The enduring dystopian franchise is enjoying its reboot (Terminator: Genisys) in cinemas, with Arnold Schwarzenegger reprising his role as the T-800 cyborg of the title. In the spirit of its time-travel motif, let’s rewind, past the humourless fourth and belated third episodes to the bona-fide classic, Terminator 2. Directed and co-written by James Cameron, it’s an exhibition match of intelligent, witty, noisy multiplex-aimed action; a high-water mark for expensive blockbusters. Cameron advances his man-versus-machine saga with towering confidence. His masterstroke? Flipping Arnie from the villainous bot of the first film to this sequel’s saviour. Edward Furlong plays the boy who will one day save humanity, John Connor, and his smart-mouthed relationship with his mechanical protector gives the action its dramatic and humorous backbone. Meanwhile, the shape-shifting antics of the T-1000 terminator (Robert Patrick) showcased the film’s pioneering digital effects – old hat now, but all new in 1991. And today Sky Action/Adventure is having an Arnie Day, showing Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines among their pumped-up classics.
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