As the arc of sequels improve upon the original comes to a close, we could not finish this cycle without discussing Terminator 2: Judgement Day. While last week, we discuss the complete 180 James Cameron did with the Alien franchise by turning it into an action, suspense-thriller. The Terminator franchise was Cameron’s vision alone. He wrote the sequel and experimented with a new, revolutionary technology of morphing.
Cameron did not change the formula of his own series, like he did with Aliens, but he made some big enough changes to make the movie feel nearly separate from the original. The original film was a low-budget chase movie that featured a relatively unknown body-builder as the T-800 Terminator on the hunt to kill the leader of the resistance’s mother before she had her child.
One of the interesting aspects of that mission is that the machines forced the creation of their own demise. Had they decided not to kill John Conner in the mid-eighties, John would not have sent Kyle Reese back to protect her and thus John would never have been born. If they chose to stick out the war, eventually John would have been erased from existence.
In the sequel, the T-800 is sent back to stop the murder of John Conner as a child. So much has happened to Sarah to where she is a completely different woman from what we saw in the first film. The story of two Terminators was bigger, the action was bigger and the overall preventing of Judgement Day was the biggest goal.
Nearly 30 years later, the story and the effects still hold up. The film does not completely feel dated nor does the action of the film. Arnold had spent the intervening seven years making himself an action hero, so the thought of bringing him back as the villain would not have flown well with fans. They cast him as a reprogrammed Terminator to protect Conner and brought in a fresh-faced Robert Patrick to play the new T-1000 “liquid metal” Terminator.
The film, which is currently having its 3D re-release this week, is still a great time. Even if you watch the film on your 50-inch television, it doesn’t lose its impact. However, the last time I saw the film on the big screen was in 1991. The film would best be served to watch it on the big screen. Theatrical re-released of movies are becoming a thing and should be enjoyed by anyone.
If you don’t believe me about how much bigger the film went, just check out the clip below and rewatch the original The Terminator and you will notice the difference.
“Secrets of the Schoolyard” – Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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