Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Blu-Ray Rating: *****

Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

Read Scott Macdonald's film review of Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Few films have been as groundbreaking in their time or look as good after 26 years as Terminator 2. It is without doubt one of the best science fiction blockbusters ever made, so it's a pleasure to see it getting a Blu-ray release, fully restored and looking stunning.

There are, in fact, three versions of the film here: the original, the Special Edition Version and the Extended Special Edition Version. The original looks the best but the restoration and upgrading work is impressive throughout, with the sound quality - sadly neglected on many releases - particularly crisp and worthy of note. The Extended Special Edition Version contains some material that has never been seen before, including an intriguing (but structurally unnecessary) scene in which the T-1000 explores John Connor's bedroom, and the original ending, seen and loathed by just one test audience before it was cut. There are also scenes showing Sarah Connor being beaten in the asylum, and a dream sequence in which she is visited by Kyle Reese. Other additions are so subtle that you'll need to know the film really well to notice them. None of this material really adds to the film and one can see why it was cut, but it's good to see it at least once. This is such a well constructed film that it's intriguing to see something of how that came about and to recognise it as the end result of a process as messy as any other production's.

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The film is further enriched by the option of watching with either of two different commentary tracks, and the main additional scenes are available separately with or without commentary of their own.

Alongside this, there's a documentary with contributions from several of the main players. It's full of great stories, with Arnold Schwarzenegger talking about his initial misgivings and the fun he had with the stunts, Edward Furlong discussing what it meant to him to be cast in an iconic role for his first ever acting job, and a look at how Robert Patrick worked with the special effects team to create the T1000. We learn how Linda Hamilton buffed up with the aid of a former Israeli Special Forces expert, putting on so much muscle in a month that she wowed her bodybuilder co-star; and how James Cameron narrowly escaped being incinerated in the scene where the truck explodes in the drainage ditch.

Finally, there's a collection of trailers of variable quality, none really exceeding the impact of the original teaser (which, according to my viewing companion, spawned a make-your-own-Terminator toy that is probably worth a fortune now). The new trailer for the 3D version is a lot of fun even if you're not investing in the 3D version.

Terminator 2 is a great film that deserved a great Blu-ray release so it's good to see it get one. If there's a fan of the film in your life, this would make a great Christmas gift.

Reviewed on: 01 Dec 2017
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Terminator 2: Judgment Day packshot
A Terminator robot comes back in time to protect a boy from another, more advanced killer robot.
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Read more Terminator 2: Judgment Day disc reviews:

Scott Macdonald: HD-DVD
Angus Wolfe Murray: DVD

Product Code: B073XP1GK2

Region: 2

Extras: T2: Reprogramming The Terminator documentary, two feature commentaries, The Making of T2, seamless branching of the theatrical version, Special Edition Version and Extended Special Edition Version, two deleted scenes with optional audio commentary, four trailers

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