Why is James Cameron’s film still a cult movie?

Terminator 2: Judgment Day is tonight at 9:05 pm on CSTAR.

terminator 2 he is 31 years old. Adored by millions of viewers, film buffs, movie buffs, the curious and fans around the world, James Cameron’s classic quickly achieved cult status. Why ?

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Bigger is… bigger

First terminator it was a hard-boiled crime novel with a sci-fi twist. A mutant movie, a very humble B series that the talent of its director transcended with each scene. With a much more comfortable budget, James Cameron takes the opportunity here to multiply by ten everything that made the flavor of the first episode and bring it to its climax.

The previous episode impressed with his resourcefulness and his ability to overcome the limited means at his disposal, This Terminator 2 amazes by the number of novelties and ideas that it puts into practice.

terminatorSoon the Teslarminator?

Schwarzenegger on top

The Austrian oak tree was not unknown when the film was released in 1991, but the enormous success of the latter and the metamorphosis that his character undergoes, from killing machine to intrepid protector, make him an undisputed superstar.

the picture of terminator disappearing in a vat of glowing magma, the hand and thumb raised to an upset child will mark children and their parents, allowing the film to cross generations almost instantlywhile crystallizing the actor’s phenomenal aura.

25th birthdayrude mother

cameron in the sky

Too often confined to the image of the king of sci-fi blockbusters hungry for technological prowess, James Cameron is also a gifted director. Of course, Terminator 2 is spectacular. But it is also a film composed with amazing detail.

From photography to framing, the filmmaker organizes and structures his plot with a delicacy rarely achieved. Focusing, with his own genius, on relations, gestures, sometimes instinctive and detailed, in which the message of his work is contained and the logic that sets the heroes in motion (what is commonly called Kairos), results in a form of visual and cinematographic purity that has not aged one iota.

25th birthday“Hold this for two seconds.”

Outcome several sequences that will be immediately recorded in the collective unconscious. Young Edward Furlong caught between the two Terminators during their first confrontation, Linda Hamilton’s escape from the mental hospital, the Gatling-style dezincification, Schwarzie ripping tissue from his arm to reveal its mechanical nature, and of course the final confrontation between the two Terminators. two machines sent from the future. Few movies can boast of having so many iconic scenes, copied so many times, but never equalled.

25th birthdaytime to clean

A philosophy of the spectacle.

Science fiction work, study of transmission relationships and research on the meaning of filiation, terminator it is first and foremost a film lesson with a great show. In fact, just compare it with terminator genesis to understand how much T2 offer your audience a true philosophy of the show.

Therefore, if the film is full of technical breakthroughs, even great innovations (the use of CGI, the T-1000 destruction/reconstruction sequences), none of these brilliant performances take precedence over the narrative. On the contrary, each idea, each element of the set is there to reinforce a concept, to establish a very precise meaning. the genius of terminator 2is never to give the viewer what we suppose he expects, but rather guess how to surprise him.

25th birthdayThe only Terminator as terrifying as the T-800

A visionary film?

The 1990s were particularly violent in the United States.. Thus, the usual beating of which Rodney King was a victim in 1991 and which would later cause terrible riots, took place a few meters from the cafeteria where Schwarzenegger appears at the beginning of the film, during filming. Reviewing today’s footage, it’s impossible not to question Robert Patrick’s character again.

As if, in immortalizing this image of a cold, murderous cop, Cameron had grasped in advance what would constitute one of the great questions of the United States after 9/11mixing fear of the murderous policeman and a certain idea of ​​the proliferation of uncontrollable weapons.

25th birthdayThe bad cop vs the nice killer robot

But it is also in the duel between two technologies that terminator 2 announces the fight that is about to be played on the big screen. On the one hand, the good Terminator, an old model resulting from a technology that seems essentially mechanical, a quasi-being of flesh, almost capable of bleeding and feeling, a metaphor for mechanical special effects to which so many moviegoers are attached.

In front of him, an indestructible, cold, perfect creature. Capable of incredible performance, shape shifting, a slippery thing with vastly superior power. This battle between Schwarzenegger and Robert Patrick is also one of traditional effects and CGI, with the result that we know will drastically change the face of entertainment cinema.

Terminator 2 Judgment Day: 25th Birthdayold school terminator

For all these reasons (and many more, specific to each viewer), terminator 2 remains 31 years after its premiere an emblematic film of its time, but also of a certain idea of ​​the 7the Artboth formidable and human, a telluric craft and an invitation to dream and reflect.


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