When I found out Terminator 2 was being re-released I was ecstatic. Over the last few years I’ve managed to catch movies I loved as a kid and enjoyed them once again like Ghostbusters and Batman 1989. One staple of my youth that I didn’t get to see in theaters was Terminator 2. My parents seemed to go by the ratings system and I certainly wasn’t seeing an R rated flick in the theater. The loophole around this was when we’d visit my Grandpa (on my Mother’s side) or he’d visit us. He was a huge action movie fan and that’s how I got to see both Robocop and Terminator 2 through the magic of VHS. Since that day I’ve probably watched T2 at least once a year or more. Naturally, I was determined to see it in the theater.
If you’re reading this blog I’m assuming you’ve watched T2 by now, so there’s no need to go too deep into it. Terminator 2 is a classic action movie. One of the nearly flawless action movies and a seminal sci-fi film.
Watching it on the big screen was a treat. I was pulled into the movie more than I have been since I was a kid. It’s easy just to put a movie you’ve seen dozens of times on and kinda forget about it. I felt emotions again! Yes, I did squirt out a single tear when Terminator was lowered into the molten steel.
It’s really refreshing to watch a film that relies primarily on real stunts and practical effects. While the action isn’t as dynamic as it is in modern action films, it feels more real, which in turn provides an excellent experience. Having a real helicopter fly under an over pass is one heck of a cool stunt that would be barely notable with CGI work today.
Also of note is that this is the theatrical release of Terminator 2. I’ve watched the extended cut with a bunch of extra scenes more than I have the theatrical version in the last couple of years. I have to say, there are elements of both I really like, however I guess I prefer the extended cut for the alternate “learning computer” scene.
Now for the not so good… as a huge proponent of 3D I was really hoping for the best, particularly since Cameron’s use of 3D in Avatar was pretty much one of the greatest achievements in 3D films. This is not that. Terminator 2 3D is a rather average conversion. What doesn’t really help is that the composition of shots don’t lend themselves particularly well to 3D. A film like Avatar excels as a 3D film because it was conceived as one from the ground up. Terminator 2 was filmed from a different artistic vision and it shows.
Something important to note is that movies that have been converted by the same company have looked great like Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I’ve recently watched Awakens and I feel like it’s a stronger 3D, but again this is due to the composition of shots, particularly with the amount of wider shots to emphasis location and setting.
There are a few scenes that look particularly good, but overall it basically blends into the experience. It’s a shame, I was really hoping this would turn out a lot better than it did. As it is it’s a nice novelty, but not anything that will completely transform the movie.
There’s some other things about this 3D re-release that are worth noting, particularly some CGI work. He fixed some truck glass that was smashed out, got rid of some obvious shots of stunt doubles, and most importantly took out Robert Patrick’s balls.
The Final Verdict
If you get the chance, see Terminator 2 in the the theater. It’s a great movie that holds up. Don’t expect mind blowing 3D though. I’ll guess I’ll have to wait for Avatars 2,3,4,5,6,7 for that.