****NOMINATED FOR 6 OSCARS, WON 4****
Welcome back, as we continue with The Terminator Series!
Where do we start will this amazing film? Terminator 2: Judgment day, which we will affectionately refer to as T2, is without doubt one of my favourite films of all time. I am sure that because I grew up with it, I value it even more. When I asked my wife why she loves T2, she simply replied, “it’s because it has heart.” I can not put it better myself, T2 has heart!
A lot of what we see in T2, as the story unfolds was originally conceived by James Cameron back when The Terminator was released in 1984. At the time, technology and budgetary constraints did not permit James Cameron to appropriately film his ideas. So it would be 7 years in the making, before T2 was ready. Because of how successful The Terminator was, talks of a sequel were inevitable, and it seems, James Cameron was keen, and as a side note, seems keen on Terminator Genisys too, even though he has had nothing to do with the project. Arnold Schwarzenegger was also keen, as was Linda Hamilton. Having the entire cast back for a second time also adds to the value of this film, because these characters really have become iconic.
T2 welcomes the addition of a new Terminator, the T-1000, who is portrayed by Robert Patrick, and it’s the addition of this new Terminator that did not permit Cameron to film his idea back in 84, because the T-1000 is ‘mimetic polly-alloy’. Basically the T-1000 is made of liquid metal, which requires CGI to film adequately. T2 represents a major milestone in the use of CGI on film. The visual effects still look great, and back then they were enough for T2 to earn an Oscar for Best Visual Effects. T2 has a very dark colour palette, and yet it manages to actually look beautiful, in that everything machine, in it, looks aesthetically pleasing. This in part helps forge the relationship between human and machine, giving The Terminator heart.
It’s the performances delivered by this amazing ensemble that make T2 shine. Edward Furlong, who portrays John Conner, had had no acting experience prior to his role for T2, but you can really feel that he is a natural in this role. Arnie really is the star here, and like I mentioned in an earlier post, I honestly believe that Arnie was destined to be The Terminator. Linda Hamilton really stands out. Along with her great performance, it’s intriguing to see how her character has evolved, considering the life changing events of T1. The heart of this film is in the relationships that are forged between these three. Somehow, beyond all contradictions, you start to feel for The Terminator, and it’s in his fate you’re interested most. Like Cameron said, this film is about The Terminator, and T2 really amplifies this idea. I can’t watch this film with dry eyes, I really can’t. There are moments of Joy and moments of Sadness.
The script also manages to include scenes of memorable humour, although this is an action packed film and it’s themes are very tense, I always laugh when I watch T2, especially when John Conner is ‘training’ The Terminator on how to ‘lighten up’. T2 really makes us care about these characters, and at the same time entertains us with over-the-top action sequences, that are impeccably produced. Plus, T2 graces us with another great line, delivered by non other than Arnold Schwarzenegger himself, “Hasta La Vista Baby.”
Perhaps the thing that gives T2 so much heart is the score, and the eternal main title theme, along with the fist pumping, machine clanking thumps, which I wish I could hum for you right now! You know what I’m talking about right!? It’s probably Brad Fiedel’s finest moment, and that tune has stuck with me from the very first time I watched T2. It’s super catchy, trust me. Brad Fiedel delivers a metallic sounding score, with amazing and distinct machine-like sounds that are ever so fitting. Two of the Oscars won were for Best Sound and Sound Effects, and well deserved too. A lot happens in this film, and a lot of action happens in this film, perfectly synchronised with ear-gasmic sound effects, T2 is up there with one of the best action films of all time!
Terminator 2: Judgement Day will always be my favroutie Terminator film. I don’t know what Terminator Genysis will be like, but at the very least it affords us the opportunity to re-visit some old classic favourites. T2 is a rare occurrence, in that it was better than the original film, on so many levels. I am not expecting any of the upcoming Terminator films to meet the standard set by T2, I just hope they are respectful of this iconic film, and that Sarah Conner’s message: “if a machine, a Terminator, can learn the value of human life, maybe WE can too”, can shine through!
FilmMunchers, what’s you favourite Terminator film and why?
TRIVIA COOKIES: The CGI used in T2 cost about $5.5Million to make. The duration of CGI in this film amounts to only 3 and a half minutes. So some of this film is basically $1Million/Minute.
Linda Hamilton was so dedicated to her role, that she insisted on not receiving any assistance in the scene where she is restrained to her bed by pad lock. Apparently she learnt how to pick the lock, and the final cut that we see, is her actually picking the lock for real!