Saturday, May 30, 2015

Short Attention Span Review: T2 (1991)

Schwarzenegger returned to one of his most thrilling roles in 1991, but this time out his Terminator got to be the hero of the picture.  I actually think the first Terminator movie is more entertaining primarily due to Arnold's magnificent presence as the villain, a vicious machine programmed to kill, and the lean runtime doesn't hurt either.  Having said that, those who claim this bigger and far more dramatic sequel is superior to the original certainly have a strong case.  This isn't just one of Schwarzenegger's better movies, it's definitely one of the best action movies ever produced.  The effects are incredible, the choreography is splendid, and the performances are top-notch.  It is a bit long, but it never drags--the movie is overflowing with riveting sequences that must be seen to be believed.  Arnold's fearsome Terminator is now programmed to protect John Connor (Edward Furlong in perhaps his only role of note, though I thought Brainscan was okay) from a more advanced killer machine from the future.  This new baddie, the T-1000 (played to perfection by the underrated Robert Patrick), is a shapeshifting and seemingly invincible assassin made of "liquid metal."  The creativity that James Cameron brought to the table provides this frightening nemesis with an abundance of cool things to do and Stan Winston's supreme effects work was nothing short of amazing.  Upon its release, T2 was widely regarded as the finest special effects extravaganza ever lensed, and it has certainly aged well--it still towers above most science fiction movies, to include many recent releases from major studios.  The chases and throwdowns that populate the picture are executed to terrific effect and there are few directors who could depict such carnage as well as Cameron.  I prefer The Terminator but I can't take anything away from T2, it's a terrific successor that is surely worthy of all the praise and acclaim that it has generated over the years.

Final Grade: A
T2 isn't just one of Schwarzenegger's best movies,
it's one of the best action movies of all time.

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