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‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’ review: He’s back in 3D

Terminator 2 Judgment Day (3D) poster

Terminator 2 Judgment Day (3D) poster  

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The seminal action movie returns after 26 years to offer visceral thrills and jaw-dropping SFX

In a space crowded with superheroes and high-octane chases, you’d think there is no space for an action movie from the ‘90s. You might be right if it were any old action movie, but we are talking about Terminator 2 Judgment Day, which was seminal, iconic and all other shift F7 adjectives.

James Cameron made The Terminator in 1984 about a cyborg that comes from the future, 2029, to Los Angeles in 1984 to kill Sarah Connor, whose son John will lead the resistance after evil Skynet blows up the world. Arnold Schwarzenegger was perfect to play the remorseless, relentless and expressionless Terminator. There was Kyle Reese, a warrior from the future, to protect Sarah played by Linda Hamilton with awful ‘80s hair.

Terminator 2 was the perfect sequel as it gave bigger and better action sequences and chases and also changed things around to get the story going in a new direction. There was humour and emotion too and the film was all around good fun.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (3D)
  • Director: James Cameron
  • Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Robert Patrick
  • Story line: Two cyborgs slug it out as the life of the leader of the resistance hangs in balance

There is the cool thing where in the beginning you don’t who is the protector and who is the bad guy. And what a bad guy! Robert Patrick as T1000 with his clean cut good looks and mean stare apart from liquid metal shape shifting is a worthy opponent for Schwarzenegger’s T800. Picking off 10 years after the incidents of the first movie, Judgment Day finds Sarah in a mental institution and John running wild — his nifty number to hack an ATM machine seems cool even after 26 years.

The Terminator movies are basically chase movies (when they try to talk of the meaning of life as they did in Salvation with a gloomy Christian Bale as Connor they are hideously boring). Here there are adrenalin-fuelled chases on every manner of vehicle— from bikes to cars, choppers and trucks. The behemoths get a lot of screen time including that very satisfying explosion involving a truck carrying liquid nitrogen. While it is just a movie and one shouldn’t read too much into it, casting a black actor (Joe Morton) as the creator of Skynet was a smart bit of contra-casting.

Though the movie has been rereleased in 3D, more than the added depth and the pokey things coming out of the screen, it is the sheer joy of watching this gargantuan spectacle on the big screen that wins hearts and eyeballs.

It is so difficult for an action sequence to stand out in these days of SFX heavy movies. Judgment Day does not suffer from that; if any it is a problem of plenty. There is the first chase, where the T800 grabs John off his little bike while T1000 is hot on his tail in a truck, there is the T1000 forming out of black and white tiles in the hospital, leaping off Cyberdyne’s windows on a bike onto a chopper… the list goes on. Then there are the fun moments including John teaching the T800 to be human and the unfortunate Dr. Silberman, Sarah's psychiatrist.

The T800’s final gesture, as he sinks into the molten steel, a thumbs up, is poignant and prescient. How many Likes will it get?

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 11:37:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/reviews/terminator-2-judgment-day-review-hes-back-in-3d/article19693806.ece

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