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USA 1991
Directed by
James Cameron
137 minutes
Rated MA

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
4 stars

Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Seven years after his ground-breaking sci-fi action movie, The Terminator, James Cameron returns with a sequel that achieves that rare feat of actually building on the merits of its predecessor.  Not only is it a brilliantly staged action spectacular (it won four Oscars in technical categories for its groundbreaking effects, the film making pioneering use of then-new CGI technology), it manages to infuse its nicely turned time-travel story with humour and humanity,

Arnold Schwarzenegger is back in his most famous role but this time as a good cyborg sent from the future to save Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) and her 10-year old son, John (Edward Furlong) from a ruthless killing machine (Robert Patrick) whose mission it is to prevent John from one day becoming the leader of the resistance against Skynet, a super-intelligent self-aware computer network, and sending back The Terminator to defend himself and his mother.

Whilst The Terminator broke new ground for an action spectacular, T2 is simply awesome (it  had a budget of more than ten times that of the original) consisting of three breathtaking action set-pieces delivering ultra-destructiveness but tempering these with the relationship between John, Sarah and The Terminator, with the young lad providing a moral compass for his driven-half-mad mother and the emotion-\less cyborg who is completely devoid of social skills. Schwarzenegger is, needless to say, the epicentre of the film but the  comparatively physically slight Robert Patrick is compelling as the unstoppable T-1000.

Cameron originally intended to stop The Terminator saga with this film and although there have been further instalments, the director, who has since proven himself to be a master of big budget film-making, has directed none of them, all of which, unsurprisingly, have been inferior to this.




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