Face-Off: The Terminator Vs. Terminator 2

I think you all had as much fun with our last Face-Off as I did writing it. In the end, Ghostbusters narrowly edged out Beetlejuice for the big W. Clearly both are fantastic works of horror humor and I think one of the main reasons Peter Venkman and company took the match was because they came first and set the standard. Regardless, both are ridiculously rewatchable classics.

For today's Face-Off, we felt it was time to do some time travel since Project Almanac opened this past weekend. Whenever the thought of time travel in film comes up, the first flicks that come to mind (after Back to the Future) are the Terminator movies. Fortunately, Arnold's cyborg extravaganzas fall into our beloved genre. So, you know we've gotta take the first two (clearly the two best) and have them battle it out!

Visual Effects
Even when he was young, James Cameron was a pioneer of filmmaking special effects and his work here on the first Terminator is a shining example. The wide array of automated machinery on hand in the sequences set in the future are mind-blowing, especially considering the time in which the film was made. Very believable stuff. And the first introduction of the Terminator's endoskeleton in motion is absolutely bad ass.
You know the old saying how an action movie sequel should be much bigger and wilder than the first? Well, the special effects in T2 are the perfect example of that statement. The meticulous work done on crafting the T-1000 was nothing short of groundbreaking. The morphing into all sorts of metal objects and other people was a joy to behold on screen. The work won the freakin' Academy Award!
Killer Terminator
This is the film that allowed Arnold to truly blow up. He is the ideal mechanized bounty hunter from the future. His physique, prowess, and strange accent all ooze intimidation. His relentless pursuit of Sarah Connor is intense and the performance itself is one for the ages. So simple, yet so hardcore.
The fully streamlined T-1000 is perhaps one of the greatest movie villains ever put on screen. The whole liquid metal feature was a pure stroke of genius, allowing him to morph his way in and out of any situation. Virtually unstoppable, yet always projecting a calm demeanor through Robert Patrick's subtle performance.
Kyle Reese is a strong, stalwart man. He's willing to do whatever it takes to protect the future. He's tough, smart, and inventive. Not only does he save Sarah Connor's life, but he also ends up impregnating her with the future savior of the human race. Nice work, my friend!
The human resistance definitely upped the ante on their protector in part 2, this time using the machines' own technology against them. The reprogrammed T-800 series from the first one makes for a fairer fight against the semi-mechanical T-1000. He is strong, intuitive, and goes all out to protect young John Connor.
Sarah Connor is so sweet and innocent at the beginning in part one, it's hard to believe she goes on to be the bad ass that trains the savior of mankind. However, Linda Hamilton does a fantastic job of gradually exuding bravery as the Terminator draws closer and closer. She learns to trust her instincts and even picks up Reese when he is injured. And of course, she takes care of that evil endoskeleton T-800 by herself!
For his first ever film role, I think Edward Furlong did a fair enough job as young John Connor. Sure, his squeaky voice gets a little grating after a while and some of his line readings come off a bit flat. But I still buy him as Linda Hamilton's son and his playful interactions with Arnold are fun to watch.
Action Sequence
It all begins when Arnold says his catchphrase for the very first time: "I'll be back." Seconds later, he's crashing his car into the entrance to the police station in pursuit of Sarah Connor. From there, he proceeds to march through the station with a big gun in each hand, blowing away any officer that gets in his way. It's brutal and Arnold unloads his firepower without even a single flinch.
When you've got two freakin terminators in one film on opposite sides, all you want is to see them throw down. The finale of T2 grants our wish in epic fashion. It's literally a nonstop, drag-out brawl that sees the T-1000 being frozen, hasta-la-vista-ed, and thawed out. Then Arnold has the shit beat out of him and is gasp killed... till his CPU finds its battery backup. We all know how the battle culminates with the T-1000 meeting his melty fate, but what a ride!
Terminator 2
Well, this Face-Off definitely proves that when you have two Terminators going head-to-head, it's going to be one tough, tight battle. I have such an affinity for both films, I'm glad to see that it went right down to the wire. T2 just seems to have that little extra kick of adrenaline and therefore is today's winner. How do you feel? Do I need to travel back through time to stop myself from writing this article? Lock and load and fire them bullets below! And feel free to send any future Face-Off ideas to me at [email protected]



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