(out of 5)
A brilliant sequel that continues from the brilliant original, with Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) locked away in a mental institution for her insistence on predicting the end of the world, and her now grown-up son John (Edward Furlong) being raised by foster parents. The machines of the not-so-distant future have sent another Terminator (Robert Patrick) to try and kill her and her son once again, this time sending a fully liquid metal, technologically superior model that is seemingly unstoppable. The protect her, the future John Connor also sends a Terminator, the first one from 1984 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) who was originally programmed to kill Sarah and is now reprogrammed to protect her. The astonishing visual effects, ones that were never seen before on screen and have rarely been duplicated since with the same sense of wonder, drove the budget up to higher than any film in history (just over one hundred million dollars), but were well worth every penny. Cameron makes sure to get the most mileage out of all the technical wonders of the film, but its strength is in his tight-screw direction and excellent writing; this one’s themes of nuclear holocaust are ones that you won’t be able to shake for quite a while after you see it. Even Schwarzenegger gives a performance imbued with warmth and wit, while Hamilton is a fantastic action star who should have had a much better career following this film than she ended up with. Make a day of it with both Terminator films, you won’t be sorry!
Directed by James Cameron
Screenplay by James Cameron, William Wisher Jr.
Cinematography by Adam Greenberg
Produced by James Cameron
Music by Brad Fiedel
Production Design by Joseph C. Nemec III
Costume Design by Marlene Stewart