Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) (R)
The likability of "The Terminator" is completely lost in its sequel, which is widely considered to be exponentially better than its predecessor. "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" starts off just as the first one did, in the middle of the night with big flashes of lightning.
The story line picks up where the first one leaves off, so be prepared for SPOILERS for "The Terminator".
Earth in the future is destroyed by sentient robots. They nuke the entire planet and give themselves the throne, metaphorically. The one man who could have possibly stopped them was named John Conner and in "The Terminator", one robot is sent to kill the boy's mother and one human tags along to try stop the machine, which turns out to be rather difficult.
Likewise, "Terminator 2" begins with the same electrical storm and the appearance of two naked men behind strategically placed objects. One of them we recognize, it's Arnold Schwarzenegger. This was the baddie from "The Terminator".
In the wake of the incident involved with the first movie, Sarah Conner (Linda Hamilton) has been jailed in a mental hospital. No one believes her story about the robot from the future coming to Earth to destroy her before she can give birth to the savior of mankind...so they lock her up.
All I can say is Cameron must have thought Jesus was a little brat, because the savior of this movie couldn't be more intolerable. John (played by Edward Furlong) is just an average bratty kid, well, more than your average bratty kid. Raised by a mother who society deems as insane, your childhood consisting of one drill after the other, you might find yourself a little rebellious too.
John has foster parents who seem like your average white trash. Then again, they aren't given a lot to work with since John's on their hands.
Post-duo-of-naked-men-appearing-in-the-dead-of-night, we are to assume that one of the two men is here to kill John and one is here to protect...our assumption is correct.
John is off doing his normal rebellious activities like visiting an arcade when he is confronted by the terminator....ooh, cue scary music.
John, who I would have been fine getting killed, decides that he will take his protector and try to get his mom out of the mental hospital.
Shot with the intensity of a road chase, "Terminator 2" doesn't meander much, though it does supply John with way too many lines. The script, which loves to generate explosive-necessary situations, is nothing terrific. It has Sarah Connor changing from a loving mother to a butch, merciless crazy person—which is fine, because she's more tolerable that way.
The moments in which John isn't whining or screaming are actually quite entertaining, though they lack the brash charm of the original. This sequel tries to be more serious, which, considering how goofy some of the material is, doesn't work.
The most famous object to escape from the movie, besides "Hasta la vista, baby" is the animation of the Terminator, which was ground-breaking for its time. The special effects are still quite enjoyable, but the movie as a whole is quite tedious.
The film would go on to sweep the visual effects categories at the Academy Awards and land itself permanently in pop culture, spawning its own obsessive following.
James Cameron isn't in top form here, pumping out a dumber, and no where near as enjoyable film as the first.
I just wish that I didn't have to put up with that kid.
Posted by Micah Jones