Terminator 2: Judgment Day | Chicago Reader

Terminator 2: Judgment Day

James Cameron's slam-bang 1991 sequel-cum-remake brings back Arnold Schwarzenegger as another killing machine from the future. This time his mission isn't to kill the heroine (Linda Hamilton) but to protect her son (Edward Furlong) from an even more high-tech killing machine (Robert Patrick). To spice things up, Schwarzenegger is dressed as a biker and Patrick as a cop, the latter displaying quicksilver capacities that hark back to the friendly alien force in The Abyss. All the virtues of the original—intelligent postmodernist irony, spiffy special effects, effective action, tons of destruction, and Schwarzenegger in the nonhuman role he was born to play—are present here, though when Cameron tries to milk some sentiment out of the "personality" and fate of his top machine he comes up flat and empty, and the other characters are scarcely more interesting. As a fancy mechanism fueled by the pleasure of watching legions of people and equipment being summarily destroyed, this is pretty hot stuff. Written by Cameron in collaboration with William Wisher.



  • James Cameron


  • Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Linda Hamilton
  • Edward Furlong
  • Robert Patrick
  • Earl Boen
  • Joe Morton
  • S. Epatha Merkerson
  • Castulo Guerra
  • Danny Cooksey
  • Jenette Goldstein
  • Xander Berkeley


  • Mario Kassar
  • Gale Anne Hurd
  • James Cameron

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