Thursday, 6 April 2017

The 8th Hall Of Fame Inductee Representing Action/Adventure Film - Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) - James Cameron

Seven years in the making, for James Cameron and co it was going to be pretty hard to follow The Terminator. However, this is James Cameron, and as many of you may know, James Cameron is no ordinary gentleman. Having made two big-budget features (Aliens and The Abyss), he was more than ready to apply these aesthetics to his first and arguably most beloved creation. If one really studies, you can see so many similarities between this and it’s predecessor that you can almost call it a remake of his breakout guerilla feature with more money and explosions, but that would be doing Terminator 2: Judgment Day a disservice. The massive scale of the spectacular action sequences (the stunts and special effects, then in 1991 cutting-edge, stand up to this day) is matched by that of the storytelling. Co-written with William Wisher, Cameron crafts a masterful structured story that reads like a textbook in action-film screenwriting. There is a brilliant, rushing sense of momentum, so much so that even with a long running time, it flies by as you are swept up by what’s going on. The characters are all well-developed and superbly realized, both on the page and onscreen. Linda Hamilton, who got herself into impressive physical condition, reprises her role as Sarah Connor, a far cry from the wide-eyed vulnerable waitress in the first film, now hard-edged determined mother to future resistance leader John Connor, terrifically played by the debuting Edward Furlong. Robert Patrick’s T1000 is a frightening villain that sends chills down your spine, while Joe Morton and Earl Boen round out the main supporting cast well with their strong performances as Miles Dyson and Dr. Peter Silberman respectively. It is also arguably the crowning moment in the career of Arnold Schwarzenegger as an actor. Already a legend in action cinema, Schwarzenegger had begun to further his talents by starring in comedies such as Twins, and here on display is the full extent of his acting palette. He has the look, the physical presence and the cold steel to play the Terminator, but he also draws on his sense of humour and even goes so far as to move us with his incredibly subtle depiction of the reprogrammed T-800, who slowly develops, with a deft character arc over the course of the film, an understanding of human emotions and a connection to the boy he has sworn to protect. The film is an absolute technical marvel, but what makes this last, for all of the brilliance of the action, is the powerful human story that James Cameron has created for us to enjoy.

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