is back in the role that was made for him: that of the emotionless machine sent
from the future to destroy his enemy. Except this time around, he is one of the
good guys, sent to protect the enemy in question against a far superior android.
As a sequel this movie is rare: it by far out-grossed its predecessor. It
was also made on a much larger budget than the first The Terminator (1984)
movie. (How much bigger a budget? The first movie was made for a mere $6 million,
the salary Schwarzenegger commanded for this one!) Obviously the effects and stunts
are much more spectacular this time around - especially the fluid metal android
Schwarzenegger does battle with is a masterpiece of special effects ingenuity.
This is a subversive affair: James Cameron is packaging a pacifist
argument within a violent action movie. For example, the young boy teaches the
Schwarzenegger cyborg the value of life and he doesn't kill any people throughout
the movie (instead he shoots them in the kneecaps probably paralyzing them for
life - but never mind!). Linda Hamilton graduates from hunted female
victim (like those women who gets chased around in the Halloween movies) to muscled
independent woman (à la Ripley in Aliens (1986)). Even she doubts
her Rambo antics at one point in the movie: "And if a small boy can teach
a machine the value of human life, then..."
worth seeing although as sequel it isn't an equal. This is Hollywood high art:
it has all the spectacular special effects and awesome stunts that only tinsel
town infrastructure (i.e. big bucks) can produce and nobody else.
The dream sequences in which LA is engulfed in a nuclear blast are spectacular
and well-done. This is a movie that sincerely misses the Cold War since its plot
(largely tying in with the first Terminator movie that was made when the Cold
War was still in full swing) and its antiwar message feels somehow out of date
several years after the fall of the Berlin Wall...
Review by James O'Ehley from The
Sci-Fi Movie Page.