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Terminator 2: Judgment Day (DVD, 2009, 2-Disc Set, Lenticular Packaging; Widescreen)
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Hasta la vista, Baby; I'll be back
May 19, 2008
Review by George Chabot
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Arnold Schwarzenegger, Robert Patrick, Story, Special Effects, Direction
Cons:Edward Furlong, Linda Hamilton, lack of chemistry between players
The Bottom Line: A very good sequel but apart from the action it lacks the heart of the original story. Still very good but the original is better.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
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Via 1984's The Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger had risen from virtual obscurity to being a household word. The Terminator was a cyborg (cybernetic organism) from the future, sent back to the present to slay Sarah Connor, the mother-to-be of the future leader of the human resistance. Another warrior from the future, played by Michael Biehn, came back through time to battle the Terminator and ensure the survival of Sarah Connor.
In an odd twist, the perfectly realized plot revealed that the future warrior became the father of John Connor, the future leader, the guy who had sent him back through time to protect his mother!
Audiences were electrified and the urge to do a sequel must have been overpowering. But James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger were both relatively new to the movie bidness and rights to the story were cloudy. After a six year hiatus, the rights were finally obtained and work began on the second installment, Terminator 2.
Terminator 2 brings back Linda Hamilton (Sarah Connor) and Arnold Schwarzenegger, this time as a good guy Terminator sent by John Connor to protect him back in the past! John had been born back in about 1985 and looks about 14 years old in this so it must be 1999 according to the story.
The back story gets filled in that Sarah had gotten together with various men that could teach her survival skills that she could pass along to John when he got older. She had tried to destroy Cyberdyne Systems, the maker of the machines that would ultimately conquer mankind, but got arrested and locked in a mental hospital. John was given to a foster home where he pretty much raised himself.
At this point the two terminators appear, one the familiar Arnold Schwarzenegger T-100, and a vastly improved T-1000 (Robert Patrick), made of liquid metal that has much more capability than the archaic T-100.
Arnold, of course, is in fine fettle as he obtains clothes - Terminators time travel nude - and transportation at a biker bar. He also obtains a lever action shotgun for armament.
The rest of the movie is almost non-stop action with a few interludes of humor or pathos but apart from the mindboggling special effects and adrenaline pumping action the story has little heart. I think its because of the actors.
Schwarzenegger is doing 100% in his limited role as the half human half machine whose best talent is to break things. For Hamilton, we have a fairly unlikable sourpuss who has been body building. The biggest drawback is Edward Furlong as John Connor. He is a wimpy little whiner that realized he has control over the Terminator so he makes him do stupid things like shoot people but don't kill them, and say snappy things like "No problemo." There is little chemistry between the players and although Schwarzenegger has more than enough charisma to carry it off solo, he is weighed down by the dead weight of Furlong and to a lesser extent Hamilton. Robert Patrick, as the liquid metal terminator, is more about doing fantastic action sequences and being shot a lot than any thespian board treading. Between him and Arnie, the sequences are great, although Patrick obligingly dumbs down his superiority enough for the antique model to ultimately best him. ;>
The Artisan DVD is presented in 2.35:1 theatrical aspect, in color, and runs 139 minutes in the standard edition. Directors Cut and Extreme versions are also available if you want even more Terminator 2.
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