My Favorite Movie | Terminator 2

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3 years ago

Terminator | The Arnold Schwarzenegger Juggernaut

I believe that only the first two Terminators were the real ones, while the rest shouldn’t have been there at all. I mean, the storyline could have ended with John Connor being saved in Terminator 2. But no, some big brain wanted to bring Skynet back to life, and poor John Connor from the future kept sending back Arnie. Come on, Terminator 2 was the curtains down on the Terminator franchise.

That was the fan part of me crying out against all the other terminators coming online for no reason. ☹. And then, of course, the latest terminator killed Skynet and brought a whole new system, a whole new resistance, and whole new terminators. Arrrgggghhhhhh! Somebody needs to stop this.

Anyway, let’s get back to the original terminators. The first one came out in 1984 when I was four years old, starring Arnie as the machine from the future that had come to erase certain parts of the past. While the second terminator was released in 1991, Arnie was a whole new level of a machine. Though both the movies can be seen in isolation, you will miss the storyline a bit around mommy Connor. So, always recommended to see both in sequence.

My predicament is to pick one of them. No one can argue that both the movies had scenes and dialogues that the world kept copying forever. I mean dialogues like

“I’ll be back” [Terminator 1]


“Hasta-la-vista, baby" [Terminator 2]

Are some that have gained cult status. Therefore, I love both movies equally, but if I had to pick one, Terminator 2 pips Terminator 1 by that eeny-weeny-teeny tiny bit. And that's what we will be discussing here.

Let’s jump into knowing more about the movie.

Terminator 2 | The Run Up to Watch the Movie

When Terminator 2 was released in 1991, I was only eleven years old. My friends and I did not hear about the movie till 1993. Then one of them watched it. While casually discussing the movie, my friend talked about the plot and how the first movie shows Arnie as a baddie while in the second one, he is the hero. I was spellbound just from my friend's narration. I wanted to see the movie, and as my luck would have it, our local cable (Television Channel) operator was to air Terminator 2. However, my friend's warning rang in my ears. I remember him telling me that don’t watch Terminator 2 without watching the first one. I took it seriously and let it go. A couple of weeks later, I got the fun news that Terminator 1 was being aired, with Terminator 2 being followed in a couple of hours. That was a dream come true.

But you know what? A thirteen-year-old is not allowed to watch movies on his own, let alone two of them. Hummppphhh. What do I do? To cut a long story short, I got the approval to watch both of them. It came with great sacrifices of not watching Swat Cats, G.I. Joe, and other favorite cartoons of mine for a week. Oh man, the sacrifices I made. 😊

Catching Up With The Terminators

Let’s admit it, till the time the Terminators came by, time travel and machines traveling to the past to kill humans was only part of a great sci-fi book. Terminator was the movie to break the mold; rather creating a whole new mold. No sci-fi movie could evoke the level of feelings that the Terminator movie could evoke. Of course, Star Wars fans would burn me down with their glare. Hehehe. But then, I was not born in the Star Wars era. I was born in the Terminator era. So, give me some slack.

Since I am not talking much about Terminator 1, here is a small snapshot of the movie. Arnold Schwarzenegger is a futuristic robot sent back in time to kill the mother of John Connor. John Connor is the head of the human resistance stopping the machines from taking over the planet. So, the machines come up with the plan to kill John Connor’s mother much before John is born. No mother, no child. No John, no resistance.

Arnie plays the role so convincingly that I was sh*t scared thinking what would I do if an unemotional, relentless, wont-stop-till-you-die terminator ever chased me. No kidding, those were the stuff of nightmares. But the good news is that John sends his ally, Kyle Reese, to save his mother. By the way, Kyle is also John’s father (😉 ) and ends up saving Mrs. Connor. Here is the last scene of the movie.

The metal skeleton is the Terminator after shedding Arnie skin. 😊. So, that’s the background to the movie. And keep that in mind for Terminator 2.

Terminator 2 | Machines from the Future Clash in the Past

Knowing that Arnold Schwarzenegger was the bad guy in Terminator 1, it was obvious that we all got sweaty seeing him come back in time during the opening scene. And then the other guy landed. I don’t think you should blame me for thinking that Arnie was the bad guy while the other guy was the good one trying to save John Connor. The only difference in this movie from Terminator 1 was that John Connor was a teenager and living with his foster parents.

The terminator and the other guy are on the lookout for John. The other guy incidentally takes a cop's uniform and drives around in a cop car. So, all the more reason to trust him than Arnie. But the first time that both meet John Connor, the reality dawns on you that Arnold is the good guy while the other guy is the bad one. The other guy is, by the way, a more advanced terminator made up of liquid metal. And that liquid metal shaped my childhood. Here is why:

This scene establishes Arnold as the good Terminator while the other Terminator is the badass one. I mean, the indestructible and unstoppable one that can survive an explosion too. That was the T-1000 for you, while Arnie was the T-800. But trust me, till then, I haven’t seen anything that could survive a blast like that one other than in horror movies. Now, understand my horror?

But the good part was that we were all on the side of Arnold and rooting for him to protect John and win the fight against the T-1000.

