A seemingly indestructible android is sent from 2029 to 1984 to assassinate a waitress, whose unborn son will lead humanity in a war against the machines, while a soldier from that war is sent to protect her at all costs.
Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a Wookiee and two droids to save the galaxy from the Empire's world-destroying battle station, while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the mysterious Darth Vader.
Over 10 years have passed since the first cyborg called The Terminator tried to kill Sarah Connor and her unborn son, John Connor. John Connor, the future leader of the human resistance, is now a healthy young boy. However another Terminator is sent back through time called the T-1000, which is more advanced and more powerful than its predecessor. The Mission: to kill John Connor when he's still a child. However, Sarah and John do not have to face this threat of a Terminator alone. Another Terminator is also sent back through time. The mission: to protect John and Sarah Connor at all costs. The battle for tomorrow has begun...Written by
Arnold Schwarzenegger said James Cameron "did an extraordinary job creating that character (The Terminator) and whole phenomenon. I never thought we would do a sequel, catchphrases like "I'll be back" or "Hasta la vista, baby" would catch on and be repeated or think that thirty years later, I would be asked to come back to a franchise like this, playing The Terminator, unlike Batman or James Bond." See more »
(at around 1h 40 mins) Bullet holes are visible in the roof of the SWAT van when it crashes; these were from the showdown with the Terminator, not the later fight with Sarah and the T1000, which was confined to the back. See more »
Three billion human lives ended on August 29th, 1997. The survivors of the nuclear fire called the war Judgment Day. They lived only to face a new nightmare: the war against the machines. The computer which controlled the machines, Skynet, sent two Terminators back through time. Their mission: to destroy the leader of the human resistance, John Connor, my son. The first Terminator was programmed to strike at me in the year 1984, before John was born. It failed. The ...
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The British Board of Film Classification initially requested some cuts before they could pass the film with a 15 certificate in the UK. For the cinema version, the following edits were made to what they deemed to be "heavy and realistic violence":
The blows delivered to the security guard by Sarah with the wooden broom handle were reduced from four to one; the subsequent blows and shots of his bloodied face were removed.
The beating of Silberman with a nightstick was reduced so that only the impact to his arm remained; the impact to the back of his legs was removed.
The initial VHS video versions (the 1992 theatrical cut and the 1997 'T-1000 edition') were cut by a further 18 seconds to reduce the following scenes:
The biker being thrown onto the stove. In the uncut version, this happens in two shots. In the cut version, the start of each shot was shortened.
The biker being stabbed in the shoulder. The shot of him lying on the table was shortened at the start to remove the impact (this is very subtle and difficult to notice).
Sarah picking the lock on her door. The shot was shortened at the start to remove the insertion of the paperclips; what remained showed her wiggling the already-inserted paperclips in the lock.
Lewis being stabbed in the face by the T-1000. The close-up showing him juddering in pain was shortened at the start, with the rest being slowed down to cover the missing footage (before this compromise, the BBFC initially requested that an alternate take be used, which didn't exist).
The guard at the hospital gate being shot in the legs by the T-101 was reduced so that he's only shot once, instead of twice as per the uncut version. Both gunshots are contained in a single camera shot, which was shortened at the start in the cut version.
During the rescue of Sarah, the warden having his face slammed against the wall by the T-101 was removed. The close-up showing him traveling towards and slamming into the wall was shortened at the end to remove the impact.
The sight of the policeman having his face slammed into a concrete pillar by the T-101 was removed.
The kneecapping of the S.W.A.T. team by the T-101 was reduced from seven shots to four, with the second, fourth and sixth impacts being removed.
The 1992 Laserdisc was (unusually for the time) passed uncut with an 18 certificate, and the cuts were fully waived or 15 in 2001. All UK releases from the Ultimate Edition DVD onward are uncut with a 15 certificate. See more »
Terminator 2 perhaps shows that Cameron was at least was cognizant of life and its meaning. I mean, this IS the movie where the end of the world has the most impact outside of Dr. Strangelove, right? One of those outstanding dream scenes in movies, one of the ones that actually works because it's true in its savage simplicity, Linda Hamilton's Sarah Connor sees herself in her 1984 waitress get up with baby John in a playground and then everything gets wiped out by the BIG BOMB (Dmitri) that also incinerates Hamilton into BBQ.
So it's with this kind of thought that Terminator 2 means to be the most kick-assingest blockbuster of its (or all?) time while trying to keep the loss of life very small - or, rather, the "Bad" Terminator who was designed by the wizards at ILM can kill to its mission's content - I mean, DAMN, it still looks great, and in its silver-liquid-chrome simplicity much more, for me, impressive than the clanging junk of Bay disasters. It's arguable, of course, that the Terminator (T-800) does kill some people, incidentally, or, you know, all that gas from the gun he shoots could make some people really screwed up but, hey, "He'll live" is enough.
But if Cameron is "soft" at all here, it doesn't show too much... well, okay, Lil' John (hehe) does squeak and squak those early 90's amorphisms "No Problemo - chill out - listen to Kriss Kross - etc", and Edward Furlong is one of the things that just does not hold up here. He's serviceable at best, annoying at worst. He can cry okay though.
But it's Arnold, in his swaggering low-key and then with an occasional grin awesome leading man turn, and especially Linda Hamilton who make this tight script so compulsively watchable. Hamilton makes Connor into what Cameron likely saw in his one-time wife/collaborator Bigelow - a take-no-prisoners soldier who can take charge and has muscles and can probably knock you upside the head (maybe that's why they divorced, he couldn't take all that woman... but I digress, at any rate he moved around a lot till his current wife) And there is also a vulnerability still to Sarah that makes her so endearing.
She can never be completely hard, though time and experience and the dread of what's to come had scarred her, so by the time she has the chance to kill the Man Who Destroys The World, she can't do it. A scene like that is probably more emotionally gripping than so many other scenes that try in these blockbusters (something like Days of Future Past, which is a cousin of this flick, gets there). The fact Hamilton wasn't able to parlay such high caliber performance work into a better career is kind of sad, but at least this stands as a benchmark of a woman action hero, one of the two Cameron Wonder Women really.
So, blast your Guns N Roses, say hi to the kid from Salute Your Shorts (that's him, right, Connor's friend in the first act?) and ride your motorcycle through LA - it's a bad mother-jammer of a blockbuster that holds up enough to look over its faults (i.e. some dialog isn't tight, like the voice-over, it's alright but whatever - perhaps it was ambitious enough to best The Perfect Action Movie, which the first Terminator just was).
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