Terminator 2: Judgment Day (commonly abbreviated T2), released on July 3, 1991, is a science fiction film directed by James Cameron. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong and Robert Patrick.
The film is a sequel to The Terminator, which was released on October 26, 1984. The film spawned a ride at Universal Studios, Terminator 2 3-D: Battle Across Time. Another sequel, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, was released (in the United States) on July 2, 2003.
Shooting began on October 9, 1990, and was completed on April 4, 1991. The movie was made for approximately $100 million, and at the time was the most expensive movie ever made. It was a box-office smash, earning $204.8 million in the United States alone, and was the highest grossing film of 1991. The original Terminator grossed only $38 million in the U.S. in its theatrical run (on a much lower budget of $6.5 million), making Terminator 2's 434% increase a record for a sequel. The film is currently on the IMDb's list of the Top 250 films of all-time .
Upon its release, the theatrical cut ran 137 minutes (2 hours, 17 minutes). On November 24, 1993, the Terminator 2: Judgment Day: Special Edition cut of the film was released to Laserdisc and VHS, containing 17 minutes of never-before-seen footage including scenes with Michael Biehn reprising his role as Kyle Reese (in a dream sequence). The subsequent "Ultimate Edition" and "Extreme Edition" DVD releases also contain alternate extended versions of the film.
Ten years after Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) destroyed the original Terminator that was programmed to kill her, two Terminators arrive in Los Angeles from the post-apocalyptic year 2029. The first is the T-800 Model 101 (Arnold Schwarzenegger), the same type of cyborg that Sarah first encountered, while the second is the T-1000 (Robert Patrick).
John Connor (Edward Furlong) is now living with foster parents Todd and Janelle (Xander Berkeley and Jenette Goldstein). He has grown up being told by his mother that he would someday lead the remnants of the human race to ultimate victory against the machines. Sarah's experiences have significantly changed who she was; she is no longer the frail woman that she was in the first film. Aware of what could ultimately happen to mankind, she has become far tougher and more vigilant, and suffers recurring nightmares about the end of the world. Her personality has led those around her, including her son, to think that she is insane. She has therefore been imprisoned in a mental institution, Pescadero State Hospital.
Meanwhile, both Terminators eventually locate John Connor. The twist, given away by advance publicity, is that this time the T-800 had been captured and reprogrammed by the human resistance from the future in order to protect John, while the T-1000, an advanced prototype Terminator, has been sent by Skynet to kill him. The newer, sleeker model Terminator (a "mimetic polyalloy") is constructed of "liquid metal" and is able to emulate the physical form of any solid object of equal size that it samples through touch (excluding complex machines with moving parts or chemicals, like guns and explosives). More dangerously, it can emulate the voice and appearance of a human being.
After being rescued by the T-800 from the T-1000's initial attempts to kill him, John realizes that his mother has been telling the truth and decides that he must rescue her from Pescadero. The Model 101 then reveals that it is programmed to follow his orders. When John sees it nearly shoot a man in the parking lot while carrying out its mission to protect him, he orders it not to kill anyone. (Interestingly, the T-800 has not to this point killed anyone anyway, despite a violent fight in a bar in which this would have been quite likely.) He decides to use his power over the T-800 to his advantage and orders the Model 101 to help him rescue his mother. When they break into Pescadero, the Model 101 shoots the security guard at the gate in the legs, then takes his keys and weapons. The T-800 tells John, "He'll live," upholding John's order not to kill anyone else.
Sarah is understandably frightened at first upon encountering another Terminator. She is told by her son that this time, it is here to protect them both, but she initially has a difficult time accepting it as an ally. Incidentally, Dr. Peter Silberman, the psychiatrist who has scoffed at both Reese and Sarah Connor's supposedly delusional claims of being hunted by a robot assassin, is profoundly shaken at seeing two such machines in action. After Sarah is rescued, she questions the Terminator about the creator of Skynet, the supercomputer fated to destroy humanity in favor of machine rule. The cyborg informs her of Miles Dyson (Joe Morton), a top-level computer scientist at Cyberdyne Systems Corporation, and recounts the future history of Skynet's development, all the way up to August 29, 1997, the day Skynet will become self-aware and provoke a nuclear war on mankind (Judgment Day).
