Terminator 2: Judgement Day

Year: 1991
Production Co: Carolco Pictures
Studio: Columbia
Director: James Cameron
Producer: James Cameron
Writer: James Cameron/William Wisher
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, Robert Patrick, Joe Morton

In Aliens, James Cameron didn't exactly top Dan O'Bannon and Ridley Scott's visions for the original as much as add a thrilling new element, turning a moody, technically brilliant and very scary horror story into an action packed flight of machismo and tension. So it was with baited breath we all waited to see what he'd do with his own seminal masterwork of storytelling and filmmaking economy.

Given an expanded toolset, budget and scope, Cameron met and surpassed expectations again, like he's done in every movie he's worked on apart from True Lies, which was really only an action comedy, albeit an expansive one. The word 'revolution' is bandied about in the film press whenever his name is mentioned, whether it's recreating a 700-metre long passenger liner from the early 20th century (backwards) or a faraway world of blue aliens.

In the second part of the Connor family's trials and tribulations it was CGI, a technology so passé nowadays it's just another filmmaking tool like sound or colour. Two scenes in particular stand out in our collective memory, that of the T1000 (Patrick) emerging from the inferno of the truck after John's (Furlong) managed to escape it with the T800's (Schwarzenegger) help. The other is when the T1000 crashes his head through the helicopter window and pours himself, like a jar of mercury, into the passenger seat.

Along with a dozen other endlessly replayable moments like Sarah's (Hamitlon) dream of the nuclear attack on LA, it's a very fondly remembered film, so it's a surprise to realise the story's essentially a redux of the original. Whereas John once sent his closest lieutenant Kyle Reese back in time to battle a T800 Skynet had sent back to kill his mother before he could be born, this time he sends a captured and reprogrammed T800 back to protect his teenage delinquent self when Skynet send back a new model, the more svelte, liquid metal T1000.

After the events of the first movie, Sarah is now an urban commando, having spent most of John's life on the run before the law caught up with her, took John away and put her in an institution. When the T800 makes itself known to John, he takes it to rescue his mother and stop the seemingly-unstoppable T1000 in its tracks.

You'll have so much fun reveling in the unabashed testosterone of Cameron's romp you won't have a minute to consider any shortcomings in the originality of the story.

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