Saturday, 24 April 2010

We Need To Be A Little More Constructive Here, Okay?

After watching the first Terminator film, I felt an almost overwhelming urge to watch the first sequel, that which filled so many days for me back in my childhood. And so watch it I did.

Like with series such as The Godfather and the Aliens series, the Terminator series is another where the second film is possibly better than the already acclaimed and successful lead-off. With Terminator 2: Judgement Day, I'm going to come right out and say that it is definitely better than the original. Set a number of years after the original, the 1991 film focuses on John Connor (Ed Furlong) and his mother Sarah (Linda Hamilton), with John as a rebellious juvenile in foster care, convinced his mother, now locked up in a mental facility, is crazy for her beliefs regarding her initial Terminator encounter.

However, when a second version of the initial Terminator who had been sent to kill his mother (Arnold Schwarzenneger reprising) comes after John he is quickly convinced, and the two set about escaping from the T-1000 (Robert Patrick), a far more advanced terminator, rescuing Sarah and destroying the SkyNet software and hardware that enable the entire future to happen in the manner outlined by the Terminator.

Terminator 2 is far more action-packed and the effects really ramp it up. However, it is also a great story well told and well acted from all involved. Furlong does really well as the young kid (watching it I remembered the phenomenal crush I had on him when the film was still new - I would have been about the same age as he was in the film whilst this crush was going on, so I promise it wasn't anything untoward...) and Hamilton pulls in a stunning futuristic action fantasy performance on par with Sigourney Weaver's in the second Alien film (or Aliens as it is otherwise known...) Schwarzenneger has more lines but it is ostensibly the same characterless character, and Patrick is suitably unemotional and cold to watch.

James Cameron flexed his muscle with this film (at the time, the first film to cost more than US$100mil to produce) and showed that he is very strong when he's working with the right material, which is pretty much all he ever does. He cut his teeth with the first one, and rammed it home with the second. Everything works, which gives good reason to the fact that Terminator 2 won four Oscars from six nominations while the first won zero from zero (apparently the first and I believe only time a sequel has won an Oscar where the original hadn't even been nominated.) Truly entertaining from start to finish, 5 stars.

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