It’s a funny old world. Back in 1991 Terminator 2 was just another Arnie action movie. Twenty-six years later, it’s acknowledged as a sci-fi classic.
Set ten-years after the events of T2, Sarah Conner (Linda Hamilton) is now in a mental institution and her son, John (Edward Furlong) is a disillusioned kid who believes that Mom is a “total loser” whose stories about the future and Judgement Day are just figments of her fractured psyche. Then, a Terminator appears with message and a mission: “Come with me if you want to live”.
T2 is one of those rare action movies that goes beyond its throw-away premise to deliver something really special. A great script, perfect casting, breath-taking action sequences, and tons of humour.
Terminator 2 was in many ways, a film of curious contradictions. An ultra violent pacifist movie. A blitzkrieg action flick with a philosophical heart. A film with a machine hero, that celebrates human warmth and compassion. But for all these paradoxes what really made T2 such a huge hit were its ground breaking special effects.
James Cameron had previously dabbled with CGI in The Abyss but with T2 he pushed the envelope as far as it would go. The effects budget alone was more than the entire cost of T1. It may be hard to imagine now but, back in the day, T2’s relatively simple effects left audiences reeling.
This December a StudioCanal are offering up a 3D edition, fully restored at 4k, that brings Cameron’s seminal sequel roaring into the 21st Century. A new documentary T2: Reprogramming The Terminator offers some fascinating behind-the-scenes interviews with cast and crew including Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Cameron, and Edward Furlong – although Sarah Conner herself is curiously absent from the lineup. The result is a triumph of crisp visuals and well-balanced sound that should have collectors and film-lovers’ lining up to add this to their Christmas wish list. Never has a dystopian future looked so good.