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TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY. Directed by James Cameron; written by James Cameron and William Wisher; produced by James Cameron for Tri-Star. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton and Edward Furlong. Rated R.


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"Awesome" is a word that's terribly overused these days, at least around our house. But it really is a perfect description of T2.

The movie's special effects have received a lot of attention—and deservedly so. While some of the techniques will look familiar to those who remember director Cameron's earlier The Abyss, they've been developed further here, to astonishing effect.

But even though they're amazing and incredible and fun to watch just for themselves, they're well-integrated into the story and always serve a narrative purpose.

This story is another strong point, being a logical extension of the original Terminator, and of the same high quality. T2 is set some 12 or so years later. The original movie's heroine Sarah (Hamilton) is in an asylum, tormented by nightmares about nuclear armageddon, and by the knowledge that these dreams will soon come true.

John (Furlong), the son the first Terminator was sent back in time to keep from being conceived, is a clever juvenile delinquent who lives with apathetic foster parents, and passes his spare time tricking teller machines out of cash.

Two beings are dispatched from the future in T2, just as in the earlier movie. One is sent to destroy John, who will grow up to lead the human survivors against the computers who triggered the nuclear "judgement day" of the subtitle. And one, of course, is sent to protect him.

T2 is probably just as violent as its predecessor, but is more upbeat in tone throughout. Part of this is due to John, who is delightful. And the story offers a little more hope for the future of humanity.

You've all heard, I'm sure, how this movie cost more to make than almost any other (Cleopatra, adjusted for inflation, apparently still has it beat). So it might well better be awesome—and it is!

July 24, 1991

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