Terminator 2: Judgment Day

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Terminator 2: Judgment Day is a 1991 science fiction film directed by James Cameron. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator, a cyborg sent back in time to protect young John Connor from T-1000 attack.

Contents

Plot

Setting

On August 29th, 1997, the artificial intelligence defense computer Skynet, built by Cyberdyne, becomes self-aware. In an attempt to save humanity from itself, it wages nuclear war against Russia and then the United States. The human survivors, led by John Connor, battle to survive against their cyborg enemies. In The Terminator, the cyborg enemies send an elite unit, the T-800, back in time to kill the mother of John, Sarah Connor, but fail. In T2, they send an even more advanced unit, the T-1000, back to 1995 to kill John himself. The humans, having stolen a T-800 unit, reprogram it and send it back to 1995 as well to try and protect young John.

Plot Summary

T2 takes place in Los Angeles, year 1995. The Terminator enters the present on a mission to find John Connor. An even more advanced Terminator, the T-1000, made entirely of "liquid metal", is also on a mission to find John Connor. As it is revealed, the original Terminator has been sent by the human resistance in the future to protect John, whereas the T-1000 has been sent by robotic overlords to kill him.

John's mother, Sarah Connor, is in an insane asylum charged with attempting to destroy a microprocessor factory. Tormented by supposed visions of robotically apocalyptic future, she plots her escape.

Cast

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator
  • Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor
  • Edward Furlong as John Connor
  • Robert Patrick as the T-1000
  • Earl Boen as Dr. Peter Silberman

Thematic Connections

He, She, and It

The Terminator can be compared and contrasted to Yod in the novel He, She, and It. Yod and the Terminator are both cybernetic organisms (biological tissue over metal endoskeletons) built for a single specific purpose. They are both essentially "learning computers," yet both have conflicts in dealing with their humanity, or lack thereof. For Yod, this conflict is romance. The Terminator, however, deals with humanity via his role as a father figure to the young John Connor. By the end of the film, the Terminator states to John and Sarah Connor, "I know now why you cry, but it is something I could never do." The Terminator has the ability to understand human emotion, but not to feel it.

Other Connections


This movie also discusses the theme of artificial intelligence. Skynet eventually becomes self-aware, and in the interest of self-preservation, unleashes the United States nuclear arsenal against humanity, constructing an army of robotic killing machines in an attempt to wipe out humanity. This raises the question: is the creation of artificial intelligence an uncontrollable example of mankind's hubris? Can artificial intelligences coexist harmoniously with humanity? This movie proposes negative answers to these questions.

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