Dan Abel’s review published on Letterboxd:
Excuse the length of this review but it's officially only my 5th 5-Star rating out of 516 reviews and counting. This one is special.
"The computer which controlled the machines sent two terminators back in time. Their mission to destroy the leader of the human resistance my son, John Connor. The first terminator was programmed to strike at me in 1984 before John was born. It failed. The second was sent to strike John himself when he was still a child. As before, the resistance was able to send back a lone warrior. A protector for John. It was just a question of which one would reach him first...."
From the very beginning your ears have the pleasure of hearing the best rework of a theme song ever created. The Terminator 2 theme will live on in infamy forever. That's the highlight but the rest of the music composition is lights out as well. The ultimate SciFi / action film soundtrack. The FX are stunning for their time with cutting edge CGI that is still mostly passable in 2020. This is the type of movie where CGI FX shine over practical FX as showcased when comparing this film to it's predecessor. I don't say that lightly.
Before Edward Furlong became a loser he was the shrieky voiced John Connor. To me this is the real John Connor and always will be. Sarah Connor has evolved from a harmless innocent waitress to a battle hardened cold badass in the best performance of Linda Hamilton's career. I can only imagine how it must have felt for fans at the time to see Arnold go from being the terror in the first film to being one of the greatest protagonists of all time as he pulls the shotgun out of that box of roses. Plus, he fights the The T-1000, the best antagonist in the entire franchise. Robert Patrick with his stone cold gaze and slicked back hair are perfection and go a long way in making the relentless T-1000 come to life as a terrifying villain.
Best sequel ever made? Definitely. One of the best films of all time? Probably. If you're not invested in this film by the 30 minute mark you are broken inside. There are multiple scenes in this film that bring tears to my eyes whether they are for some real nostalgic purposes or genuine sadness at the end. Watching the kid and the machine bond, especially after the machine's chip is switch from read-only to being able to learn is a beautiful experience in a world of constant danger. Even at a monstrous two and a half hour runtime the plot never drags. James Cameron is a brilliant bastard.
None of the sequels are looked at too favorably, and while I disagree with many people on two of them, I understand why they feel the way they do. "Terminator 2: Judgement Day" set a bar so high that it can't be topped. Anything after it will always be seen as inferior, and thus the sequels are doomed to fail from the minute they get the green light. No other film gets me pumped like this one while also bringing me to tears. I can't help it. It's a manly cry though, of course. Isn't that a mark of brilliant cinema? To evoke emotion? I tend to hate the phrase and don't say it often but this is REQUIRED VIEWING for basically anyone on the planet. Thank you to each and every person who contributed to making this masterpiece happen.
I'll leave you with a short list of SOME of the bad ass moments this film delivers. Cheers!
-The tow truck chase scene with the motorcycle and the one handed cocking of the infinite ammo shotgun through the L.A. river.
-Mental institution chase scene.
-Gatling gun scene.
-Rescuing Sarah Connor.
-Final chase scene with a fucking helicopter.
-The final battle.
-That iconic ending scene.
-Those pink lasers contrasted against bleak environment of metal and rubble.
"I know now why you cry, but it's something I can never do." - Uncle Bob (Terminator) 👍😭😭😭