A sequel to the sci-fi action thriller that made him and star Arnold Schwarzenegger A-list Hollywood names, writer/director James Cameron upped the ante with this follow-up by employing a more sweeping storyline and cutting-edge special effects. Linda Hamilton returns as Sarah Connor, now a single mother to rebellious teen John Connor (Edward Furlong), during the late nineties. Having been informed by a time-traveling soldier in the first film that John will one day grow up to become humanity's savior from a computer-controlled Armageddon, Sarah has responded by becoming a muscle-bound she-warrior bent on educating John in survival tactics and battle strategies. Her ranting about humankind's future has landed Sarah in an insane asylum and John in the foster care system. The rebellious John has responded to his situation by getting into scrapes with the law. When a new and improved Terminator android called the T-1000 (Robert Patrick) arrives from the future to eliminate John, an older model T-800 (Schwarzenegger) is sent to protect the boy. The T-1000, however, has the ability to morph itself into any shape it desires, allowing it chameleon-like powers and near indestructibility. The T-800 saves John's life and helps break Sarah out of the institution. Staying only one step ahead of the dogged T-1000, Sarah leads her son and the T-800 to the headquarters of Cyberdyne Systems, the company that will invent a robotic intelligence that will eventually take over the world. There, they attempt to convince inventor Miles Dyson (Joe Morton) to help them stop the future from ever occurring by destroying his work. Dyson sacrifices himself in an explosion to save the world, leading to a final showdown between the two Terminators at a steel foundry. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), which won four Oscars in technical categories for its groundbreaking effects, was followed by a short sequel filmed exclusively as an attraction for theme parks, Terminator 2: 3-D Battle Across Time (1996). ~ Karl Williams, Rovi
Rating: R (for strong sci-fi action and violence, and for language)
Lionsgate: May redeem the Theatrical or Special edition.