The T-1000 | Stuff That Horrors are Made Of

Back then, I used to wonder if the T-1000 was to be the one in Terminator 1, Kyle Reese wouldn’t have had a chance at all. I couldn't believe that anyone other than the T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) could have terminated the T-1000. That’s how horrifying the T-1000 was. A few of its traits were:

1. Kills (terminates) anyone it touches.
2. Can shape-shift into anyone it touches.
3. Has no limitations as far as the shape it can take (will show you in a moment)
4. Cannot be stopped by fire, gunshots, and explosions.
5. Can pass through metals (there is a scene where it passes through jail enclosure).
6. And most of all, way stronger than T-800

To explain the no limitations part, here is a scene. *Viewer discretion is requested as the killing scene was too much for me as a kid*. So, a warning before you watch.

The scene that I am referring to ends at 1:25 minute mark. It can take the form of a floor (point 3), had touched the police officer as he walked over it and hence can take his form (point 2) and finally terminates anyone it touches (point 1). Phew! That was horrifying, right?

Now I am a big horror movie fan, and so was I back in 1993. Till then, all the fear that I had was about dead souls coming for me and how I would escape them. But since Terminator 2, it was all about T-1000 coming for me and how would I stay alive. Damn, that’s a good character development by the producers and director of the movie! You have to give it to them.

You already know that the T-1000 can survive explosions. Here you can see it going through bars and surviving shots.

And it never stops. What can you really do?

T-800 to the Rescue

Just when the T-1000 was indiscriminately marauding anyone or anything standing in its way to get John, the T-800 was the only hope. And that created the endearing robot from the future that still fans can relate to when talking about the Terminator.

So, how did a machine controlled by Skynet come to the past to save a human? Well, the T-800 (Arnie) was caught by John Connor and team in the future, reprogrammed, and sent back in time to protect young Johnny. So, you can see the T-800 following young John’s orders to the T (pun intended). Here is one example of it. These are scenes from two different parts of the movie and put together.

The T-800 and the T-1000 have few face-offs before the final fight, but the one thing that you notice is that neither the T-800 nor the T-1000 talk to each other. You can guess why. They are machines, and they have a mission. Neither one can convince the other to walk away from their mission then why to talk. If you think about it, that is clever. However, there is one scene where they actually talk to each other but in someone else’s voice. Here it is:

Notice that? The T-800 and T-1000 in a verbal face-off. When you look at the CGI, you realize that it is as good as any new movie, and yet this was three decades back—such a well-made movie. I couldn’t help but notice the genius in the dialogues. The T-800 trying a different name to gauge the other person. I miss those days!

But all this leads to the final fight with the T-1000 because they cannot be indefinitely running. And that is when I first felt the pain of losing the T-800.

T-800 and T-1000 | Face-Off

The T-1000 continues tracking John and reaches the Corporation, which is the reason for Skynet's development. The T-800 and John already are there and end up blowing up the building before the T-1000 could get to them. After that, they are on the run, but the T-1000 is in hot pursuit. This leads to an accident which created the second-best scene in the movie.

The T-1000 drives a truck filled with liquid Nitrogen and, during the accident, has liquid Nitrogen sprayed all over it. The freezing liquid makes it rigid and causes it to become motionless.

But the heat of the furnace thaws it, and it is able to assemble back. That was a crazy scene. Just when you thought that the T-1000 was done for, it just came back.

From hereon, it is the last fifteen minutes of the movie. The T-1000 is finally terminated by having it fall into the furnace. That destroys the robot for good. But then comes the most heartbreaking scenes of all.

The second movie starts with the knowledge that a part of the chip from the earlier Terminator in Terminator 1 leads to Skynet's development. So, the only way to deal with Skynet's creation is to destroy all the chips that could fall into human hands and lead to the creation in the first place. If that is so, the T-800 cannot stay back in time and risk becoming the reason for Skynet’s creation. So, it had to be destroyed too. That’s exactly what the T-800 proceeds to do after the T-1000 is dealt with.

Now you know why I loved this movie so much. From the time the T-800 locates John to the time it bids its final goodbye, you start loving the character. As a kid, I went through the same emotions as John. I, too, felt that it was okay for Arnie to stay back. But no. That was not to happen.

Here is a piece of trivia for you

You see, the T-800 had to destroy all artifacts, and that’s how the corporation where Skynet was being developed was blown up. Then the T-1000 is also destroyed. In the end, John throws in the metal hand from the first Terminator in Terminator 1 and its chip. Of course, Arnold is also destroyed.

But guess what? Arnold also loses his metal arm, which remains stuck in the gear while fighting the T-1000. That remains. Hmm. So, not everything was destroyed. 😊

A Look Back

For all the fear that Arnold created in Terminator 1, he did the exact opposite in Terminator 2. The movie made you relate to the T-800 and Arnold. That character is the thing of legends now. There cannot be another T-800 brought to life by any person other than Arnold. It sure was a loss when the T-800 decided to annihilate itself, and it was duty (or order) bound to follow its directive.

It was a loss that was too much for me as a kid, and even today, I can feel that slight pain when the T-800 asks to be lowered into the furnace. Maybe, childhood memories. All these put together are what drives me mad at all the other Terminator movies. They just spoiled this perfect ending.


Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons



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