The Terminator (1984) vs Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) – Face Off

We have had no problem courting controversy with our Face-Off series; it’s only natural that pitting two beloved properties, or sometimes personalities, against each other will get people fired up. And that’s just how we like it! But this latest edition might be an all-timer — one of the great debates in modern geekdom: James Cameron’s 1984 sci-fi/horror hit The Terminator vs Cameron’s action epic Terminator 2: Judgement Day. The Terminator launched a franchise and made a star out of Arnold Schwarzenegger with Cameron accomplishing so much on a minuscule budget of $6 million dollars. The sequel, T2: Judgement Day, upped the ante and flipped the titular Terminator on its head, with him now serving as protector instead of hunter to the Connor family.

The follow-up was an even bigger success with tons of action and mayhem, all while still satisfying fans of the original. Let’s get this out of the way: like most of you, we grew up on these titles — we love them both. Each is a stone-cold classic in its own right, with unique attributes and quirks. They’re different enough to stand on their own, and yet they’re so tightly linked as to be completely inseparable. They have instantly-recognizable heroes and villains, dialogue that no one will ever forget, action sequences that are equal parts frightening and thrilling, and perhaps most importantly: stories that captivate us from the very beginning to the fiery end. This isn’t gonna be easy, but it’ll be one hell of a showdown. It’s time for a Terminator… FACE OFF.

This episode of Face Off is written by Eric Walkuski, narrated by Shawn Knippelberg, and edited by Ric Solomon. Let us know in the comments which you prefer – The Terminator or its sequel, T2: Judgement Day! Watch previous episodes below!

About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.