Andy's Anachronisms
Time Travel Movie Reviews


Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)
Ten Years Ago The Machines Who Rule The Future Sent An Unstoppable Terminator To Assassinate The Yet Unborn John Connor. They Failed. In 1991 The Machines Will Try Again

Directed by James Cameron

The Basic Plot

Set in 1995, this follow up to The Terminator (1984) finds a young rebellious John Connor (Ed Furlong) struggling in a foster home while his mother, Sarah (Linda Hamilton) serves time in a psychiatric prison. When a new version of the terminator (Robert Patrick as T-1000) is sent back in time to kill him, John's saviour arrives in the unlikely form of an original model Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger).

The Analysis

While Terminator 2 furthers the plot of the original film, it is in many ways a parallel story to the first movie in the series. Arnold Schwarzenegger as the kindler gentler Terminator is cast as the role of the protector, a role previously fulfilled by Michael Biehn's Kyle Reese. Robert Patrick as the T-1000 takes on the role as the indestructible monster previously fulfilled by the T-800. Finally Ed Furlong stars as the young, innocent civilian, a role played by Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor in the first film. The basic plot remains the same, good protector must save innocent civilian from bad terminator while convincing them of the possible future that awaits them. Where the films diverge is in their tone.

The nuclear holocaust message of the 1980s has been muted somewhat by the early 1990s it remains an integral part of the film and is chilling portrayed with stunning special effects in Sarah's nightmares. The scene is played out on several occasions and involves Sarah trying in vain to alert a playground of mother's with their children to the deadly blast that is bearing down on them. We watch with Sarah as the innocents are vaporized.

Parenthood is a prevalent theme in Terminator 2: Judgement Day. Sarah struggles with the responsibility of raising John to be the man she knows he must be to save the world. She sacrifices her own needs and wants in an attempt to give John the best opportunity to fulfill his destiny. Sarah is prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice when she decides to take matters into her own hands and eliminate Dr. Miles Bennett Dyson and his research at Cyberdyne Technologies to protect John. Sarah also acknowledges that the Terminator sent to protect John is more of a father-figure to John than any in his life.

This bigger, louder sequel to 1984's The Terminator showcases Industrial Light & Magic's (ILM) cutting edge special effects of the day. The liquid metal of the T-1000's morphing ability and reflective look were first used in James Cameron's The Abyss (1989) to a lesser extent.

With the destruction of both the T-800 and T-1000 machines and the derailment of Cyberdyne's research, Sarah and John feel that they have escaped the fate that awaited them and the world in Judgement Day.

The series is followed by Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines which was made in 2003, nearly 12 years after Terminator 2: Judgement Day. The delay was due in part to prolonged court proceedings over Carloco film declared bankruptcy in the early 1990s.

Review Posted: 2003-07-08

Return to Time Travel Movie Review Index

Return to Andy's Anachronisms Home

Jump to Internet Movie Database for Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)