Eventually, Sarah, John and the Terminator arrive in the desert at Enrique Salceda's camp. Ever since Sarah gave birth to John, she has traveled everywhere, dating military men and trying to provide her son with a strong military background. Enrique is one of the men from her past, and he has preserved a weapons cache for Sarah and John for use in the event that nuclear devastation actually comes to pass. Sarah plans to flee over the Mexican border with John and the Terminator.
Sarah witnesses their bonding when John is teaching the T-800 how to act more human and notes that a machine is the closest thing to a father that John has ever had, while other humans could get drunk, abusive, or negligent and therefore could not fill the role of a father figure. Then she falls asleep at a table and has a nightmare about Los Angeles being destroyed by a nuclear warhead. She watches in horror as people, buildings, and cars are all incinerated in the blast, and although she tries to warn them, no one in her dream can hear her, and she is graphically incinerated herself. She suddenly wakes up and discovers that she has scratched "NO FATE" into the table she is sitting at, an allusion to the key message that was sent to her in the first film by the future John Connor via Kyle Reese: "The future is not set. There is no fate but what we make for ourselves."
Sarah realizes what she must do, arms herself, and drives off in one of Enrique's cars. John recognizes the allusion to the message, and he and the Terminator realize that she is planning to kill Miles Dyson. At John's insistence - and over the T-800's objection - they drive off to stop her. At Dyson's home, Sarah breaks in and shoots the computer programmer in the shoulder, but is unable to kill him in front of his wife and son. John and the T-800 arrive, and the Model 101 cuts off the skin of his arm and reveals his mechanical arm to Dyson. Sarah, John and the cyborg inform Dyson of the consequences of his research and convince him that they must destroy all the Cyberdyne technology that was used in building Skynet, including the heavily-guarded remains of the CPU and cybernetic arm left from the previous Terminator.
Sarah, John, the Terminator, and Dyson infiltrate the Cyberdyne building and prepare explosives for detonation while retrieving the cybernetic arm and CPU from the first robot. However, security guards alert the police, and the SWAT team is deployed. While John and Dyson retrieve the first T-800's components and Sarah is finishing preparing the explosives, the Terminator creates a diversion, strategically shooting and exploding several police cars in such a way that he kills none of the police officers. SWAT agents eventually break in, however, and during the firefight, Dyson is shot. Realizing his wounds are fatal, he stays behind with the detonator to allow the T-800, Sarah and John to make their escape. With his death, he releases the trigger, activating the bombs just after the SWAT team retreats from the area.
When the T-1000 arrives, John, Sarah and the T-800 flee, leading to a pursuit on the highway with the T-1000 commandeering a liquid nitrogen tanker. The tanker crashes into a steel mill, causing the tank of liquid nitrogen to rupture. The T-1000 freezes and is shattered by a well aimed bullet from the Terminator. However, the T-1000 is able to reconstitute itself, and single combat between the two Terminators ensues, ending with the T-800 firing a grenade into the T-1000. The grenade explodes, causing it to lose its balance and fall off a platform into a pool of molten steel. The T-1000 is unable to survive at such extremely high temperatures and is completely dissolved by the molten steel.
John then throws both the first Terminator's cybernetic arm and CPU into the molten steel. The T-800 then points out that it must also be destroyed in order to completely destroy all evidence of Skynet technology. John refuses to accept this and orders the cyborg not to go. The Terminator refuses his command, and when it sees tears on John's face states that, despite its inability to cry, it now understands why people do.
