“On August 29th, 1997, it’s gonna feel pretty fucking real to you too. Anybody not wearing 2 million sunblock is gonna have a real bad day. Get it?”
Future before Modern Day
So, in the same way as its predecessor, the opening delivers the background to ‘The Terminator’ whilst also setting the scene for entire film itself. As if the previous film did not exist, this film sets Sarah Connor up, now as narrator explaining the nuclear war that killed the vast majority of humans. The nuclear war still happens, the future is still set – and this film is about stopping the nuclear war from happening – opposed to the previous film whereby the focus is Sarah Connors survival to give birth to John Connor, the leader of the resistance. Cameron explands the universe and, as if in a dreamlike-state, we are walked through this nuclear attack: childrens play on swings, the laughter and fun drowned out by the intense light and heat destroying all human kind. This is Sarah Connor’s fear – and, the storm clouds that approached at the end of The Terminator has clearly hit home as she is currently in an asylum, whilst her son – John Connor – is a rebellious youth.
Rehash and Renew
I believe this film has a primary focus on how humans and their personal perspectives is what needs to be valued. There is ‘no fate’ – no inevitable options. Humans “have feelings” and are “afraid”. It is these emotions that stop hope from blooming. But then again, it is these emotions that make people reflect on their actions. T2 builds on the argument set-up in T1 …captialism and a lack-of-foresight into the effects industrialism. The SKYNET company is given more depth – that one hand being the reason for the quick evolution of technology. We know Cameron’s very pro-nature attitude and this is clear in this film too – but it is our ignorance of the bigger-issues that is the concern. We are all responsible.
Miles Dyson – the scientist directly involved in the development of the technology that will, in turn, create the war on Judgement Day – is a good guy. He has a family. He has children. He could be anyone who simply wants to be successful – who doesn’t want to be successful?
When Sarah Connor finishes the film, narrating over the ongoing road ahead – she ends on a message of hope – “If a machine, a terminator, can learn the value of life, maybe we can too”. The question is – who is she talking to? The Terminator himself? Or the clueless development of military machinery and nuclear power – are they not terminators themselves? Putting the cogs together for someone, with less good intentions, to use. Is that too much depth? Who supplies the armies in the middle-east with their weapons? Technology can be a dengerous thing in the wrong hands …