The director’s cut of this movie is out on DVD. If you know nothing about this movie, rent this and the original now and watch them in order. The most powerful moment in the movie requires a level of ignorance that’s hard to achieve these days. While you’re at it, rent the third to get caught up for next week’s review.

Cast, Crew, and Other Info

Arnold Schwarzenegger as the T-800
Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor
Edward Furlong as John Connor
Robert Patrick as the T-1000
Joe Morton as Miles Dyson

Written by James Cameron and William Wisher
Directed by James Cameron

Complete information is available from the IMDB.

Buy from: Amazon.com
or Amazon.ca

Past movie reviews can be found here. I’ll try to get that page updated this weekend.

Premise

Years after the original Terminator was destroyed, a second Terminator and a second protector arrive to kill John Connor as a child.

High Point

Miles’ reaction to the complete future history.

Low Point

The violations of established rules. The first said, and emphasized, that there were only two time travelers. It also said that a time travel needed to be living tissue to make it through; how does liquid metal qualify?

The Scores

Originality is not Cameron’s strong suit. I like the role reversal that makes Arnold the hero, but in retrospect, there’s really no other way to make the movie. They need an escalating threat to generate excitement, and they need to have Arnold back for the sequel. Still, other filmmakers would have given up on a sequel faced with these problems. I wonder if this solution was Wisher’s idea. I give it 3 out of 6.

The effects are what this film is best known for. The morphing is truly remarkable, and still impressive in many ways. Some of the physical effects aren’t perfect, but they did a much better job of choosing camera angles to hide these issues. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story is inconsistent with some of what we saw from the original, but there’s internal consistency if you set those rules aside. I give it 4 out of 6.

The acting can be hard to judge. Furlong and Hamilton did well. Patrick and Schwarzenegger also did well, but they had such one dimensional characters that’s it’s hard to say how well they did. Schwarzenegger suits this role much better than any role I’ve seen him in that demands, say, emotion. Patrick, on the other hand, impresses me every time. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response is good. The first time I saw this, I’d seen the original, but (as usual) had deliberately avoided any ads or other sources of spoilers. I caught it opening weekend, and had no idea what the nature of Patrick’s character was. If you go in knowing only what you see in the original, that encounter in the hallway behind the arcade packs one heck of a punch. Even after watching it, the action sequences still hold up. I give it 4 out of 6.

The production had a lot of style and tone. The blue filters came out very strongly here, and really gave a good sense of mood. In fact, the only thing I’d have really changed was trying to find a more subtle way to tell the audience what was in the tanker truck near the end. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a good action flick, and a special effects landmark, but there’s very little to it past that superficial surface. See it in a mood to not think much. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, Terminator 2: Judgement Day receives 30 out of 42.