The voiceovers drove me absolutely bloody nuts, and it definitely runs long. But this is a special movie. In 1991, James Cameron knew a lot about film-making that nobody else had caught onto yet. 

Most action movies function like flavours of the week, until they’re surpassed by something else even more over the top. It’s been nearly thirty years and T2 is still thrilling, with some truly bananas sequences. The helicopter chase, the chase through the canal, and the final fight are all tops in my book. 

Visually, it’s held up. With a few exceptions, the CGI looks remarkable. And the cinematography is striking. Like the special effects, the colour palette was years ahead of its time. The only other director working with colours like this at the time was Ridley Scott. (It’s no coincidence that Aliens and Alien work so well together, visually, despite their different aspect ratios.)

Philosophically, as our AI gets more sophisticated, the meta text of the film poses interesting questions. My wife was bothered by the people the Terminator hurts throughout the movie, but he’s a robot. To him, don’t kill” isn’t a command to empathize. It’s a command to immobilize without death. That’s decidedly inhumane. How can we make our technology more human in meaningful ways?

I love this movie. But the voiceovers haven’t aged well. If ever there was a Final Cut” version, which kept the Special Edition edits, replaced the ending with the Coda, and removed the voiceovers completely, I think we’d have a perfect film. 

Until then, this is the landmark. The standard by which all action films were judged — until Fury Road — and one of the great visual accomplishments of cinema history.

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