Tuesday, November 4, 2014

836. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)


Running Time: 137 minutes
Directed By: James Cameron
Written By: James Cameron, William Wisher Jr.
Main Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Robert Patrick, Edward Furlong, Earl Boen
Click here to view the trailer

HE SAID HE'D BE BACK...

Managed to talk my wife into watching the second installment of the Terminator series with me as well and since we bought the whole darn franchise on blu ray last year, we may even go the extra mile and watch "Rise of the Machines" and "Salvation", just so I can say I've seen 'em.


Let's be honest here, this Terminator has basically the same premise as the original. Once again it's the machines mission to kill John Connor and once again the opposition send back a protector. However, the difference here is that this time Schwarzenegger is playing the good guy - a T-800 reprogrammed by future John Connor to protect his young self, played by Edward Furlong. The predator here is a souped up T-1000 (Patrick) who is made of liquid metal and comes with cool shape shifting features and the ability to turn his limbs into blunt metal objects like knives and such. The T-800 gets the jump on the T-1000 by locating John first, leading to round one of their epic battles throughout the movie - it's semi tractor trailer vs. motorcycle. Meanwhile, Sarah Connor is spending some time at the local mental institution, due to the fact that she can't stop talking about the time traveling robot who tried to kill her and the time traveling man who knocked her up. She also won't stop going on about August 1997, which is when Judgment Day will happen. which will in turn lead to the great war between man and machines. Later, John and his new best bud the T-800 spring Sarah from the hospital and the trio do what they can to stop future events that threaten to destroy the world, all while trying to dodge the insanely powerful T-1000.

SPOILER ALERT!

Can we start by pointing out a HUGE mistake that THE BOOK makes in it's assessment of this movie? It says that Michael Biehn's character in the original movie IS John Connor! Umm no. Seriously, I haven't read the newest edition of THE BOOK, but lets hope they fixed a lot of the errors, because there were a lot to fix. It's as if the writers hadn't seen the movies in forever and were trying to recall them from memory. Oh well...

Let's start with the bad and segue into the good, shall we. First of all, I hated how much the T-800/Schwarzenegger tried to resemble a human here. He shouldn't be standing around wondering why John Connor is crying and trying to learn silly, new catch phrases in Spanish ("hasta la vista baby"), he's a KILLING MACHINE, plain & simple. God, I half expected him to start crying at the end, frying his circuits and screaming all the while, "I CAN'T CRY, I CAN'T SELF TERMINATE!". Also, have I mentioned how much I dislike Linda Hamilton because I do! She's just so manly looking that I can't stand it and it's not a shocker that you've barely seen her in anything else besides these movies. James Cameron must have been in serious love! I also don't like how this movie is the same as the original, with barely any new information being added. The whole Judgment Day thing really isn't a revelation, since we had to assume in 1984 that SOMETHING happened to wipe out humankind, thus initiating the war. There's still an assassin, still a protector and both movies are basically extended chase scenes. It's as if Cameron only made this because he got a few new toys and wanted to try them out.

On the other hand, Robert Patrick may be one of my favorite movie villains of all-time as the T-1000. I mean, how bad ass was this guy! Damn, I was half rooting for him to crush that sap Arnie and then put a finger knife through John Connor's stupid, little eyeball! And while I don't condone computer effects, CGI and all that stuff (it basically ruined The Hobbit for me), I will say that it's done to great effect here. That whole thing with the T-1000 getting doused in liquid nitrogen and then getting smashed into hundreds of little pieces may be the most creative death I've ever seen in a film. WOW! I hate to be that guy who gets all hot & bothered over gratuitous action sequences and general bad-assery, but DAMN! By the way, what was the deal with the T-1000 being dressed as a cop the whole time? Was that a little "fuck you" to the police force from James Cameron?


I will say I wish Robert Patrick had been kept mute the whole time. I think that would've given him even more of a killer vibe. I also like the fact that, if you know nothing about this movie going in then in the beginning you don't know whose side the T-800 is on and whose side the T-1000 is on. If you go in cold, then you have every reason to believe that Robert Patrick is the protector and Schwarzenegger is the assassin, but then they do a complete 180 on you and Arnie gets to be the good guy this time around!

All in all though, I dug this movie a lot. Like I said yesterday during the review of the original, both of these movies were big parts of my childhood, seeing them multiple times as a kid. Plot holes, overblown action sequences and sappy Arnie aside, I have a hard time giving this movie a hard time. It's easy to watch, fun to watch and it's pretty much nonstop action. I need to go back and check out that alternate ending though, because I've just realized I forgot to earlier. Apparently an alternate ending shows what happens to John and Sarah now that the end of the world has been averted.

RATING: 7.5/10  Same rating and actually, I think I prefer the original to this one. It's more plan & simple, a little more gritty and a lot less over the top than it's 1991 counterpart.

MOVIES WATCHED: 867
MOVIES LEFT TO WATCH: 134

November 4, 2014  11:43am

4 comments:

  1. I somehow missed seeing this one pop up.

    You know how you expected me to feel about Terminator? You know how you were surprised by my actual reply?

    Well, back to being predictable for this one.. Boring.
    Bang. Explode shoot. Look tough. Shoot someone again. make cool sounding but vacuous smart ass one liner. Shoot someone else.. "No, honestly this is different, look what my computer can do" Yawn, is it over yet?

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    1. Sorry you disliked this one so much Ray! Like I said though, this was sort of a big deal when I was a kid, so maybe that's why I like it so much.

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  2. Hamilton is great yet again. (I love her) To me she is Sarah Connor. That is why I think she was perfectly cast. However, I agree I prefer the first film as well. Good review.

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    1. We'll agree to disagree on Hamilton, but glad to find a few others who prefer T1 over this.

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