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Arnold Schwarzenegger’s acting output has been rather sporadic of late, consisting of minor cameos and essentially playing a parody of himself when not literally playing himself. However, you don’t need to be steeped in cinematic lore to know he was once the biggest action star on the planet, and one of the films that cemented his status as such, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, will arrive on Netflix in July.
The 1991 sci-fi is, of course, a sequel to 1984’s almost as magnificent The Terminator, seeing Schwarzenegger as another of the titular nigh-unstoppable cyborg killing machines, only this time sent back from the future to save the life of future resistance leader John Connor instead of ensure his death. This might have come as a surprise had the trailer not already spoiled it, and demonstrates that even back in the ‘90s little care was given about narrative integrity if it meant cramming more backsides into cinema seats. The film is also responsible for transforming Sarah Connor from the ineffectual damsel in distress the original cast her as, into the stoic badass and iron-willed survivalist the name is now forever associated with.
Hunger for a sequel was rife following the initial flick’s success, but was partially stalled by limitations in CGI technology, advancements in which were necessary to properly realize the liquid metal effects of the T-1000’s shapeshifting, which still stand up even three decades later. The five minutes or so of screen time requiring such shots inflated the budget to around $100 million, making the production then the most expensive ever undertaken.
As well as flipping the script on Das Ahnuld’s character and wowing audiences with cutting-edge visuals, the film also has some of the most ambitious stunt work that had ever been produced at the time, resulting in a near-constant chain of drama and excitement. Terminator 2 is not only one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s best outings, but is also quite simply one of the greatest action movies ever made.