Who doesn’t love a time travel movie that involves a killer robot baby-sitter? Certainly no one here at ScienceFiction.com. That’s why ‘Terminator 2’ is the subject of today’s Throwback Thursday, Sciencefiction.com’s column dedicated to the great scifi of the past.
I should say, before we get into this, that I did not come by ‘Terminator 2’ in the ordinary way. I was to young when it first came to theaters, and then I had no interest when I got older. Instead, when I was twenty-six, while getting drunk with my friends at Charging Star Comics, I had admitted that I had never seen the movie. Jaws dropped, and I was immediately sat in a Lazy Boy while they put in the Blu-ray. Then, every time I fell asleep because of a truly unfortunate combination of liquor and it being 3AM, they would pause the movie, wake me up, and push play when they were convinced I was paying attention.
I should have a lot more sour memory of it than I do. I should remember having a headache and the desire to sleep when I rewatched the movie. I should, but I don’t. This movie is so good that I forget everything but Sarah Connor for two hours.
So, you may be wondering why I am not featuring the first Terminator here today. There may come a time when I do, but I think you would be hard-pressed to find anyone who loves ‘Terminator’ that doesn’t think the second one is the best. The first one is good for what it is (essentially man travels back in time to save future baby mama from a time traveling murderous robot). Without it, the second one would never exist. But it will never be good as the second.
The second movie starts with Sarah Connor, who has long since given birth to the savior of humanity, John Connor. She is in a mental institution as she keeps insisting that the genocide of humans at the hands of robots is at hand. John, meanwhile, is a prepubescent punk who takes out his feelings of abandonment on his foster parents.
In comes two terminators. One, reprogrammed by John Connors in the future to be his own surrogate dad and to protect him, and the other an extremely advanced metalloid creature that can take on the appearance of anything it touches. And, if you watch things in a different order than other geeks, you would totally recognize the murderbot as Agent Doggett from ‘The X-files’.
The movie is incredible because instead of focusing on how inept Sarah is (à la the last movie, and with good reason as she isn’t a trained combat specialist yet) and trying to save her, she is the hero of the movie. It’s not Arnold Schwarzenegger. No, it’s Sarah Connor, who has spent that last decade or so training herself to become a genius tactician, a hardened fighter, and anything else a person needs to be when they know the apocalypse is coming. She smokes, drinks, and thinks herself out of the most impossible situations, even if she’s the one to get herself into it.
Sarah, John, and Dad-Terminator try to stop the whole robot invasion from happening by stopping the man who creates the chip that would eventually become Skynet (the computer network that takes over the world), only to find out that it’s based off of future technology. So, yeah, they are using future technology to create Dad-Terminator, who is getting sent back to stop them creating the chip. It’s like paradox-ception. A paradox within a paradox.
It is action-packed, somewhat uplifting as John tries to teach Dad-Terminator how to be more human, and an excellent two hour distraction from life. If you haven’t seen it, what are you waiting for?