Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) – Movie Review


As an anatomy and physiology instructor, you
have no idea how much it pains me to hear Sarah Connor say there are 215 bones in the
human body. Itís 206. Hey everybody, welcome to Mainely Movies. Today Iím gonna be talking about the 1991
sci-fi action sequel: Terminator 2: Judgement Day. If youíre new here, please consider subscribing
for a variety of movie-related content like reviews, ranked lists, and trailer reactions. All of my reviews include a breakdown of the
pros and cons, my rating, and some tailored film recommendations, so be sure to watch
through to the end of this video for all of that extra content. Terminator 2: Judgement Day stars Arnold Schwarzenegger,
Edward Furlong, and Linda Hamilton and was directed by James Cameron. Set eleven years after the events of the first
film, it tells the story of a young John Connor, played by Edward Furlong, as he attempts to
survive a terminator assassination and prevent the catastrophic prophesized judgement day. Itís not every day that a sequel surpasses
its predecessor. But Terminator 2 does exactly that in just
about every regard. Itís a much bigger movie ñ the storyís
bigger, the budgetís bigger, the actionís bigger. It takes the elaborate time-travel premise
of the first film and runs with it, crafting a complex, yet fully understandable story. It expands on concepts established in the
original movie, but also presents things in new and unexpected ways, all while keeping
its characters moving from one giant action set piece to the next. That action is arguably the biggest difference
between T2 and T1. The first Terminator movie did have some decent
action, but it was all fairly small-scale with the exception of the explosion near the
end. It was almost entirely shot in dimly-lit locations
and just had a smaller scope to it. Terminator 2 is hugely expansive with its
action, largely thanks to its 1500% budget increase over the first movie. Much like the first Terminator, T2ís basically
a big chase movie only this time thereís not that much running. Instead, weíve got car chases, truck chases,
helicopter chases, and multiple motorcycle chases ñ the first of which probably being
my favorite sequence in the movie. Itís not all chases though. Like any good 90s action blockbuster, thereís
an inordinate amount of explosions and more shootouts than most 80s action franchise combined. Even though eleven years had passed in the
Terminator world, it had only been seven years since the release of the first film, but the
advancement of the special effects in that short time period is really impressive. Some of the CGI is a little rudimentary to
look at nowadays, but there are multiple CGI-heavy scenes involving the T-1000 that I think still
hold up really well, even today. T2 definitely prioritizes big action over
the smaller-scale horror elements of T1, but there are still some effective and creepy
moments here too. Arnold Schwarzenegger reprises his role as
the T-800 or Model 101 Terminator, but this movie deviates from its predecessor by turning
him into a protector rather than a straight-up terminator. And that change really makes a huge difference
for this character. He still has the traits that we loved about
him in T1; his unstoppable determination to complete the mission, his physicality and
abilities, his very literal matter-of-fact tone that results in a bit of humor. But he also has, ironically, humanity in this
one. Thanks to John Connor (both future and present),
heís not just a killing machine and in fact has the capacity for learning. This opens things up to a lot of humor (not
to mention a dynamic new concept to the story), sparking more philosophical questions about
what makes something human. Of course I have to talk about John Connor,
given his immense importance not only to this film, but to the Terminator franchise as a
whole. Iím somebody who gets easily irritated by
child actors in non-kid movies, but Edward Furlong gives a stellar performance here. And the character is crafted in such an interesting
way. Thanks to Sarah Connor, he not only knows
about the events of the first film, but heís also highly trained in things that no other
kid would be able to do. This allows for a very fast-paced movie with
minimal exposition. When John first encounters the Terminators,
he quickly figures things out on his own without some big shock and explanation scene. Similarly, when the action ramps up, heís
right in it with Sarah and the T-800. He can ride that motorcycle, he can reload
the weapons on the fly. Things that would seem like a big stretch
for a young character in any other movie make perfect sense here. As big and expansive as this movie gets with
its action and sets, itís ten times bigger and more interesting when you take the time
travel element into account. This franchise is very much predicated on
the idea of fate and how events of the past can shape the future. And this movie, in particular, really plays
that up. We find out that events of the first film
