Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Terminator 2: Judgment Day ★★★★★

I know some people prefer the original, and while it's great, to me, Terminator 2: Judgment Day is the perfect pure action movie. James Cameron is one of very few 80's and 90's American filmmakers who actually got how to shoot and edit action scenes.

This gets so much right it's hard to list all of its accomplishments. Constant sense of urgency and danger, scenario flipped on its head from the first one, relentless, balls to the wall action, gorgeous practical effects (and even the CGI doesn't look too bad for a 1991 release), great and memorable characters, smart script, badass and iconic moments galore... jeez I have to stop.

But what is really striking to me is how endearing the relationship between the Terminator and John Connor is. I've never felt that Edward Furlong gave a bad performance. He acts like a cocky boy to me, with some heartfelt moments thrown into as well. He looks out of his element, but at the same time, you can get a glimpse of his inner courage through it all, and how he could indeed one day become the leader of the Resistance in the future.

Linda Hamilton channels all she's got in a career-defining performance. I love the scene at the scientist's house, such a wonderful display of internal struggle and crushing moral dilemma. What would you do in her shoes? Brilliant writing and acting.

And Arnold, well... he's legendary for a reason. He's pitch-perfect in the role. Also shout-out to Robert Patrick.

Peak action movie film-making right there.

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