So as writer – director and self proclaimed King of the World James Cameron begins work on the next four Avatar sequels he’s taken time to convert probably his finest film, Terminator 2, into 3D. It’s scarcely seems anytime since the film first came out but it was way back on 3rd July 1991 that it was first released in the USA before landing on the UK shores on the 16th August the same year. The mythology of the film quickly became part of modern culture with its catchphrases quickly absorbed and readily referenced by everyone. Did anyone actually know what, ‘Hasta la vista , baby’ actually meant at the time? 26 years later it’s being re-released for the first time in 3D. Many films of that time have dated badly either through the advance in special effects or the film just being very much of its time. Terminator 2 suffers from neither and is as relentless an adrenaline rush today as it was then.
The effects, which at the time were absolutely cutting edge, still stand up today servicing the story rather than being put in for the sake of it. Having honed his command of pacing and story on Aliens Cameron was really to hit his peak with Terminator 2. The story of a cyborg identical to the one that had tried to kill Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor now returns to protect her son from an advanced killer cyborg. A great story complimented by stunning pieces with our favourite probably being the Cyberdyne offices being rigged to explode by Arnie and co as the police try to stop them. It contained one of the best death scenes ever with Joe Morton trying to stay alive just long enough to let the armed police escape before he detonates the explosives. The film had its shocking moments too from Arnie peeling back his skin to reveal his metal skeleton to the truly horrifying nuclear explosion that obliterates the children in their play ground is still a relevant reminder of devastation an escalating Cold War could have bought and is still relevant today with dictatorial lunatics in both the White House and North Korea. Yet oddly the film, by the end, managed to be oddly moving with Arnie’s Terminator becoming a father figure yet knowing that he can’t stay around. It remains Schwarzeneggar’s defining role and career best film and for Robert Patrick who played the killer cyborg it was a role that would eclipse everything else he would ever do.
It’s been 8 years since Avatar re-introduced the world to 3D films and since then just about every summer blockbuster has been shot in 3D or retrospectively adapted for 3D. But film goers have grown increasingly tired of the format and the extra expense that exhibitors charge. So is it really necessary for Terminator 2? After the success of converting Titanic in to 3D the next obvious candidate was T2 and in fairness to Cameron his love for his films and his legacy which he is surely aware meant that this was not going to be some cash in botch job and he’s also taken the opportunity to tweak minor moments – the disappearing windscreen in the drainage alley truck chase was a particular bug bear for him. The film’s lush blues and oranges remain intact but as is inevitable with 3D glasses the colours are slightly muted and anyone expecting things coming at them from the screen will be disappointed as there never were any scenes like that in the film but if you’ve never seen the film before or only ever seen it on a TV then this is an ideal chance to see one of the defining films of the Nineties in all its full screen glory.
Here’s the trailer…….