --Mark Walker
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.