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Terminator 2: Judgement Day Movie Review

It’s time for another movie review presented by our good friends over at FatCats Gilbert on the southwest corner of Greenfield and Baseline! With the most comfortable Recline-N-Dine seats in the valley, you don’t even have to leave the theater to have delicious pizza, chicken, french fries, and more! It will be brought right to you! To see all showtimes and to purchase tickets, you can click right HERE!

This movie isn’t seeing it’s opening weekend here in 2017, so you’re probably wondering why I’m reviewing Terminator 2: Judgement Day. First off, it’s one of my favorite movies of all time, and, in my opinion, it’s the second best action movie ever made right behind Die Hard. Just as a side note, you know that a movie is a classic hit when a person can make a statement like that without much disagreement. Anyways, luckily for fans, it’s returning to theaters this weekend exclusively at AMC nationwide in 3D, just in time for the 20th anniversary of Judgement Day in the Terminator movie universe on August 29th! Now, I probably can’t say much about this movie that will shock you or open your mind to new ideas about the film. Fans and critics have been singing the praises of this movie since 1991, so I don’t have much new to say. I’m just going to run down most of what I think is amazing about this classic action movie, so 26 years after its initial release, let’s talk about Terminator 2: Judgement Day!

Terminator 2: Judgement Day is directed by James Cameron and stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Edward Furlong, Linda Hamilton, and Robert Patrick. In the future John Connor is the savior of the human race in a war against technology. To defeat the humans, a brand new prototype Terminator called the T-1000 is sent back in time to kill John Connor as a kid, thereby destroying his hopes of leading the human rebellion. Future Connor gets word of this and reprograms a T-800 to go back in time to protect his younger self.

I think what has always fascinated me about this movie is the way it’s able to bend and shift genres successfully. We’ve seen hundreds upon hundreds of movies attempt to replicate this idea or do something similar by playing with genres, but I would argue that it has never worked better than it did in Terminator 2: Judgement Day. At its core, this is a sci-fi action movie, but the elements of horror and drama are both there along with certain other themes such as the idea of the “fish-out-of-water” and coming-of-age. I also don’t think this movie gets credit for how genuinely funny it is, and I would argue that it’s able to reach that level of comedy through combining genres. It has also always latched me on because it’s so much more than what it presents on its surface. Again, at its core, it’s a sci-fi action movie, and a darn good one, but we examine far more about humanity and our tendencies than we do about the Terminator lore. The Terminators are actually pathways for us to discover humanity. We are given these characters who are ice-cold and metallic, but along the way, the T-800 learns from young John Connor and his mother. He learns about humanity from the way the T-1000 throws humanity away and becomes pure machine. John Connor forms a genuine bond with the T-800 that leaves us feeling hopeless, but also full of hope at the idea that we can learn just like the T-800.

I think the performances in this film are often overlooked as well. Arnold Schwarzenegger in his most notable role brings an amazing overall tone to the film, and, without facial expressions, is easily able to form a connection to John Connor that we latch onto for the entire film. It’s not just a one-sided relationship where the T-800 protects John. John feeds the T-800 with compassion and understanding of what it means to be alive. Linda Hamilton is awesome in the film as well, and Terminator 2 is probably the sole reason that Sarah Connor is my second favorite female protagonist of all time. Ellen Ripley will always be my favorite, but Sarah Connor is arguably just as great, and has such a layered, gritty, motivated character. One thing that I always find funny and sad at the same time is that in the opening credits, Edward Furlong has his own title card that says “Introducing Edward Furlong.” I always smile at that because, little did they know, Edward Furlong would go on to star in a couple more amazing movies before his career eventually went down the tubes for certain reasons. It’s that sigh of satisfaction you get when you realize that you’re witnessing where something successful began, so to know that he went on to be in movies like Detroit Rock City and American History X, which is one of the most powerful movies I’ve ever seen, is pretty cool.

Again, if you’ve seen the movie, you know just how awesome it is. I didn’t even scratch the surface of the way James Cameron directs action or just how revolutionary the visual effects were. What’s most notable about watching this film now is that it’s so clearly shot. You won’t find Cameron trying to hide anything, and that’s refreshing. It’s weird to say that a movie from 1991 is refreshing, but I’m not kidding. It’s refreshing like a cold bottle of Crystal Pepsi. What I will say that might be news to you is that the color correction looks amazing. The redesigned visuals make this 1991 film look like it was intended to be released today, and as an owner of a very worn Blu-ray copy of this film, I was blown away. Morally, I can’t send you out to the theater because of the 3D aspect. I’m not a huge fan of 3D, and I probably never will be, but the new transfer is incredible. If you’re a big fan of this movie, I think it’s worth heading out to the theater to give it a look. For the sake of tradition, I’ll score this movie. I’m going to give Terminator 2: Judgement Day a 10/10. If you are looking for information on where you can purchase tickets, you can click right HERE!

Will  you be headed out to AMC this weekend to see the rerelease of Terminator 2: Judgement Day? Comment down in the comment section and let me know! As always, thank you, and keep listening to 88.7 The Pulse!

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Justin Lyons

Hey, it's Justin Lyons! I am the Chief Film Critic for The Pulse. Have any questions for me? Please feel free to email me at movies@pulseradio.fm