Terminator 2: Judgment Day (also referred to as simply Terminator 2 or T2) is a 1991 American science fiction action film co-written, produced and directed by James Cameron. It is a sequel to The Terminator, released on October 26, 1984. The film was produced by Carolco Pictures, Pacific Western, Lightstorm Entertainment and Le Studio Canal+ S.A and distributed by TriStar Pictures. The film was released on July 1, 1991 and will be re-released in 3D on August 25, 2017.
In 1995, John Connor is ten years old and living in Los Angeles with foster parents. His mother Sarah Connor had been preparing him throughout his childhood for his future role as the leader of the Human Resistance against Skynet, but was arrested after attempting to bomb a computer factory and imprisoned at a mental hospital under the supervision of Dr. Silberman. Skynet sends a new Terminator, designated as T-1000, back in time to kill John. The T-1000 is an advanced prototype composed of a mimetic polyalloy that allows it to take on the shape and appearance of almost anything it touches, and transform parts of its anatomy into knives and other stabbing weapons. The T-1000 arrives under a freeway, kills a policeman and assumes his identity. Meanwhile, the future John Connor has sent back a reprogrammed T-800 (Model 101) Terminator to protect his younger self.
The Terminator and the T-1000 converge on John in a shopping mail, and a chase ensues after which John and the Terminator escape together on a motorcycle. Fearing that the T-1000 will kill Sarah in order to get to him, John orders the Terminator to help free her. They encounter Sarah as she is escaping the hospital, although she is initially reluctant to trust the T-800. After the trio escapes from the T-1000 in a police car, the Terminator informs John and Sarah about Skynet, the artificial intelligence that will initiate a nuclear holocaust called "Judgment Day" and go on to create the machines that will hunt and kill the remnants of humanity. Sarah learns that the man most directly responsible for Skynet's creation is Miles Bennet Dyson, a Cyberdyne Systems engineer working on a revolutionary new neutral net CPU that will form the basis for Skynet.
Sarah gathers weapons from an old friend and plans to flee with John to Mexico, but after having a nightmare about Judgment Day, she instead sets out to kill Dyson in order to prevent Judgment Day from occurring. Finding him at his home, she wounds him but finds herself unable to kill him in front of his family. John and the Terminator arrive and inform Miles of the future consequences of his work. They learn that much of his research has been reverse engineered from the damaged CPU and the right arm of the previous Terminator. Convincing him that these items and his designs must be destroyed, they break into the Cyberdyne building and retrieve the CPU and the arm. The police arrive and Miles is shot, but he manages to trigger several explosives, destroying the lab and his research while sacrificing himself. The T-1000 relentlessly pursues the surviving trio, eventually cornering them in a steel mill.
The T-1000 and the Terminator engage in a physical combat, with the advanced model severely damaging its adversary. The T-800 is seemingly shut down until its emergency back-up system brings it back online. Sarah is almost killed by the T-1000 until the Terminator shoots it into a vat of molten steel with a M79 grenade launcher, destroying it. John tosses the arm and CPU of the original Terminator into the vat as well. As Sarah expresses relief that the ordeal is over, the Terminator explains that in order to ensure that he is not used for reverse engineering he must also be destroyed. It asks Sarah to assist in lowering it into the vat of molten steel, since it is unable to "self-terminate", although John begs the Terminator to reconsider his decision. It bids them farewell as it is lowered into the vat. The Terminator gives a tearful John a final thumbs-up as it disappears into the molten steel and shuts down.
Sarah looks to the future with hope, musing that "if a machine can learn the value of human life, maybe we can too."
- Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor, John's mother.
- Edward Furlong as John Connor, The ten-year-old son of Sarah.
- Joe Morton as Miles Bennett Dyson, Director of special projects and a designed creator of Skynet.
- Earl Boen as Dr. Peter Silberman, Sarah's psychiatrist.
- Jenette Goldstein as Janelle Voight, John's foster mother.
- Xander Berkeley as Todd Voight, John's foster father.
- S. Epatha Merkeson as Tarissa Dyson, Miles Dyson's wife.
- Castulo Guerra as Enrique Salceda, Sarah's friend.
- Danny Cooksey as Tim, John's friend.
- Sven-Ole Thorsen as a security guard.
- Michael Biehn as Kyle Reese, a soldier from 2029 that appeared in Sarah's dream.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator/T-800 (Model 101), An android built as a synthetic organism composed of living tissue over a titanium "hyperalloy" endoskeleton, reprogrammed and sent back in time to protect John Connor.
- Robert Patrick as the T-1000, An advanced shapeshifting prototype Terminator composed of liquid metal sent back in time to assassinate John.