Terminator 2 (1991)
Turns out it had actually been quite a while since I'd seen this last. I thought I had seen it in the last few years, but the DVD that's been sitting unopened for 10+ years nicely disproves that. I'm now up to 6 previously unopened DVDs and counting. Whoops. I prefer to look it as having subconsciously been preparing for this all along.
Overall this is still a damn fine movie. The CGI effects hold up remarkably well considering how many advances have been made since, and the only real issues I had with the effects were how uneven the green screen color matching was. That's pretty noticeable, but everything else was just fine and still enough actual set pieces to keep it very real and believable. The entire sequence at Cyberdyne is fantastic and one of my favorite set pieces in any movie. Gunfire, explosions, one-liners, swat guys, lens flare... It's got it all and it's a wonderful spectacle. There's something special about most of that scene being done with physical effects rather than in post-production. Need more of that these days.
Arnold is again in top form here and it's fun to have him play the Terminator against type. That gives us some wonderful comedic elements and his conversations are excellent and give some nice depth to the story. He's playing it considerably less robotic than the first one, and while I do miss that, he's much more charismatic here and that definitely ups the fun factor. He did strike me as being a little less in character than I remembered, but by doing that he's also more Ahnold and I'm good with that trade. Arnold has some of his best physical acting here and I do love the way he one-handed cocks the shotgun, uses the grenade and smoke launchers, or hefts a mini-gun around. There's craft and dexterity behind how he handles weapons and it never fails to put a smile on my face.
Really enjoyed Robert Patrick and his warm/cold manner is great. The scenes where he's politely talking to civilians give a nice contrast to the many times he nonchalantly kills someone. Above all, he just looks great in uniform, glaring, or running after someone. He manages to ooze menace while still looking cool doing it. The contrast in body styles between Robert and Arnold is used to good effect and makes it much more interesting than if they had put another bodybuilder out there as the bad guy.
Ahnold Quotient - 9
He's once again bigger than life with great one liners, awesome action sequences, and no openly goofy bits. Even though I might prefer he act a bit more like a machine, there's no denying his charisma and screen presence, and he's obviously committed to the role. Cameron really knows how to get a good performance out of him.
Rewatchability - Yes please
I think I have to give the nod to the original Terminator being a more thought-provoking pure sci-fi film, but the sheer spectacle of T2 is wonderfully compelling. It's still a hell of a ride, is wonderfully paced, and very satisfying to watch. Another Arnold movie I'd be happy to sit down and watch again anytime.
Next up: The Last Action Hero. I'm trying to not be too negative going into this one, even though I have some seriously unpleasant memories of watching it in the theater and subsequently on cable. I did pick this up on DVD a while back, but it's another unopened one. I'm hopeful that I'll find more to enjoy here than I remember, but can't say I'm really looking forward to it all that much.