Very few movies can be referred to as undeniable classics quite like James Cameron’s Terminator 2: Judgement Day, which is currently available to stream on Netflix. The film had a massive impact on the landscape of cinema, catapulting the auteur filmmaker to new heights and cementing Arnold Schwarzenegger’s place as a leading action star. Arriving on the scene in 1991, the film stands as a massive success with critics and audiences alike.
Terminator 2: Judgement Day is one of the greatest action movies, sci-fi movies, time travel movies, and frankly, one of the best movies ever made.
Terminator 2: Judgement Day was written and directed by James Cameron, serving as the filmmaker’s fifth feature film, according to IMDb. It serves as a sequel to the 1984 original film and marks the start of the expanded universe of sequels in the Terminator franchise, which has now spanned over six films. Judgement Day stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Robert Patrick, Edward Furlong, Earl Boen, and Joe Morton.
Since the film’s premiere, each of its stars has gone on to a host of successful projects, most notably Arnold Schwarzenegger, who became the 38th governor of California from 2003 until 2011, landing two top spots on Time Magazine’s running list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Other Terminator 2: Judgement Day stars, such as Robert Patrick, have gone on to massive films and television projects, including The Sopranos, The X-Files, and James Gunn‘s Peacemaker.
Of the six films in the Terminator franchise, Terminator 2: Judgement Day is the only instalment to be nominated for an Academy Award. The film took home four of the six Oscars it was nominated for, winning Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Editing, Best Makeup and Hair Styling, and Best Cinematography. Though a number of films in the Terminator franchise have been released in the following years, none have been able to capture the magic of the original two films.
Terminator 2: Judgement Day set a bar for the franchise so high no other films in the series have been able to clear it.
Terminator 2: Judgement Day centers around John Connor and his mother, Sarah, a pair of ordinary suburbanites who will alter the course of history in the future. After getting a look at the dystopia of Earth in the year 2029, we see the evil corporation Skynet, led by a complex system of artificial intelligence, send a liquid-metal T-1000 Terminator back in time to kill John Connor as a child long before he has the chance to become the dangerous resistance leader he is destined to grow into.
In order to protect Connor from the T-1000, the resistance sends a reprogrammed Terminator model T-800 back in time to prevent the T-1000 from completing its mission.
In a continuation of the events of the first film, Terminator 2 first sees Sarah Connor incarcerated in a state hospital due to her violent outbursts in the first film. As a result, John is taken in by a foster family, who is quickly killed by the cunning T-1000 while ransacking the home in search of John.
John Connor becomes intercepted by the T-800, who follows his every command. In an effort to protect himself, his mother, and everyone around him, John orders the T-800 not to kill any human beings. As Terminator 2 continues, John, Sarah, and the T-800 grow closer, despite Sarah’s initial reservations stemming from her interactions with the Terminator model in the first film. Eventually, the automaton begins to take on human traits, including catchphrases and secret handshakes.
Terminator 2: Judgement Day continues to ratchet up the tension at every turn as the T-1000 utilizes its liquid shape-shifting ability to engage in a long and destructive game of cat and mouse with the Connors. The film’s climax has become one of history’s most often referenced and parodied moments, appearing in Family Guy, Robot Chicken, The Simpsons, Wayne’s World 2, American Pie 2, Rick and Morty, and many others.
Terminator 2: Judgement Day earned $520 million at the box office, making it the most successful film in 1991.
Beyond winning Academy Awards recognizing the immense technical talent behind the film, Terminator 2: Judgement Day is widely lauded as one of the best sci-fi action films of all time and a shining example of an excellent sequel.
The film brought in roughly $520 million at the box office against an estimated production budget of $100 million, marking it the highest-grossing film of the year. For anyone who has somehow yet to see the Hollywood lynchpin, Terminator 2: Judgement Day is currently available to stream on Netflix.