Following the success of the Terminator (1984) and Aliens (1986), the Abyss (1989); James Cameron wrote, produced, and directed the 1991 sequel to the Terminator ‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Robert Patrick, and Edward Furlong as its principal cast.
Terminator 2 follows Sarah Connor (Hamilton) and her ten-year-old son John (Furlong) as they are pursued by a new, more advanced Terminator: the liquid metal, shapeshifting T-1000 (Patrick), sent back in time to kill John Connor and prevent him from becoming the leader of the human resistance. A second, less advanced Terminator (Schwarzenegger) is also sent back in time to protect John.
In the seven years between the original Terminator and the sequel, Schwarzenegger had become one of cinema’s biggest stars and action heroes. So, for the sequel, Arnie’s Terminator was still unkillable, but working for the heroes in the future.
Although Arnolds T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is sent back to the 1990s to save the young John Connor this time around, and the more advanced T-1000 (Robert Patrick) is sent to kill him – John doesn’t know who to trust at first, leading to a three-character chase that begins in a mall and ends on the embankments of the LA freeways.
The concrete bed of the Los Angeles River has been the site of many memorable chase scenes but T2‘s race stands out. Arnolds T-800 has to pilot a motorcycle, save the kid, and keep the metal-melding T-1000 at bay with his nifty rotary-cocking rifle — all at the same time. By the time the thrilling, slam-bang chase ends, the T-800 realizes that it’s met its match with the T-1000.
Judgement Day boasts still-awestriking visual effects and a winning twist on its own formula. Cameron re-calibrated a nearly perfect audience-slaying machine into an equally entertaining follow-up.