Terminator 2: Judgment Day 3D review

Anyone who loves film knows that Terminator 2: Judgment Day ranks as one of the best (if not THE best) action films ever made. As well as being a superlative sequel to 1984's surprise hit The Terminator, T2 ups the ante with more action, mayhem and twice as many Terminators as the original.

Arnie always said he'd be back, and now, almost 30 years after its release (T2 came out in 1991), the film as been dusted off, spruced up, remastered in 4K and given an extra dimension for this cinema rerelease. 

More than a decade has passed since Sarah Connor evaded the original Terminator's assassination attempt by crushing it in a hydraulic press. In the meantime, Sarah has gone and got herself banged up in a mental asylum. Skynet, the evil self-aware artificial intelligence from the future, has sent the all new T-1000 Terminator back in time to kill Sarah's 10 year-old son John Connor. Skynet wants to rid the Earth of human life so that the machines can rule the world, but the one man standing in its way is John – the leader of the future resistance. By killing John in the 1990s, the resistance will lack the leadership necessary to overcome Skynet. Enter big Arnie in the present, this time as a T-101 sent to protect the Connors, and let the chase commence.

Terminator 2 has everything: huge explosions, extravagant set-pieces, decent acting, depth, a paranoid sci-fi subtext, a permanently tense atmosphere, staggeringly good special effects that still looking amazing, cyborg that can turn its finger into a pointed instrument of death and a future US governor on a motorbike wielding a pump-action shotgun. It's also a film choc-full of classic lines: "I need your clothes, your boots and your motorcycle"; "Come with me if you want to live!"; "Hasta la vista, baby"; "It's in your nature to destroy yourselves."; and, of course, "I'll be back".

The these of nuclear holocaust is probably more relevant today than when the film came out, but its strongest theme is that of family and motherhood. While Sarah Connor was very must the heroine of The Terminator, here she is more of a supporting character but a vitally important one. She is learning how to be not just a protector to son John, but also a mother.  She and John also have to help the T-101 adapt to his new role as protector and father figure, something a Terminator was not really designed to be.

Even if you have seen T2 dozens of times already (and who hasn't?), this 3D version is very much worth a revisit.

How good is the 3D?

Terminator 2: Judgment Day has always been one of those must-see movies. And while seeing it in 3D is not essential, it does add depth and the conversion is very well done. If you caught this 3D rerelease in the cinema, the experience at home is just as good – clear, crisp 3D with almost no ghosting.

EXTRAS: There's the brand new documentary T2: Reprogramming The Terminator (54:07), which includes new interviews with Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Cameron, Edward Furlong, Robert Patrick and other members of the cast and crew – no Linda Hamilton though, which is a shame); two Audio Commentaries, one with 23 members of the cast and crew (recorded in 1993), and the other with director Cameron and co-writer William Wisher; the 1993 documentary The Making of T2 (30:54); two Deleted Scenes with Audio Commentaries (3:18), the first with Cameron and Patrick, the second with Cameron, Stan Winston and Linda Hamilton; and three Theatrical Trailers, including a new one for this 2017 3D rerelease.

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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