If you've never seen the first two Terminator movies and don't know anything about them, go watch them before reading this page. Trust me.
I didn't actually see any of the Terminator films until the early 2010s — 2011, I think. This is partially because I was very young when it came out, and partially because even when I was old enough, I wasn't much of a movie-watcher for a good few years. I remember seeing a couple minutes of it on TV a couple years before I saw it in full, during the early sequence where the T-1000 is chasing John and the T-800, but for whatever reason I didn't sit down and watch the whole thing.
All of this is to say that when I did actually watch T2, I didn't know a single thing about its plot.
I'd watched the first film shortly before, and I'd liked it a lot. It was scarier than the movies I was used to (my film repetoire was not particularly wide at the time), but the whole concept of time-travelling killer robots was totally up my alley. Seriously, I wanted to know where this movie had been all my life.
Anyway, so I started watching T2, and coming from the first film, I naturally thought that the T-800 is the villain. That's how little I knew about the film. The first twenty minutes of the film are built up to make you think that the T-800 is there to kill John Connor, and the moment where you realize he's not was a true surprise.
I mention all of this because Terminator 2's marketing completely ruined this twist when it came out. I've come to realize since watching the film that I rather lucked out.
T2 became one of my favorite movies almost as soon as I first watched it. It has so many things that are exactly to my taste: a fantastic heroine (who's deeply flawed), a science fiction premise that's fascinating, character dynamics that I love, and best of all, it's a great action movie. It's really astonishing how well the CGI holds up after this many years. Everything about this film is amazing, and it's one I can watch over and over again.
The title comes from the key message repeated in the film. "The whole thing goes: The future's not set. There's no fate but what we make for ourselves."
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