Reviews: “Come with me if you want to live” – Terminator 2 in 3D
Terminator 2: Judgement Day 3D,
Directed by James Cameron,
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, Robert Patrick
On August 29th it is Judgement Day: cinemas across our own private globe will show the 1990s classic Terminator 2, this time in 3D. This will be for one night only, with an option for cinemas to extend the run. There is no new footage, there is just added 3D by James Cameron (obviously something of a pioneer in 3D blockbusters), and I couldn’t be happier to sit and watch this movie in a cinema once again, where it belongs. There was just one problem with this beautiful print: the added on 3D, it just didn’t work, at least not for me.
Back in the 1990s I was mostly single; I didn’t want to be, but it was decided by every girl in Ireland that I needed to mature into the fine vintage that I have become. At least that is what I tell myself. So instead of dating I would spend every single penny that I could find on going to the cinema, and the cinema of choice was The Savoy on O’Connell Street, Dublin. The amount of time I spent in that cinema was, as I look back now, very sad. I didn’t feel sad at the time, but when you look back on your life you realise, just how messed up your teenage years were. Anyway I remember that on the night of my Inter Cert results came out, the exams for half way through what people call High School, I had nothing to do, I had squeezed through the exams by the skin of my teeth and Terminator was coming out. In Savoy screen one, the biggest screen at the time in Ireland, I sat in the packed cinema and the music started. No one moved for the running time, not one person got up for snacks or the call of nature, it was amazing. We hadn’t seen anything like it at the time.
Now twenty six years later we’ve got the 3D version from the director, at a time when we don’t have to worry about the machines bombing us to nuclear extinction, as a Korean Despot and a Tangerine Moron may do it instead, and it felt glorious to sit down to watch this again. I have watched T2 during those years at home, with friends, with family, and a big dog on one occasion. But today I felt like I was sixteen years old again; this really does belong on the big screen, it’s a different experience seeing it again in a cinema. If it wasn’t for the stupid 3D, which to be honest I don’t like in any film, but here it just made the film horrible.
If they had just cleaned up the print of the film, restored it to 4K like they did with The Graduate, and had us sitting there without headgear it would have been fine. More than fine. Terminator 2 is still better than 90% of the summer blockbusters that we get now. The effects, which were astonishing at the time, have dated, quite badly in some moments, but the Stan Winston effects cannot be faulted at all. I looked at the performance by Edward Furlong that should have led to a good career and weep silently for the loss of potential. Arnie is Arnie and you can’t fault this as it’s perfect casting. Linda Hamilton strangely annoyed me with her performance and back in the day she was the strongest woman with a gun on screen.
If this was restored to 4K with no 3D I’d be first in the line on Judgement Day with my mates to go see this. The 3D, for me anyway (others may lap it up, of course), takes away from the story by making the nocturnal fight scenes, of which there are many, too dark to enjoy. But it cannot change the high action adventure that this film is. It doesn’t have the intensity that the first film had, but it’s still one of the best action films ever made. I would prefer that they stopped with pointless sequels, just clean up the originals and give us limited engagements through the year. For fans that want to relive their teen cinema years and for parents who want to show their children a great film. I don’t know if the 3D will put you off, maybe it’s just me, but it added nothing. Hasta La Vista Baby!