The FIlm (4/5)
Terminator 2 takes place 10 years after the events of the first Terminator. Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) has been arrested for terrorist actions trying to stop the "future war" with the Terminators from happening and is now locked up in a mental hospital. John Connor (Edward Furlong) is in the care of the foster system. Into this scenario come 2 Terminators, the original 100 model (Arnold Schwarzenegger), the other is the liquid metal T-1000 which can assume the shape of anything it touches. The mission of the T-1000 is to kill the boy John Connor before he can become the leader in the future resistance against the machines.
Terminator 2 was released in July 1992 to near critical and audience acclaim. It has gone on to become one of the most popular action/sci-fi films of all time, and justifiably so. It is one of the few sequels that can follow the originals story quite well, adding new elements to it, and fleshing out the characters that were there (OK, Sarah Connor). I will not go so far as to say the film is better than the original, which is a lean, suspense driven sci-fi/horror hybrid, but it is the one film in the Terminator canon that is a truly worthy follow-up.
Terminator 2 is a truly effective blend of action and science fiction. The action sequences in the film are some of the finest in the history of action cinema. The early CGI work done in this film oddly holds up much better than many newer films with more updated graphics, The performances are mostly solid with Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Robert Patrick fitting quite well into their respective roles. The only weak point is young Edward Furlong, and well he was a kid with some terrible dialogue.
The biggest thing I can hold against the film is the run time. The original Terminator was a relatively short film clocking in around 100 minutes, and with barely a moment wasted. Terminator 2 just in it's theatrical edition goes well over 2 hours, and at times especially in its second act feels it. In the SE, and Extended SE the pacing goes right out the window and it becomes a slog to get through.
I didn't have access to a UHD player so I watched the new 4K transfer via the Blu-ray for the purpose of this review. It is a 2:40:1 1080p AVC encode. OK, so James Cameron is a director who likes to progress technology as he makes each subsequent film, or so this is how it seems. Because while he seems to progress things like CGI, and 3D he seems to want his older films to fall in line with the look of his present ones whether or not that is the best option for them. As such Terminator 2 is the frequent victim of video looking transfers on home video formats and this release is no exception. Colors here are shifted to a greener palette, detail is DNR'd away, as is any appearance of natural grain that should have appeared due to the film's 35mm source material. Elements of the presentation are fine, but I do wish that someone would give T2 the film like transfer it requires.
Audio is handled by a DTS-HD 7.1 track in English. Everything here sounds quite solid with separation of sound being well balanced, and everything coming through clearly.
The UHD itself has no extras. The Blu-ray has the archival extras of the SE, Extended SE, Commentary tracks, featurettes, and more.
It's Terminator 2 on a new format, so people are going to jump at it. I would like to say that it's reference material, but sadly it is far from that. Until someone goes back to the film's negatives and leaves the sharpening tools at home we are not going to get this film on home video the way it should look. The film it still the solid, action packed, thrill ride of a sequel it has always been. RECOMMENDED-ISH.