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Film Review - Terminator 2: Judgment Day
This is possibly Arnold Schwarzenegger's last good film, ever! In recent years, Schwarzenegger has been playing a character of himself: this character.
As you'll recall, in the future we lost control of our global defense system. It decided we needed to be gotten rid of. But there was this troublemaker named John Conner who kept the human resistance fighting. The nasty technology sent a terminator back in time to kill the mother of Conner before he was born. But that robot was out of its 90-day warranty and didn't accomplish its mission.
Yeah, but as we say in the software biz, "That was 1.0". Now the nasty technology of the future has a new improved Terminator. It's made of liquid metal so it can assume different shapes and take the place of people it makes contact with. But the biggest improvement is this latest nasty-gram of the future doesn't speak with an accent!
John Conner doesn't have one of these liquid metal killing machines; he's just got a dumb old "Arnold" model. Oh well, they always were easy to re-wire.
This is sort of the same story as The Terminator and is sort of a continuation of that story. Linda Hamilton is back and in a mental hospital because no one found the end of the previous movie believable. She did have the baby because, surprise, the foot soldier of the last movie was a really great sperm donor.
Arnold is back as the "nice" terminator, newly rewired by John Conner of the future, sent back in time to protect young juvenile offender John Conner from the nasty liquid metal killing machine. Arnold and the boy are the focus in this film, and create all of the comic relief.
One of the great elements of the original Terminator was the feeling that the killing machine simply could not be stopped. That feeling is all over this film. We're also reminded of a fundamental principle of the first film, that we have the power to determine our own fate.
The Wrong Ending
My only real criticism of T2 is the ending. In this film, Linda Hamilton has a recurring nightmare of a nuclear warhead exploding in Los Angeles. She sees herself playing with children as the bomb goes off. She is unable to help herself. She and her vision are both killed in the blast. My view of the end of this movie would have been the same scene, but the Linda playing with the children would look back to see the Linda in combat clothing fading away, a spectre of a future that does not happen.
Instead of my clever ending, we're given a shot of a road at night telling us that the future is uncertain. If you get your hands on the laser disc version of this film, you'll find yet another ending where a very old Linda sits in a park dictating into a tape machine. My guess is they shot that ending, it tested poorly and the producer hastily put the road ending in. I like my ending better. But then, Gale Anne Hurd rarely calls me.