Arts & Life, Movies, Prairie Post

Navigating Netflix: Terminator 2: Judgement Day

In a dream had by the film’s main character, Sarah Connor watches as a nuclear explosion decimates the scene around her. The world is shattered by the machines built to serve us in the ultimate act of betrayal by Skynet. This is Judgement Day, August 29, 1997.

Well, at this point in the franchise, at least. As the story grows through films, TV shows and more the date is altered. A few times. You need to go online and read through the timeline to really sort the whole thing out…

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The 1991 follow up to the James Cameron Sci-Fi classic The Terminator features another T-800 Terminator played once again by Arnold “The Governator” Schwarzenegger coming to the past, looking for Sarah Connor. This time, the T-800 has been sent to protect John Connor from the future by John Connor and, by extension, his mother Sarah from the new model T-1000. The T-1000 rampages its way through Los Angeles, trying to kill John Connor while John Connor and friends try to stop Skynet from ever existing.

Although, given Edward Furlong’s annoying performance as John Connor, you almost wish the T-100 would win.

This movie arrived on the scene during the height of Schwarzenegger’s career. Though it came out in 1991, it exemplifies the best of what 80s action flicks were capable of when paired with an 80s science fiction film plot. Linda Hamilton reprising her role as Sarah Connor is also worth the price of admission.

The character of Sarah Connor is one of my favourite bad ass female action leads to come out of that era of movies, second only to Ellen Ripley. The T2 version of Connor is a far cry from the typical female victim character she was in The Terminator, although you could see signs of the T2 Connor emerging in the closing scenes of the film. Since the events of The Terminator, Sarah Connor has spent years training, hoarding weapons and forging alliances to see her son through his role in leading the fight against Skynet in the future. And she has paid a hefty price for it as we find her in an asylum thanks to her mission when she first appears in T2.

Apparently, some people think a woman rambling about robots from the future is crazy.

While no one is going to say that T2 is the epitome of brilliant storytelling, it quite successfully moves the viewer along from one scene to the next at a quick, engaging pace. It’s enough to keep you hooked into the film until the next time something blows up. Each action sequence leaves you salivating for the next. And while T2 lacks the B-movie charm of its predecessor, it more than makes up for it with what were at the time revolutionary special effects and larger than life action.

Terminator 2: Judgement Day is one of those rare action/sci-fi films from the late 80s/early 90s that actually still holds up. And if you’re looking for a great action film, there’s nothing quite like Arnie in his prime. That’s goes double for Linda Hamilton when she’s kicking some liquid metal butt.

Ian Goodwillie is a columnist for the Spectator Tribune. Follow him on Twitter at @ThePrairieGeek and on Tumblr at