Sunday, June 21, 2015

Movie Review: "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" (1991)

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Movie"Terminator 2: Judgment Day"
Director: James Cameron
Year: 1984
Rating: R
Running Time: 2 hours, 17 minutes

Ten years have gone by since Skynet sent a Terminator back in time to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton). Now, Skynet is going to try again as they send a new Terminator called the T-1000 (Robert Patrick) back in time to kill Sarah's 10 year old son, John Connor (Edward Furlong). Much like before, the human resistance sends a protector back to try and save John. This time, it's a reprogrammed T-800 Model 101 Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger), the same model that tried to kill his mom 10 years earlier. 

Though released in 1991, this film actually takes place in 1994, 10 years after the events that took place during the first "Terminator" film. In many ways, the plot is very similar to its predecessor. A terminator is sent back in time to kill the future leader of the resistance, only this time, they send a more advanced model, the liquid metal T-1000 instead of the T-800. In return, the resistance sends a more advanced protector, a T-800, instead of a human soldier. Since the T-800 is an older model terminator, it still allows the story to have an underdog scenario that audiences love. Simply put, this is a really amazing movie. It keeps you fully enthralled from beginning to end and at no time did we ever feel distracted, disengaged or disinterested. The paring of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Edward Furlong (in his debut film) works very well and brings some charm and comedy to the previously cold-hearted machine. Schwarzenegger reprising his role in this film was probably the best career move he ever made. Despite the T-800 getting a bit of a lighthearted makeover, Robert Patrick as the T-1000 is just as cold as ever, and though not as physically imposing as Arnold, his technology and stealth abilities make him one ominous and scary mofo of a villain. All of these men do excellent jobs in their roles, but the performance that really sticks out as brilliant is Linda Hamilton's reprisal of Sarah Connor. Though she was never recognized, her performance was Oscar worthy, and we mentioned this in our review for "The Terminator," too. Sarah is a deeply layered character that has to show a wide range of emotions and mental states from early on in the film. We as the audience are captivated by her on-screen presence and believe every single one of these changes in mood, tonality and mental state. Though broken, she never fully breaks and always seems one step ahead of the game. We watch Hamilton fully transform into Sarah Connor on screen mentally, emotionally, and physically.

Though the characters and overall story may be similar to its predecessor, in many ways, this movie is different, too. It does go beyond the original survival narrative as our protagonists attempt to alter the future by going after one of the inventors of Skynet, Miles Dyson, played by Joe Morton. To go along with this wonderful story and awesome characters, there is an abundance of some great special effects. When this film came out, the special effects used to create the T-1000 were groundbreaking and unlike anything moviegoers had ever seen. Despite the fact this flick came out 24 years ago, though not perfect, the effects still hold up unbelievably well, especially when compared to the CGI-fest movies that come out these days. The only way to describe them is eye-gasmic. Developed by Industrial Light and Magic, and though used sparingly along with some incredible practical effects, this film was one of the first examples of CGI used successfully in a movie. Overall, "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" is just as good if not a little bit better than "The Terminator." It is action-packed, fun, exhilarating, sometimes creepy and boasts some next level visuals and performances. Oh, and we give it a huuuuge 2 thumbs up for being rated R now because looking back on it now, in a time when so many action films are dumbed down for the masses, this movie stands out in a crowd of mediocrity.

My Rating: 10/10
BigJ's Rating: 10/10
IMDB's Rating: 8.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 92%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!!!
One year ago, we were watching: "Blended"

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