have a direct impact on the future and the rise of Skynet. This is something thatís hinted at in the
first movie, but if it wasnít for the Terminator and Reeseís trip to 1984, the dystopian future
that theyíre trying to prevent would have never happened in the first place. On top of that, youíve got John Connorís
knowledge of his own future, which adds this interesting mind and fate-bending element
to the story. Despite its time-travel induced complexity,
T2 manages to tie the whole story together in a way that actually makes sense and provided
true closure to the franchiseÖ until they decided to continue it twelve years later. Alright, letís talk about the pros and cons. Pro number one has gotta be the action. This takes the pulse-pounding sequences of
the first film and cranks them up to eleven. Itís really got everything you want and expect
in a 90s action blockbuster. Car chases, motorcycle chases, absurd shootouts,
absurd shootouts during motorcycle chases. Just about anything that can be blown up is
blown up and itís all done in spectacular practical fashion. Then you throw in the T-1000ís CGI effects
and fireball models and youíve got one out of control action fest. The horror elements of the first film are
lost, but in exchange, we have a huge action blockbuster that set the bar for movies to
come. The second pro is the relationship between
the T-800 and John Connor. After fearing Arnold Schwarzeneggerís Terminator
for the whole last movie, itís an odd shift to suddenly like him here, but this movie
has no trouble getting us to do so. There was always the inherent humor with the
character, but adding the protector friendship element allows for further expansion of the
character as well as the filmís themes. Despite being a machine, the Terminator learns
humanity from John and in turn, John learns what itís like to have a father figure. Pro number three has gotta be how this movie
ties the whole story together. Time travel is something that can add a lot
of complexity to a story. Itís a cool premise, but makes it really
easy for a movie to fall victim to plot holes and inconsistencies. Terminator 2 somehow manages to take the time
travel stuff and mold it into a logical plotline that encompasses both Terminator films. The events of the first film not only have
an impact on this movie, but also on the future and so these cascading repercussions need
to be accounted for in order for any of it to make sense and this movie manages to do
so in a satisfying way. As far as cons go, my only real issue is Sarah
Connorís voice-over narration. Itís a minor con for sure, but definitely
still one that bothers me. I donít really like the voice-over anywhere
in the movie, but I can tolerate the opening exposition monologue cause it recaps the first
movie and sets the stage for this one. But a little after the halfway point right
through to the end, we get fairly frequent narration from Sarah thatís not only lacking
in energy, but also feels extremely unnecessary. Iím gonna give Terminator 2: Judgement Day
4 out of 5 paws. It takes just about everything about the first
movie, cranks it up, and then runs with it to create an exciting, funny, and compelling
story about preventing the destruction of humanity. I would recommend Terminator 2: Judgement
Day to anybody who likes action movies. This is really one of the quintessential 90s
blockbusters and still holds up today, both in terms of action and story. If you liked the first Terminator movie, thereís
a really good chance youíll like this one too, even with the tonal shift. T2 is definitely watchable without having
seen T1, but youíll get the most out of it with knowledge of that first movie. If you liked Terminator 2: Judgement Day,
the obvious recommendation would be The Terminator. Youíd think most people would watch a franchise
in order, but Iíve actually known a lot of people whoíve seen T2 without ever watching
the first one. Itís a bit darker-toned and smaller in scale,
but itís a good one and will fill in a lot of plot gaps you may have. If you liked the action here and just want
another 90s movie with plenty of explosions, you should check out Independence Day for
another type of judgement day movie. And if you like the relationship between John
Connor and the T-800, you might want to watch The Iron Giant for another story about the
mutual benefits of a kid-robot friendship. Alright, a couple questions for you guys. Number one: Have you seen Terminator 2: Judgement
Day? If so, whatíd you think of it? And number two: Whatís a sequel that you
think surpasses its predecessor? Be sure to leave your answers in the comments
below so we can get a discussion going. Alright, so if you got some enjoyment, insight,
or information out of this review, Iíd appreciate it if youíd hit that like button. And, if you havenít done so already, please
hit subscribe while youíre at it, to see more videos like this. Till next time, this has been Alyssa with
Mainely Movies: The way life should be.

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