Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

James Cameron
Science Fiction/Action/Thriller
Terminator 2: Dommens dag
136 minutes
James Cameron
James Cameron
William Wisher

Cast includes:

The Terminator Arnold Schwarzenegger
Sarah Connor Linda Hamilton
T-1000 Robert Patrick
John Connor Edward Furlong
Dr. Silberman Earl Boen
Miles Dyson Joe Morton
Todd Voight Xander Berkeley



The stakes, budget and technical levels were raised in this seven years junior sequel of filmmaker James Cameron's 1984 hit The Terminator. A clever characterological twist combined with inspired, unassailable writing lay the foundation for Judgment Day. This time, John Connor is an enterprising teenager and his mother is locked up in a psychatric ward when two futuristic terminators return to kill and protect them respectively.

Cameron's slick and energetic direction drives this action film forward, with impressive special effects which were groundbreaking at the time. The same can be said of Robert Patrick's categorical performance as the unrelenting terminator. He largely adopts the edge Arnold had in the original film, but which the Austrian had largely glossed over with a phony so-called family-friendly streak in the follow-up. And this is where Terminator 2: Judgment Day falls behind its predecessor. Because where The Terminator never made compromises, this film occasionally does. Another example is the narration by Linda Hamilton's character, which at times feels vapid.

There is nothing to take away the sheer enthusiasm and drive which Cameron is able to recapture, however. He still directs action scenes and creates moods like few other filmmakers, cleverly incorporating and developing the threads from his first film without feeling like copying himself. The film is a stylistic and thematical triumph, even if ad libbed Arnold-lines such as "I need a vacation" prove that an even tighter artistic grip from the filmmakers probably would have benefited the outcome.


Re-reviewed: Copyright 20.4.2009 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang
Original review: Copyright 8
.10.1996 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang