DirkH’s review published on Letterboxd:
Objectively I can easily say that this is a stunning film. As a film lover and a huge fan of the original, I don't really like it. At all.
I really admire Cameron's dedication to each and every film he makes. This is something many other filmmakers can learn something from, especially in the type of film he makes. That he is dedicated to this film, of that there is no doubt. The technological advancements he shows off in this film were not seen in film, certainly not to the level Cameron brings it. As with Avatar, Cameron seemed to be a step ahead of everyone else. His practical use of CGI made me stare at the screen in complete awe. That he knows how to direct big action sequences was nothing new, but he proved here already that where technology is concerned, Cameron is an innovator, something he just keeps proving with every film he makes. Be they good, bad or average, they are always made with total dedication and passion. Admirable indeed.
Hasta la Vista
That line there sums up the entire problem I have with this film. The script. I hate it. It's not that its poorly written or unevenly paced, if anything those things are just fine. It's what's in it that completely rubs me the wrong way. And this is a very, very personal thing, I know.
After watching the first Terminator I felt that we were presented with a perfect action film, with an iconic villain that came full circle with a perfect script. The idea of a robot that is relentlessly pursueing you with only one objective, to kill you, is truly frightening. Add an interesting time travel twist and you're ticking all the boxes perfectly for an instant classic. And that it is.
When back in the day I heard they were going to make a sequel and it would again star Schwarzenegger I was not immediately excited as it did not make any sense to me. The Terminator was destroyed, it would make no sense to bring him back. Than that video played on MTV by Guns 'n' Roses and that made me want to watch it instantly. It showed fantastic stunts and Ahnold looked cooler than ever, my initial doubts vanished. And then I watched it. And was entertained, yet a bit pissed off.
Your friendly neighbourhood killer robot
Hold on now. Did they just turn one of the most frightening killer robots into a one-liner snapping, kid friendly softie with a conscience?? For me the Aliens principle of more is better most definitely did not work here. The introduction of the T-1000 as the new villain really did not work. It felt like it was created to show off some cool special effects, but as a villain it falls in the age old sequel trap of just making the monster bigger and more powerful thus hoping to create suspense.
They try to expand the whole Terminator mythology, which is fine and the glimpses we get of the future are great. But again, the atmosphere of the original is never even touched upon and that destroys everything about what makes this concept so great. It started out hopeful enough with a completely messed up Sarah Connor, but the moment Young Connor is introduced I started to get annoyed. His interactions with the Terminator are clichéd, pedantic and extremely annoying.
So in the end I'd say that this film destroys yet another Terminator only not quite in the way I wanted to see it happen.