Thursday, September 30, 2010
Capsule Review: Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
For 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.