Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

terminator 2 judgement day poster 1991 movie t2 arnold schwarzenegger
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 10/10

Great visuals

Second half of the story is a bit of a jumble

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Terminator 2:  Judgment Day

Studio:  Carolco Pictures

Genre(s):  Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  July 3, 1991

MPAA Rating:  R


I’m coming for you John Connor!!!

John Conner (Michael Edwards) is the future and humanity’s only chance, and right now he is a teenager who can’t be controlled. When a new make of Terminator called the T-1000 is sent back to kill John Connor (Edward Furlong), it takes the form of a police officer (Robert Patrick). With the T-1000 on his trail, John’s only hope might be a T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger), the same model who attempted to kill his mother Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton). With the T-800, John must free his mother from an institution and they begin a desperate plan to stop Judgment Day from ever occurring.

Directed by James Cameron, Terminator 2: Judgment Day (or stylistically T2: Judgment Day) was a sequel to the 1988 film The Terminator. It became one of the biggest blockbusters of all time and really kicked off a series which included more sequels, a television series, books, and comics.


Oh hell no! I killed this guy!

T2 was a massive hit and probably the biggest reason was its amazing special effects. The movie is, and still feels like, one of the biggest movies you’ll ever see. The explosions, the chases, and the T-1000 itself still look great. Part of the reason is the limited computer animation at the time when the movie was made. Cameron had to be more creative to make the computer effects he did have work with the real-life effects. The movie blends these in a way that still works.

The T-1000 is a great enemy. The liquid metal look was so new at the time and it is allowed to kind of not match up because it is a machine attempting to blend in to the environment. The machine isn’t perfect and any FX errors in T2 with the T-1000 can be written off as that excuse.  Robert Patrick plays the android so cold and collected that I have a hard time seeing him as anyone else (except Doggett from The X-Files).


Who is flying this helicopter?

It was also a smart switch to have Arnold play the hero after playing the great villainous Terminator in the first film. This allowed for a lot of different story ideas, Sarah Connor’s distrust, and the problem of a machine that killed his father becoming John Connor’s father figure. This gives T2 a type of smartness that takes it from simple action/adventure to sci-fi and dealing with ideas and concepts.

My problem with T2 (and what I think makes it an inferior movie to the first film) is the second half of the movie. For some reason, they believe that the future (of which the T-1000 and T-800 come from) can be stopped by the destruction of the computer Skynet. It doesn’t make sense without the introduction of parallel earth’s and timelines and that isn’t brought up. It takes the momentum out of the script and I think it loses a lot of fun as soon as their objective changes.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day holds up remarkably well and still has an interesting plot. A lot of people were hard on Terminator 3 after the success and shock and awe feel of T2, but it did at least explain the plot questions I had with this film. I like to revisit the Terminator series occasionally and be reminded of when summer blockbuster could really surprise.  Terminator 2:  Judgment Day was followed by Terminator 3:  Rise of the Machines in 2003, but Terminator:  Dark Fate from 2019 eliminated the films following Terminator 2 and serves as a sequel to T2.

Related Links:

The Terminator (1988)

Terminator 3:  Rise of the Machines (2003)

Terminator Salvation (2009)

Terminator Genisys (2015)

Terminator:  Dark Fate (2019)

Terminator:  The Sarah Connor Chronicles—Season 1 Review and Episode Guide

Terminator:  The Burning Earth

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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