Terminator 2 is a brill sequel to the 1984 Terminator movie. It was released in 1991 to huge commercial and critical success, easily surpassing the first movie in box office takings. The plot has Skynet sending an advanced T-1000 “liquid metal” terminator back in time to kill John Connor. The boy is destined to become the leader of the human resistance. As before the resistance is able to send back a protector for John. This time though it’s the same class of terminator played by Arnold Schwarzenegger that killed Johns father.
Things have not gone well for the Connors since the events of the first movie. Sarah is in a mental institution after trying to blow up Cyberdyne Systems. A company she rightly believes covered up the existence of the first terminator in order to create new technology from the wrecked endoskeleton. Her young son now believing his mother is insane has been sent to live with foster parents. The T-1000 finds John almost at the same time as his less advanced T-800 protector. They narrowly escape from it after a lengthy chase. John decides to free Sarah Connor from the mental institution and the escape into the desert after another confrontation with the T-1000.
Sarah Connor has changed a lot since the first terminator was sent to kill her in 1984. She’s nearly unrecognisable as a tough, physically fit former gun runner, determined to stop Skynet before the war can even start. The fact that Johns protector is the same model that tried to kill her and succeeded in killing Johns father is something she’s not too happy with. Sarah tries to destroy it’s CPU while the T-800 is turned off to be reprogrammed but John stops her.
Instead she makes the T-800 tell her who is responsible for Skynets creation and leaves her son and the terminator with friends to go and kill Miles Bennett Dyson a Cyberdyne employee in his home. John follows his mother and finds her unable to actually kill Dyson although she has shot him through the shoulder. With proof from the T-800 they tell Dyson of the future war and he agrees to help them by destroying his work at Cyberdyne Systems.
While stealing the first terminators remains the police are alerted to the Connors and the T-800’s presence and begin to surround the building. A swat team is sent in and Dyson is shot again. Unable to escape Miles Bennett Dyson sacrifices his life to allow the three to escape, blowing up Cyberdyne with his last breath. Sarah, john and the T-800 drive away in a stolen police van only to find that the T-1000 has once again found them and is persuing in a helicopter.
The three are chased into a steel mill where a final show down sees the T-1000 destroyed in molten steel. John throws the arm and the CPU from the first terminator after it and believes his future to be changed. But the T-800 tells them that he too must be destroyed so that his CPU cannot fall into the wrong hands. Sarah has finally come to respect this T-800 after witnessing its relentless protection of her son and she actually seems hesitant to lower him into the molten metal below. John is devastated. He’s bonded with the machine and can barely watch as his friend is lowered down to its fate.
Terminator 2 is a rare thing, a sequel that is actually better than the first movie. These gems don’t come along very often. James Cameron proves he is among the top Hollywood directors in this movie. The acting is solid too, the script was well written and wasn’t sacrificed on the bonfire of the special effects budget like so many other movies. As the credits role Sarah Connor asks “If a machine can learn the value of human life, maybe we can too?” I cant help but think that terminator 2 is brill stuff.