August 29, 1997 has come and gone but T2 is back and it hasn’t really aged a bit.
A quarter of a century ago, when Terminator 2 was freshly minted, August 29, 1997 was mooted as Armageddon, the day Skynet triggered World War III and the rise of the machines.
Twenty years on from that inglorious date Terminator 2 has been newly minted as T23D4K.
It’s the same thrill ride movie from 1991 enhanced by 4K restoration and 3D conversion.
Some seven years passed between Terminator and this sequel, clearly not a rushed job, and the care and detail in the honed and polished script is all up there on the screen, from performance, cinematography, special effects that are special and effective, and good old fashioned startling stunt work.
From its first skull crunching frame to the self sacrificing cyborg finale, director James Cameron makes that rarity – a sequel that is the equal or better than the original. And for all its macho gun play, T2 is a masterpiece of feminist pacifist cinema.
Sarah Connor, is a tough woman, working on emotion and instinct to protect her son and mankind from assured destruction. Like Ripley in Aliens, another James Cameron sci fi/actioner masterpiece, Sarah is not some passive adjunct to a male driven story, she’s a driver not a passenger. Linda Hamilton is fantastic in the role.
And John Connor, the savior of the human race, illustrates his humanity by ordering the robot sent to protect him not to kill anybody. So the death toll is depleted even among all the destruction. Mayhem without mass murder!
The killing is left to the shape shifting assassin cyborg T-1000 played with steely confidence and deadly droid focus by Robert Patrick.
And, of course, there’s Arnie, reprising his role in a most surprising and satisfying way, with deadly deadpan delivery and convincing robotic bulk.
T2 was a triumph when it was made and remains a triumph today – in mood, textures, concerns. Meticulous in its manufacture, it is a text book example of cinematic craftsmanship.
The 4K 3D are enhancements to be savoured, especially on the big screen, where its size and spectacle can be best appreciated.
Make sure you get in early – who knows what may happen come August 29, 2017.
TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY is hitting cinemas for one-week-only on August 24.