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Terminator 2 Judgement Day Review
action movie, science fiction, movie review, 90s film
My Summary: Well the machine that was programmed to kill John Connor from the future is dead and now the future John Connor sent back a terminator to when he was a kid to protect him. Skynet sent back to terminator to when John was a kid to kill him. Sarah Connor in this time also is locked up in a mental hospital after trying to blow up a computer factory. So John decides to use his new terminator to rescue her and stop judgement day from ever happening before the other terminator kills him.
The Good: Honestly this is much better of a film than the first I believe. All the leads give the best performances of their careers. Sarah Connor is probably the best feminist action star in history. She knows the future is in danger so she dated many military officers in order to train her son to be the leader of the resistance. But trying to convince people that you know the future will send anyone to a mental hospital. But she never gives up as she trains and makes attempts to get out in order to find her son. It doesn't help that even her son thinks she's crazy but this doesn't stop her. She has a goal in mind and will do anything she can to accomplish it even if everyone around her thinks she's ill. It's just a plus that she became good with handling guns, weapons, and paper clip door openers (seriously I know that's possible but that must be incredibly hard). Her character is an extremely close second favorite in the film. Obviously the main star is back in the role he continues to prove that he was born to play. He manages to project the mechanics of a machine but also one that is learning as he goes along. When John Connor teaches him about smiling, crying, high fives, and phrases it feels natural. Nowadays whenever a machine, alien, or whatever tries to act human it comes off as awkward and just silly. Here you get the idea that John is still a child looking for a father figure that he never had. The scene where Sarah is giving a monologue over what she sees, the interaction between the two looks sweet and heartfelt. John isn't stealing money, the terminator isn't killing and the two have a kind of father son bonding moment. I never thought I would get so emotionally invested from a character played by a man who said this in his bodybuilding film 14 years earlier.
Yeah I know, ew. Anyways John Connor is played by Edward Furlong who, if you haven't kept up with, had a lot of issues with drugs, violence, and fame. His most infamous incident was getting high on the set of a movie in 2006 and stealing lobsters from a restaurant and setting them free. But anyway this role he played gave him the fame that you'd expect and it is all well deserved. The story of how he was discovered was interesting. Edward was just skating at the Boys Club of Pasadena where casting director Mali Finn happened to be looking for a child to play the role. She spotted him and just smiled then walked over to him and asked if he would like to take the role. Obviously it didn't end there because the first few tryouts he failed to impress James Cameron (yeah imagine being 13 and trying to impress the guy who used a nail gun on all his film crew's cell phones for not turning them off while filming). Yeah, I wouldn't be as confident either. But lucky for him Finn fought for him and got him acting training and won over him. So anyways back to the film. Usually kid actors are just too childish and immature to play interesting characters but not here. Furlong possesses the rogue attitude but also fragility of a child who is still growing. He makes an excellent transition from the 90s punk in the beginning to a concerned heartfelt strong willed fighting kid. The character arcs to all these characters are done with such delicacy which helps the subtly that many action films have lost. But of course I won't fail to mention the groundbreaking special effects that emerged from this film. The T-1000's liquid metal is kickass even by today's standards. The scene in which his head gets blown up is great and how he heals. The T-1000 freezing was awesome and you can't forget the catchphrases this film has now been parodied to death for. Even the famous "I'll be back" is said again in the film without sounding forced. Lastly the ending is pretty much one of the best endings in an action movie I've seen. I won't spoil it but let's just say I was completely satisfied with the series ending after this one.
The Bad: With every great film you will still have mistakes to it. The problems are kind of nitpicky nowadays. I honestly thought John Connor was supposed to be 13 or 14 years old in the film because that was how old Edward Furlong was and looked. According to the film John Connor is supposed to be 9 or 10 years old. Okay not too bad but a little too hard to believe. I kind of wanted to see what Sarah Connor did before getting locked up in the mental hospital but instead John just tells us. But that's okay because you get to see how she breaks out in detail. Also chances are if you heard about it so much from other people with the catchphrases, the costumes, the parodies and all you may be annoyed because this is where it all came from. That Bad to the Bone song is kind of a joke now. Also why the hell does Arnold have his sunglasses on at night and never in the day.
Verdict: The Best Action Movie Ever!
Yes I mean it with complete sincerity. I'm sorry Diehard but this is the action movie with more story, interesting characters, better action, better performances, and even more plausible (believe it or not). This has everything you can think of that goes into a great action film. Yes I know it's also science fiction but what do you see more of. The characters are easy to relate to but that doesn't stop them from becoming star icons. It isn't dated in all the parts that count and the special effects are actually better than all the rest of the Terminator sequels. This is also maybe the last great performance by Arnold before going down hill. The teen males will love the action, the fact that a kid star didn't make them look like idiots, the chase sequences, and adventure. The teen females will love the greatest female character in action movie history, the goodlooking Edward Furlong (then, not now), lack of sexist jokes, and no romantic interest to show a female character can't be present without a mate/boyfriend/husband (which many action films do). The older people will appreciate the complex storyline, a sequel that isn't just a rehash of the original, special effects that aren't the star of the film, and a heartfelt story about a machine that learns some human values as well as a once terminator fighting survivor who learns to overcome her prejudice. Or they will enjoy all of the elements but there is something for everyone to enjoy in this film and that is why this is at least my favorite action film.