Terminator 2: Judgment Day (commonly abbreviated T2) is a 1991 movie directed by James Cameron and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, and Robert Patrick. It is a sequel to The Terminator. Another sequel, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, was released (in the United States) on July 2, 2003.
In the original Terminator, the robotic Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 Series 800 (played by Schwarzenegger, also called T-800) travelled from the future to do away with Sarah Connor (Hamilton) before she had a son who would one day lead the resistance against the robot's creator, a supercomputer that will have taken over the world. A member of the resistance also travelled back in time, and helped Connor to defeat the robot.
In the sequel, once again, two robots travel back from the future: one to kill Sarah's son John (now a teenager, played by Edward Furlong), and one to rescue him. The twist (given away by the movie's advance publicity) is that this time Schwarzenegger's character (T-800) is the rescuer, having been re-programmed by the resistance to protect John from the more advanced prototype T-1000 (Patrick) that has been sent back to kill him. The newer robot's liquid metal construction gives it the ability to change shape, an ability which was the focus of many of the movie's Oscar-winning special effects.
The movie was made for $88 million, and was considered one of the most expensive movies ever made (since 1991, movie costs have increased to the point where movies costing over $100 million are now commonplace). It was a box-office hit, making over $200 million in the United States alone.
As a result of its many experimental effects and fast paced action scenes, T2 is notable for having a substantial number of minor continuity errors, such as numerous bullet holes disappearing between camera shots, etc.
Warning: Wikipedia contains spoilers.
In some ways, Terminator 2 is a character study of Sarah Connor. She is a quite different person from the frail woman in the first Terminator film; her entire perspective on life has been irreversibly altered by the events in her life. We find her in a mental institution at the outset of this film. The knowledge she has about mankind's future has made her ever vigilant, a trait which perceived as paranoia and psychosis by those around her. It is also the source of recurring nightmares, and a great deal of antagonism, making it even harder for the doctors overseeing her "recovery" to accept the reality of what she has lived through.
She finds it nearly impossible to accept that the Terminator (Schwarzenegger) is benevolent; throughout the film, she remains hostile towards it and what it represents, while her own son develops a bond with it resembling a father-son relationship. In the director's cut of the movie, it is revealed that Sarah has the opportunity to destroy the machine's processor, thus killing it. She nearly does so.
In a moment of desperation, Sarah attempts to murder Miles Dyson, the researcher who is destined to build the neural network that eventually becomes Skynet. Ultimately, Sarah, John, and the Terminator persuade Dyson to stop his research and destroy all recovered remnants of the first Terminator. The Terminator then, with the help of Sarah Connor, destroys himself, despite the protests of the young John. This ending is considered to give "Terminator 2" a more meaningful and emotional end than most action films.
The movie contains some scenes which some find visually disturbing: