STARRING: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, Robert Patrick, Earl Boen, Joe Morton

1991, 139 Minutes, Directed by: James Cameron

Description: He said he'd be back. Arnold Schwarzenegger returns as the Terminator in this sequel co-written, produced and directed by James Cameron (The Terminator, Aliens, Titanic). 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 future. Linda Hamilton reprises her role as Sarah Connor, John's mother, a quintessential survivor who has been institutionalized for her warning of the nuclear holocaust she knows is inevitable. Together, the threesome must find a way to stop the ultimate enemy - the T-1000, the most lethal Terminator ever created.

Schwarzenegger is back in the role that was made for him: that of the emotionless machine sent from the future to destroy his enemy. Except this time around, he is one of the good guys, sent to protect the enemy in question against a far superior android.

As a sequel this movie is rare: it by far out-grossed its predecessor. It was also made on a much larger budget than the first Terminator movie. (How much bigger a budget? The first movie was made for a mere $6 million, the salary Schwarzenegger commanded for this one!) Obviously the effects and stunts are much more spectacular this time around - especially the fluid metal android Schwarzenegger does battle with is a masterpiece of special effects ingenuity.

This is a subversive affair: Cameron is packaging a pacifist argument within a violent action movie. For example, the young boy teaches the Schwarzenegger cyborg the value of life and he doesn't kill any people throughout the movie (instead he shoots them in the kneecaps maiming them for life - but never mind!).

Linda Hamilton graduates from hunted female victim (like those women who gets chased around in the Halloween movies) to muscled independent woman (al a Ripley in Aliens). Even she doubts her Rambo antics at one point in the movie: "And if a small boy can teach a machine the value of human life, then..."

Definitely worth seeing although as sequel it isn't an equal. This is Hollywood high art: it has all the spectacular special effects and awesome stunts that only tinsel town infrastructure (i.e. big bucks) can produce and nobody else.

The dream sequences in which LA is engulfed in a nuclear blast are spectacular and well-done. This is a movie that sincerely misses the Cold War since its plot (largely tying in with the first Terminator movie that was made when the Cold War was still in full swing) and its anti-nuclear war message feels somehow out of date several years after the end of the Cold War.


# 15
of the
Top 100 Sci-Fi Movies
of all time




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