Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Best Movie Is Leaving Netflix, Stream It Before It’s Gone

By Tyler Pisapia | 3 months ago

arnold schwarzenegger

Although Arnold Schwarzenegger has enjoyed a lucrative career in the action genre, to many he’ll always be synonymous with the massive blockbuster hit that was Terminator 2: Judgement Day. Now, as it’s poised to leave Netflix at the end of the month, it seems like a perfect time to revisit this global sensation one more time while it’s still there for all users. 

Anyone who wants to do an impression of Arnold Schwarzenegger likely uses one of his iconic lines from Terminator 2: Judgement Day as their touchstone to get to his thick, Austrian accent. Whether it’s “your clothes, give them to me,” “hasta la vista, baby” or, of course, “I’ll be back,” there’s no shortage of recognizable lines delivered by the now 74-year-old actor from that movie. The reason for that is simply that the James Cameron-directed epic action movie quite literally changed the game when it came to filling seats in movie theaters. 

For those unfamiliar, Terminator 2: Judgement Day is the sequel to the 1985 hit action movie that made Arnold Schwarzenegger a household name. In that movie, he played a cyborg sent from the future to kill the woman who will give birth to the man who leads humanity to victory against a machine uprising. He’s one of the scariest and most relentless villains in science fiction history and was far and away the most iconic part of that movie. 

arnold schwarzenegger terminator 2 shotgun
Edward Furlong and Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

So, when James Cameron was tasked with making a big-budget sequel, not only did he know that he needed his original badass heroine, but he needed to find a way to bring Arnold Schwarzenegger back in a way that no one was expecting. To do that, he made him the hero. The sequel sees a young John Conner (future savior of humanity) meet Arnold Schwarzenegger as the T-800. However, this time he’s been reprogramed as less of a murder-bot and more of a protector as a new model T-1000 seeks to finish the mission of assassinating John. Protecting him is no easy feat, though. The T-1000 is superior in every way, forcing John and T-800 to call on the help of his mother, Sarah Conner (Linda Hamilton), who has been driven insane — yet has become even more of a badass — since the events from the first movie. 

What follows is an action-packed romp full of explosions, barrages of bullets and run in theaters that would forever change how we think about summer blockbusters and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Upon its release in July of 1991, Terminator 2: Judgement Day shattered records, ultimately earning roughly $204,843,345 at the box office worldwide off a not-so-modest estimated budget of $102,000,000. According to the Los Angeles Times, its run in theaters started to fizzle out by Labor Day Weekend, but not before setting opening weekend records in Germany, France, Brazil, South Korea and performed well above expectations in then-difficult markets like Italy, Spain, The United Kingdom and Japan. 

The appeal of Arnold Schwarzenegger has endured. Not only does Terminator 2: Judgement Day still enjoy an incredibly favorable rating from both critics and audiences on Rotten Tomatoes, but demand for the actor to continue to play the T-800 has endured well into his later years.

Arnold Schwarzenegger Terminator
Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)

Arnold Schwarzenegger reprised his role in the franchise in the 2003 third film Terminator: Rise of the Machines as well as the 2009 movie Terminator: Salvation for a brief cameo in which his Terminator 1 likeness was used. However, he fully got back in the game for Terminator Genisys in 2015 and again in the 2019 film Terminator: Dark Fate, which also brought Linda Hamilton back into the fold and reunited them both with producer James Cameron. 

With or without Arnold Schwarzenegger, there have been a lot of projects in the Terminator franchise. Frankly, Hollywood just can’t seem to get enough, even if a majority of them don’t enjoy the same critical or audience rating that Terminator 2: Judgement Day received. For lack of a better term, most of them are just plain bad. Why then does demand still exist? The fact of the matter is, the summer of 1991 suddenly became an exciting time to go to the movies again. It was impossible for people not to talk about this big, worldwide spectacle that was unfolding in front of them. It wasn’t just a commercial success but a cultural one as well. 

Now, filmmakers and studios have been trying to chase that summertime dragon for the past 30 years. Whether it’s through Vin Diesel’s family suiting up in the Fast and the Furious franchise, Marvel firing off another Avengers installment or having Arnold Schwarzenegger continue to make good on the T-800’s promise to be back, the summertime has never been the same since Terminator 2: Judgement Day reigned supreme.

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