Terminator 2: The Squeak-uel

I know I just watched The Terminator, but hey, Terminator 2 is on the Top 1000 list too, so it doesn't make sense for me to just move onto another random movie.  And this one has Edward Furlong in it.  In all his pre-lobster-rescuing glory.  That's enough for me!

Terminator 2 picks up in 1995, 11 years after the events of The Terminator.  Sarah's in a psych ward for blowing up a computer factory and using the impending robot takeover as her excuse (smooth).  Her ten year old son John is living with foster parents, pissed beyond belief that he was raised to kill robots, only to find out that evil robots don't really exist.

A fancy schmancy new robot comes back in time, with the mission to kill John while he's still a kid and doesn't have his momma bear to protect.  Luckily, an Arnold bot also goes back in time, and is determined to keep John Connor alive at all costs.  Unfortunately, his foster parents don't fall under the same umbrella of protection.

OMG this shit is bananas!

John quickly realizes that his mom isn't insane after all, she was telling the truth, and he and the cuddly new Arnold bot resolve to break Sarah out of her maximum security ward.  Our friendly neighborhood cyborg informs us all that Skynet is the artificial intelligence program that will kill off all the humans, and there's a way to stop it from being created.  Sarah sets out to kill the guy who will invent it in the future, but she has a hard time gunning him down in front of his wife and kids.  This is what happens when you let a woman do man's work.

Instead, they hit upon the (incredibly obvious and far less gruesome) plan of telling this guy, Look, your computer program is going to kill 3 billion people.  Obviously he'll help you destroy it.  So they set off to the tech company to get rid of all the information on his plans, so that no one else finds them and picks up where he left off.

Unfortunately, the T-1000 is still wandering around, as invincible as ever.  After they blow up Cyberdyne Systems, it's show time.  T-1000 and Arnold duke it out for a unreasonably long time.  Finally they send T-1000 for a molten steel bath, and the world is saved.  No more Judgment Day.  Except our little robot realizes that the chip in his head could be used to develop the same robotic technology that would lead to the war.  So Sarah helps him commit suicide.  Sad times all around.

Random Musings:

  • Again, who are these people laughing at Arnold Schwarzenegger?  Look, if Arnie asks for your clothes and motorcycle, you starting stripping, hand over the keys, and say, "Is that all, sir?"

  • OMG best moment ever.  Arnie has just been burned with a cigar and stabbed without even flinching, but there's still one redneck guy who thinks he has a chance with a pool cue.  Really, guy?  This seems like a fight you're likely to win?

  • Ew, I would not want to be wearing a dirty, middle-aged biker's discarded leather.  That's thirty seven flavors of gross.

  • Holy crap, John Connor's best friend is the ginger kid for Salute Your Shorts!  Love it.

  • First words of the Christ-like savior of the human race?  A whiny, "She's not my mother, Todd!" ... ... We're all doomed.

  • Do they seriously arm the orderlies with freaking tasers?  I am genuinely upset by this.

  • I love that the new Terminator is dressed as a cop.  Don't trust the fuzz, kiddies, because they're probably robots from the future sent to kill you.

  • I really like the differences between the two Terminators.  Arnie is big, lumbering, and menacing.  The guy barely even speaks.  But this new guy is catlike and intelligent.  Arnie stumbles around shooting first and asking questions later, while T-1000 is actually making an effort to be stealth.

  • There are some very deep statements about womanhood and motherhood and sisterhood and the almighty womb, I'm sure of it.  If only I had taken women's studies courses in college.

  • OK, to be fair to the mental health professionals, she does come off as pretty batshit fucking crazy.

  • Is it amusing to anyone else that the super badass from the first movie has been relegated to the role of glorified babysitter?  Well, I'm amused.

  • Lol at Arnie plucking John Connor off his bike with one hand and plopping him onto the motorcycle.  That's pretty awesome.

  • Is it bad that the new Terminator kind of reminds me of a Dr Scholl's gel insert?

  • Uh-oh.  When these doctors are looking back and evaluating where they went wrong, they're going to realize that if there's one thing they shouldn't have done, they shouldn't have let Sarah Connor get her hands on a paperclip.

  • John, sweetie, you'd be a lot more threatening if your voice didn't squeak when you're barking orders at the Terminator.

  • "Did you call moi a dipshit?" Edward Furlong, have I told you lately that I love you?

  •  I cannot believe that random orderly licked Sarah's face while she was strapped to a bed, unconscious.  What a douche monster.  Again, I am genuinely upset by this.

  • Credit where credit's due, Sarah really stepped up to the plate.  I mean, she is a one woman wrecking crew.  With a shit ton of pent up rage.  I like it.

  • I really like that even as a kid, John Connor is intelligent and demonstrates curiosity about how the cyborgs work.  And he's got some pretty good leadership skills.  Yeah, he's a sarcastic, loud-mouthed 90s kid, but there's also glimmers of the person he'll become.  Basically, I just think it's a very well-constructed character.

  • "You don't say 'Affirmative' or some shit like that.  You say 'No problemo'.  And if someone comes up to you with an attitude, you say 'Eat me'."  Ladies and gentlemen, words of wisdom from humankind's last hope.

  • It's a nice touch that at the end of the first film, Sarah's just learning Spanish out of a book.  Then here at Enrique's place, she's conversational, if not fluent.  I am 100% convinced that she fought in Panama, BTW.  Because seriously, Sarah is like the most ripped woman in the entire world.  She could bench press my car.

  • I love that Sarah would tell potential suitors that John is going to be a big famous rebel leader someday.  I mean, I know that parents brag about their kids, but...for reals?

  • I'm going to be honest, I could really do without seeing that image of all the people burning to death on the playground ever EVER again.

  • Can I just take this moment to be a Negative Nancy and say that I don't love the decision to have this whole Sarah Conner voiceover narration throughout the film?  Because I don't.  It's weirdly written and it takes me out of the film a little.

  • But I do love that T-1000 has mirrored sunglasses.  Because what we have here is a failure to communicate.

  • No offense to Skynet, but if your security system can be neutralized by a 10 year old boy, it's probably a good time to get a new security system.

  • Why didn't T-1000 just disguise himself as the Terminator?  John and Sarah would have trusted him, and he could have just walked up and snapped that kid's neck lickety split.

  • If they destroyed all the Skynet stuff, John Connor wouldn't have had to send Kyle Reece back in time, so there would have been no John to stop the machines, so he -- oh no I've gone cross eyed.

And here ends Terminator 2.  I liked it, maybe not as much as the first one though.  I really enjoy the development of John Connor's character a lot.  I mean, how do you go about creating the kid version of such an intense, mythical character?  I like it because you see that his mom has been training him since he was a little kid, you see that he is aware and prepared for his destiny, but he also comes off as...just a kid.  I mean, I think it would be real easy to go too far in either direction, either making him a snot nosed little brat, or a pint-sized ninja.  I think Terminator 2 walks a really fine line, and makes me want to see more of the character.  There's a lot of movies that can learn from this.

For example.

I also like Sarah Connor in this one.  It's great how they explore the implications of her finding out that her son is going to be such a key figure in human history.  She does all she can to give him the best chance possible, knowing how much is riding on it.  And damn, Linda Hamilton did not shy away from the physical aspects of the character.

The idea of the Terminator robot learning how to love is kind of a silly one, but I don't really have any complaints about the execution of it.  Definitely like the visual effects of the more advanced T-1000, and to my eyes they hold up up pretty well 20 years later.  So props to that.  Good job on making a very solid sequel to a classic sci-fi movie.

Thanks for reading, and come back next time for Sansho the Bailiff!

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