A cyborg (Arnold Schwarzenegger), identical to the one who failed to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), must now protect her ten year old son, John Connor (Edward Furlong), from a more advanced cyborg (Robert Patrick) that can assume the shape of anyone it kills.
What, honestly, can be said or written about Terminator 2: Judgement Day that hasn't already been said? Stripping back the layers of the film, some might argue that it's nothing more than a chase film, and they'd be right. It is, essentially, a chase film - but there hasn't been a chase film this effective in many years. In fact, the only film that comes even close to replicating the kind of breathless feeling you get from experiencing this film for the first time is Mel Gibson's Apocalypto.
Like Apocalypto, there's a sense that the characters are running from a certain and final meeting with destiny, that as far and as long as they might get ahead, it's always going to catch up with them - because it's the future. There is no escape from it, and as Linda Hamilton's character points out repeatedly during the film, the future is already written.
Coming off the back of a critically acclaimed and but commercially underachieving film, James Cameron went back to the well of his imagination and took on Terminator 2: Judgement Day, believing that technology had caught up with his fertile imagination of a liquid metal hunter robot - as well as the fact that he most likely needed to show to investors and the world at large that he knew how to make exciting films. Cameron's method of pacing and linking scenes together works like a train, picking up speed with each and every moment until it builds up to a thrilling finale set inside a metal foundry - just like the original.
Linda Hamilton gives her greatest on-screen performance as Sarah Connor, and is utterly convincing in the role and manages to play with equal parts tenderness and viciousness. The way she calmly opens fire on Dyson's house, when just a few scenes previously, she was warmly embracing her son after a lengthy absence, is haunting - and were the same performance delivered today, we'd be talking about Oscar nominations for it. Arnold Schwarzenegger, meanwhile, uses his physical presence and lack of charm to humanise him, whilst Robert Patrick's wide-eyed, blank expression is terrifying - especially when it's beneath a police uniform.
The new 3D print of the film doesn't add all that much to the film, except to give certain scenes a lightness to them. The cinematography has been brightened a tad, and the explosions and sound design is more sharper than before, but that's about the size of it. In reality, it's a chance to see one of the greatest sci-fi films - one of the greatest films, period - of the past twenty years in a cinema, as it was meant to be viewed.
Don't miss the opportunity.