The Terminator then embraces John for the first and last time, and shakes hands with Sarah. It steps onto a chain overlooking the molten steel pool and bids both of them farewell; Sarah then lowers the chain and the cyborg into the molten steel. As they watch from above, the T-800 slowly disintegrates in the sizzling pool of fire. The last actual Image of the Terminator is its outstretched hand forming a thumbs-up.
In the closing scene of the film, depicting a dark highway at night, Sarah Connor concludes that the future is not predetermined and whatever will happen depends on the choices that we make. She also states in voiceover that if a machine can learn the value of human life, so can humans.
Versions of the film
Two versions of the film exist: the standard version that was shown during the film's initial theatrical run and a "Special Edition" version of the film that has been made available on Laserdisc, VHS and DVD.
The special edition version of T2 has been the same from release to release, with all the scenes that Cameron reinserted intact. There are, however, two scenes that Cameron shot but chose not to reinsert into the film which have been included as an accessible extra on most - but not all - of the "Special Edition" home video releases. The first scene introduces the audience to the T-1000s tactile approach to acquiring information about the physical world, "scanning" John's room with his fingertips, and eventually finding a hidden shoebox containing pictures and tapes of Sarah from circa 1984 (As seen in the ending of the first movie). The second scene is an epilogue set in the future with an aged Sarah Connor reflecting on how Judgment Day was averted. The scenes can be viewed separately from the film on the director's cut Laserdisc releases of the film and on the "Ultimate Edition" DVD release (now out of print).
The scene reintroducing Sarah Connor and Dr. Silberman is extended at the end, showing the two wardens force-feeding Sarah her medication. This scene is then followed-up by a dream sequence featuring Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) who tells Sarah that their son is now the target.
After the first chase in which the T-1000 walks out from the burning truck, he is seen procuring another police car from the aftermath.
A scene where Sarah and John turn off the "Read Only" switch in the Terminator's brain chip.
Throughout the film there are extended dialogue sequence between John and the Terminator to enhance the relationship between the two and the humanisation of the Terminator.
An extra scene of Miles Dyson and his family relaxing at home, expanding the view of Dyson as a family man.
During the final battle in the plant, there are extra shots of the T-1000 malfunctioning, such as its feet imitating the metal floor as it walks across it. This was supposed to hint that the T-1000 can be destroyed, giving hope that the heroes could escape from it.
As a side note, the "Ultimate" and "Extreme" editions of the DVD contain different supplements:
The "Ultimate Edition" contains an older Dolby Digital mix of the film's soundtrack along with a DTS track mixed specifically for the DVD. It also contains bonus featurettes that are not present on the newer release, including an "Easter Egg" (hidden bonus material) wherein the viewer can see the original Japanese-market trailers for the film. The final deleted scenes can be re-integrated into the film on the "Ultimate Edition" DVD by entering 82997 - 8/29/97, the date of Judgment Day - on the main menu screen with the DVD remote. Both the Terminator's eyes turn red if this is successful, and the message "The future is not set" will be displayed.
The newer "Extreme Edition" has a clearer picture made from a newer, more advanced High Definition film transfer, a Dolby Headphone soundtrack in addition to a newer, re-mixed Dolby Digital track (the older DTS track is not present) and its own set of bonus supplements, along with a High Definition (encoded at a resolution of 1440x816) version of the film in WMV HD format that can be played on high-end PCs. The Extreme Edition also has both the Special and Theatrical versions of the movie. Both DVDs contain both the theatrical and special edition versions of the film, although accessing the theatrical version on the Extreme DVD requires using a hidden "Easter Egg". WMV HD format of this movie is not licensed for playback outside the US and Canada.
There were storyboards for an extended version of the Future War backstory, including the Resistance's discovery of the Terminator factory and the time displacement equipment, but it was dropped for budgetary reasons and never filmed. However, it was detailed in the screenplay, described below.
