I recently watched Terminator 2 from 1991. Twice. Don't ask. I had almost forgotten how good this one is; one of the rare exceptions of 80-90s action films that hold up really really well. If you haven't seen it in a while, I highly recommend you do.
Just a few of the reasons why it is great:
- Sarah Connor is a total bad-ass. Modern films sometimes pretend female action heroes are a new
thing. Sarah Connor and Ellen Ripley are prime counter-examples.
- She is not getting rescued from the mental asylum, she's on the way out by herself when the heroes meet up with her.
- She is prepared, methodical, needs no extra time to react to crazy situations - a real pro!
- At the same time she gets to show how broken she is, without weakening her.
- She's less sentimental than even robot-Arnie in the final scene.
- Her son John is a rare example of a character that is introduced as a spoiled brat but gets to redeem himself. The things one gets to know about his upbringing totally explain him being messed-up. And the late-eighties slang he teaches Arnie is soo quaint!
- Arnie got to to do the same role as in T1, but with a sense of humour and irony this time, which makes it endlessly entertaining - that smile when he finds the mini-gun! Both the interactions with John and the exposition dialogues are written and executed well; there are very few moments to roll your eyes at.
- Robert Patrick as the liquid-metal villain is also fantastic, mastering the cold stare of a machine.
- The action scenes themselves still look great today and they are plenty, but with enough of down-time in between to make them feel intense. The pacing of the film is very good and the story relentlessly presses on.
I am repeating myself, but go watch T2! The first part is worthwhile too, if you feel like it, but I don't like it as much myself. The sequels T3 - ∞ are not worth anyone's time, unfortunately.