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Terminator 2: Judgement Day, The Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger)

Site Rating: 93%
(ratings: 3)
Writeup Rating: N/A
(not enough ratings)
Film: Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)
Deceased Character: The Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger)
Archetype: Goody (Major)
Killed with: Molton metal

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'Self-Sacrifice' icon 'Unsatisfying' icon 'Pointless' icon 'Combustion' icon 'Melting' icon
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Written by Mr. Mouseburger 22nd Jan 2008

It is the climax of the film and John Connor, Sarah and the Terminator, are in the typical abandoned industrial complex, which holds just the right sort of equipment to kill off the bad guy, the T-1000 (q.v.) Needless to say, after significant pummelling and an unnecessarily long "hunting-John -Connor" scene, the Terminator manages to kill the T-1000.

However, to inject a bit of pathos into the film, for some reason the movie executives decide that Arnie needs to kill himself (despite the fact that a few years later he will need to come back YET again).

The explanation given is that they must destroy the other CPU so that Skynet can never come into being (although it still does in the third film). However, the problem is that the Terminator can't "self-terminate" and so Sarah must kill him. And so how do you think they do this? Pull out the CPU and smash it?! No. Crush Arnie in a large steel press? No.

They actually lower him, with balls-aching slowness (for added drama), into a vat of molten metal that was used in to kill off the T-1000. All the while, the signature tune of the film is playing and we see irritating turd Connor weeping at his mother's side. As the Terminator sinks into the vat, he gives the most cringemaking thumbs up in history, before the superheated metal finally reaches his CPU, killing him.

5 categories : Self-Sacrifice, Unsatisfying, Pointless, Combustion, Melting

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Other Death Reviews for Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)

Lewis (Don Stanton)
Miles Bennett Dyson (Joe Morton)
T-1000 (Robert Patrick)
The Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger)
Todd Voight (Xander Berkley)

Last Updated: 2nd Jun 2008
Number of views for this review since 30th May 2008: 9902
This review has 10 comments. Reply to the comments
Comment 1 by 'Mr. Briggs Inc.' (reply to this comment)
"Unsatisfying"? How could you destroy the Terminator more thouroughly? Pulling out the CPU and smashing it would have at least left the frame. Using a hydraulic press? well it didn't work last time... :question:

"Pointless"? In the end it was of course... But just before this instance he stated the point! Some new crazy scientist might have taken his chip thingy and studied it. (Though in the defense of the pointlessness, had he lived Arnie might have just explained what would happen if the chip inside him were studied by Cyberdyne, what is the word of a crazy scientist against a piece of futuristic AI?)
Comment 2 by 'Bill' (reply to this comment)
I thought it was a good death..
Comment 3 by 'Matt' (reply to this comment)
To be fair, this is a pretty good death. But I can see where MB's coming from here. I do think the death is because Arnie is a robot. He may be humanised by the end of the film, but he's still a super-computer who has to follow orders - and one of those is to attempt to prevent Skynet from coming into being (which would be impossible since that would create a time paradox that would make Doc Brown's head explode). His program responds to logic, and the chip inside him could exploited, according to his logic. The death is justified.

The ending of T2 also implies that preventing Skynet and/or changing the future is a continuous battle, implying that whilst things can be changed, one must make sacrifices to do so (and the Terminator's death drives that point home). It also makes sense that the war occurs in T3 since John and Sarah had thought they had won and kept their eye off the ball.

Not bad considering I haven't watched the two sequels in ages!
Comment 4 by 'Mr Mouseburger' (reply to this comment)
hehehe, i really did not like this death at all, it was done to induce pathos, which was really hackneyed in my eyes. The final thumbs up was incredibly cheesey too!!

It would have been better to keep him alive and use his processor to work out how vulnerabilities in it that could be corrupted in the future and also to test what is the most effective weapons against the Terminators. Instead, they melt this priceless gift from the future so no further study can be made! Therefore unsatisfying as noone with a braincell would get rid of him.

Hell, they could even have made a few quid by appearing on the Jerry Springer's "My lover is an unstoppable crazy apeshit killing machine, but i am having his baby" special. I would really love to see one of the traditional hicks on there get a pummelling by Arnie. (that is a whole other film though)
Comment 5 by 'FKAJ' (reply to this comment)
I'm not sure whether this makes the death more or less pointless, but it should be obvious a few seconds after Arnie is destroyed that Judgement Day hasn't been averted: if Judgement Day had been stopped, John would have ceased to exist.
Comment 6 by 'Kooshmeister' (reply to this comment)
Well, wouldn't John have to have been originally born under circumstances not involving time travel? I.e., have a father besides Kyle Reese in some alternate timeline? I understand time travel is an infinite loop, but there has to be a starting point where time machines aren't involved, a la Back to the Future.

Like, let's look at it this way.

1. Sarah has John. The father is unknown.
2. Skynet is invented. Skynet goes loopy and takes over the world.
3. John grows up and leads humanity to freedom, and sends Kyle Reese back in time.
4. Kyle slightly alters history by becoming John's father, due to his crush on Sarah, thus creating the infinite loop and erasing the original timeline wherein John's father was someone else. About all this would change would maybe be the future John's age.

What I mean is, I think there had to have been an original timeline wherein John was conceived under different circumstances, but that ceased to exist the moment Sarah and Kyle got it on, and who John's original father was will never be known.

Think of it as....well, like, John's original dad would have existed in the same timeline as the one where Miles Dyson designed Skynet without the aid of the Terminator parts.
Comment 7 by 'jimmy bo dirt' (reply to this comment)
i think the death really fit into this
Comment 8 by 'luke-jones' (reply to this comment)
Irratating turd? GOD!
Comment 9 by 'Cale' (reply to this comment)
Not only does this review speak in sharp contrast to the majority of viewer opinion, it is badly written and researched. For starters, the steel mill is not abandoned. Workers are seen evacuating amidst the chaos. And how in the hell do you explain an abandoned mill that still bears molting metal?

The purpose of Terminator's death also made perfect sense. It is only after you include T3, essentially a rehash that was not even directed by creator James Cameron, that it becomes arguably trivial. Most serious Terminator fans don't regard T3 within the film series continuity and neither does The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

Finally, the thumbs up gesture was another demonstration of the Terminator's gradual learning of human expression. You can't expect the machine to act as naturally as a normal adult human given his couple hours of experience from the 10-year old boy he's protecting. This moment appropriately holds a sort of bittersweet innocence and is actually quite emotional.

Again, do your research before making bold claims.
Comment 10 by 'Flashpenny' (reply to this comment)
Pointless and Unsastisfying? Please. I LOVE this death. It's awesome in my regard. It's sad and the climax leading up to it wasn't too shabby either. The thumbs-up was also pretty cool. Because it's like Sarah said earlier, "The Terminator would be the ultimate father." Indeed he would. I would give anything to see that when my dad saved my life and was about to accept his fate just gave a thumbs-up. That'd be the best goddamn father that ever existed!

That being said I prefer to pretend that Terminator 3 doesn't exist. So if we exclude the third one (what third one?) this really does have some points.