In the opening scene of Terminator 2, John Connor is seen to survey the battlefield through binoculars before the opening credits; the screenplay describes the following scene:
This battle was taking place against the main Skynet facility in the American Cheyenne Mountains, where the MX LG-118A Peacekeeper ICBMs are located (there was a coordinated attack against the other 2 Skynet centres in Europe and Australia to stretch Skynet's resources). Shortly after Connor surveyed the scene, the machines stopped, with the aerial vehicles falling from the sky, indicating his soldiers had 'pulled the plug' on Skynet. Connor was escorted across the battle ground to the Complex which had been infiltrated by his sappers. Entering a control room deep below the ground, he was escorted into the computer core where floorboards had been removed and sappers with notebook computers had hacked into Skynet and shut it down. In the room was a sapper named Kyle Reese whom Connor acknowledged with a nod.
Connor was approached by a sapper who stated there was a massive electrical discharge just before Skynet was taken off line (assuming this is what they expected, having been briefed by Connor on Skynet's intentions to send the T-800 back in time to kill his mother); however, the sapper also stated that a second electrical discharge had been detected (presumably the T-1000 sent back to terminate Connor as a child).
Connor was escorted to the time displacement equipment room. The door was frozen over, the air having converted to ice by the time displacement process. The door was opened and was it found to be a solid structure with 2 halves, each having a mould of The Thinker, which closes on the person inside it.
Inspecting the floor of this mould, a single drop of silver liquid metal is seen (assumed to be from the last object sent back in time, the T-1000). A soldier nudges it with his rifle and it is absorbed into the rifle.
Connor then inspects an adjacent room with racks of completed, but powered down Terminators. Walking past the Terminators, Connor stops and sees one in his Image.
The screenplay for this act ends and rolls into the opening credits.
The omitted original ending of the movie shows an alternate future that negated the entire future man-machine war. In this future, Sarah (now an elderly woman) recalls the Terminator, the future and the events that took place after the movie. Also in this future, John is a U.S. Senator and has a daughter. It was dropped by Cameron in editing, claiming it was "inappropriately ending a thoroughly dark movie with a cherry on top."
Terminator 2 revolutionized the special effects industry, with ground-breaking computer graphics and visual Images, particularly in the T-1000s scenes. The film won four Oscars, all for technical aspects (Best Sound, Best Make Up, Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Editing). Most of the key Terminator effects were provided by Industrial Light and Magic (on the computer graphics side) and by Stan Winston (on the practical effects side). The external aspects of the spectacular scenes at the Cyberdyne Systems Corporation, including the massive explosion towards the end of the movie, were filmed on location at an office building in Fremont, California.
According to Cameron on the Extreme Edition commentary, he received a letter from "some scientists" regarding the dream sequence in which Sarah is killed by a nuclear blast. They said it was the "most realistic" depiction of a nuclear explosion ever put on film.
Linda Hamilton's twin sister Leslie was used in three scenes (the scene where John and Sarah open the T-800's head to access his chip, she is the mother in the playground before the nuclear attack, and the scene that features "two Sarahs" where Linda played the "real Sarah" and Leslie played the T-1000 imitating Sarah). In addition to the Hamilton twins, twins Don and Dan Stanton were also used in the scene where the T-1000 kills a mental hospital guard, Lewis. Dan played the "T-1000 Lewis guard."
The four weapons used by Arnold Schwarzenegger are a custom-made Coltonic (Detonics slide on a Colt 1911 frame) (from bar scene to the steel mill), a sawn-off 10-gauge Winchester Model 1887/1901 lever-action shotgun with a modified handle to flip-cock it (from bar scene to Enrique's compound), an M79 grenade launcher (Cyberdyne headquarters scene to end), and the M134 Minigun used at the Cyberdyne building. It was the same gun that was used in Predator. Linda Hamilton uses the same Coltonic (at the mental hospital), an M4 carbine, an AMT long-slide .45 pistol and a Franchi SPAS-12 shotgun.
This article uses material from Wikipedia and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
All material is compiled from numerous sources and may not be accurate. Dynamic Forces, Inc and all of its subsidiaries cannot guarantee the validity of the content.