Terminator 2: Judgment Day was my introduction to the franchise. I had a vague idea of the story and the time travel. My biggest interaction with the franchise is spending lots of money on a cruise ship playing the arcade game, in my late twenties. I was not disappointed with the film and did not feel lost by skipping the original film; it was not available on the same streaming service.
James Cameron writes and directs Arnold Schwarzenegger through a very robotic role as The Terminator. Linda Hamilton is a bad-ass Sarah Connor bringing a wonderful dose of intensity to the film. Edward Furlong plays Sarah’s son John, a consequence of the first film. Robert Patrick fills out the cast as a T-1000, a much more advanced, liquid metal, robot than The Terminator.
CGI was in its early stages of development in 1991 and Cameron had access to the best of the best equipment. He also relied on lots of practical effects. As the T-1000 gets shot metal pie plates show up, it is an abrupt transition, but practical effects do tend to age better. The CGI used during T-1000 transformations is not awful and does not break you away from the movie magic.
It took me too long to finally see a Terminator film, but I am glad I started with this one. Arnold’s lack of acting skills works with his character and doesn’t feel out of place. Edward Furlong is a child of the eighties complete with a dirt bike. He is emotional where he needs to be. Linda Hamilton set the bar for female action stars and set that bar high. All around this film is great and deserves your time.