Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)

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This follow up to his own sci-fi classic The Terminator sees another cyborg sent back through time to protect John Connor in childhood from a shape-shifting assassin bent on preventing him from leading the human race to salvation.

Alongside Aliens, James Cameron has been responsible for two of the most inventive sequels around. It puts an interesting spin on the original concept, essentially switching the roles of Schwarzenegger and Sarah Connor, with Linda Hamilton turning in easily the best performance of the film. He becomes the nurturing parental figure, she the emotionless, single-minded terminator who only regains her humanity when shown the human face of her target. Throw in a nice time paradox, some excellent set pieces and innovative effects and you have a great cocktail for breathless action sci-fi. The one flaw is the badly misjudged humour and generous dollop of schmaltz trowelled on by Cameron when dealing with Edward Furlong’s young John Connor; I would have much preferred to see more of the T-1000 and less of the sentimentality and weak humour revolving around the father-son bond of the boy and his cyborg.

Despite this, thanks to some ingenious plotting and ground breaking special effects, T2 has dated very well indeed.

9/10

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