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Terminator 2: Judgement Day

Same Make. Same Model. New Mission. 

Year: 1991 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.20:1 (70mm) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is expected to have certain elements which are subtitled, but it is not expected that the entire film will contain them. 
Directed by James Cameron 
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong  
An image from Terminator 2: Judgement Day

To be fair, he did say he’d be back. Following on from the thrilling, chilling Terminator, Cameron and Arnie came back with a bang for Terminator 2: Judgement Day: the filmic equivalent of a pure shot of adrenaline.

In the future, a war rages between artificial intelligence and mankind, with the humans led by the adult John Connor. The machines have already sent one robotic assassin back in time to attempt to kill Connor’s mother in her pregnancy, and now they’re at it again, sending back a newer, deadlier model (the T-1000, played by Robert Patrick) to kill the ten-year-old John. However, this time around, the humans have managed to send back a robot of their own (Arnold Schwarzenegger) to protect the boy.

Judgement Day shadows the young John Connor (Edward Furlong) and his mother Sarah (Linda Hamilton) as they attempt to escape the killing machine on their trail, under the protection of Arnie’s Terminator. And while Patrick’s T-1000 may be physically slighter than Arnie’s T-800, he’s an equally lethal, relentless creation, capable of surviving all the gunfire, explosions, and liquid nitrogen sent his way.

Where the original Terminator could be reasonably classed as something of a horror film, here the emphasis is firmly on the action, as Cameron cranks up the spectacle in what is essentially a huge, destructive chase. What a spectacle it is: the special effects are jaw-dropping, especially given the film’s 1991 release date, and the big screen is the perfect place to experience this classic slab of balls-to-the-wall popcorn entertainment.

Is it as good as the original? Frankly, when both films are this spectacular, does it even matter? Big explosions, big kicks, and yes, a big titanium heart make this a perfect Saturday night blockbuster.

Michael Perry


Set in 1991, this film continues The Terminator story as the machines send a second Terminator back in time to try to kill the young John Connor. The Terminator sent back (Patrick) is a T-1000, an updated version of the original with new capabilities and weapons, such as a liquid metal skeleton giving it the ability to change shape. To combat this, the humans send a warrior of their own back in time, an old model T-800 terminator (Schwarzenegger). The plot follows the efforts of Schwarzenegger to convince John Connor to trust him and then his attempts to protect him from the T-1000.

Both Edward Furlong and Linda Hamilton put in good performances as John and Sarah Connor, with Hamilton fleshing out her character from the original Terminator and Furlong effectively portraying the character of John Connor, a teenage rebel suddenly faced with being something's prey. The main attraction, however, is the ensuing battle between the T- 1000 and the T-800, with both Schwarzenegger and Patrick building up great inhuman characters to play off against one another.

The special effects have improved dramatically from the first film and are up to a level at which they are much closer to modern effects. The CGI used was, at the time, groundbreaking stuff, especially for the sections where the T-1000 changes shape. While the film isn't necessarily as dark as the previous one, it keeps up the sense of the constant chase and the immensely unstoppable nature of the two machines. The action sequences throughout are very impressive, topping the first film with their audacity and scope.

Comparing it to the first film is difficult and the recommended thing to do is to watch them both and make up your own mind, since they are both telling important sections of the whole story. While the standard of the special effects has improved, the mood, the story and the acting have all remained consistently good. This is definitely one sequel that lives up to (and occasionally surpasses) its original.

Patrick Telford

3 billion human lives ended on August 29th, 1997. The survivors of the nuclear fire called it Judgement day. But soon they learned to face a new nightmare: the war against the Machines." From the future, knowing that their first mission failed, the Machines send another Terminator, an advanced T1000 prototype, to eliminate John Connor while he is still a child. The John Connor of the future, manages to send a reprogrammed Terminator back to the same time in order to protect his younger self. It is just a question of which one will reach him first....

To make things worse, Sarah Connor is locked up in a mental institution, supposedly suffering from paranoid delusions, and John, a cynical, disillusioned and streetwise teenager, thinks that all her warnings are nonsense. What follows is the most brilliantly executed action/adventure/sci-fi/special effects film ever to hit our screens. There are action scenes galore, well up to the standards of tension and violence we expect from Schwarzenegger.

Undoubtedly a classic already, T2 will probably become the best sci-fi movie of the decade, if not of all time.

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Screenings of this film:

1992/1993 Spring Term (35mm)
1993/1994 Spring Term (35mm)
1993/1994 Spring Term (35mm)
1995/1996 Autumn Term (35mm)
1998/1999 Spring Term (35mm)
1998/1999 Spring Term (35mm)
2012/2013 Autumn Term (70mm)