Thursday, September 30, 2010

Capsule Review: Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Terminator-2-PosterFor my 10/11 year old self, perhaps no film was more hyped – or anticipated – than James Cameron’s massive sequel to 1984’s The Terminator. Strangely, I had never seen the original (I was a little young for its combination of science fiction and horror), but I had bought into the advertising completely, even devouring the film’s novelization. Did it live up to the hype? And then some. While my grown self tends to prefer the slasher movie conventions and low-budget ingenuity of the original, the sequel goes for pure adrenaline and nutty action set pieces (along with some state-of-the-art special effects that still manage to hold up). Sure, Edward Furlong is whiny and irritating, and some of the dialogue is cheesy (though I'll defend “I know now why you cry” to my dying breath), but it goes for it so completely that you can’t help but get swept away. James Cameron was on the top of his game here, though his director’s cut is best avoided – the welcome appearance of Michael Biehn as Kyle Reese is handled rather awkwardly – and there’s an alternate ending out there that will leave you shaking your head. As good as big summer action gets.


J.T. said...

The opening montage featuring the burning playground after the nuke hits still makes my heart feel like there is a shard of ice in the middle of it.

It is funny how all of the nuclear threat / post apocalyptia movies like Mad Max and this one have such a chilling effect on we kids of the Cold War.

Such a powerful scene in a great action movie.

Kaijinu said...

you know, you're one of the few guys I know who saw the slasher film tropes of the original.

That puts me in ease for now.