/ Terminator 2: Judgment Day (spoilers)

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Blue Straggler 30 Aug 2019

I saw this last night at an August 29 anniversary of Judgement Day, double bill of the first two Terminator films.

It raised a lot of questions about T2, many of which have lingered since I first saw it in 1991, and mostly about the T-1000.

tl:dr - why is the T-1000 so crap?

1) if it can take any form why doesn't it disguise itself? It always morphs back into Robert Patrick in a police uniform, so Sarah and John and the T800 can easily recognise him
2) where is its CPU? Why does it need eyes? How can it speak if the liquid metal can't form complex objects? How does it mimic the texture of clothing, sunglasses, hair, security badges etc?
3) why does it fanny around quite so much? Example, right near its demise, after Sarah has blasted it 5 or 6 times and it recovers, before Arnie reappears, it has a perfect opportunity to kill Sarah and John but it just stands there and wags its finger at Sarah
4) elsewhere, why does it waste time on emotion and thoughts unrelated to its mission (e.g. pausing and frowning when it sees the silver mannequin at the Galeria mall?)
5) what is it doing for a whole day when Sarah, John and the T800 head down to Mexico? Assuming it can't track them, surely its next move should be to stake out Miles Dyson's home. Even the T800, an inferior model, says that this is something he would do. Yet he only turns up there much much later
6) why can it survive being frozen solid and shattered into thousands of pieces, but not survive molten steel?

Away from the T-1000 specifically....after the T-800 has intercepted John Connor, what is the mission of both cyborgs? The T-800 knows the T-1000 is out there still on the chase but it also fannies around a lot (OK it is programmed to follow John's orders somewhat, but its overall mission is to protect John which means stopping the T-1000....yet soon after the hospital breakout, everyone seems to chill out about the T-1000 to the point of almost forgetting about him, and indeed he is out of the picture for what feels like 45 minutes). The T-800 should surely have some strategy to destroy the T-1000 which is the primary threat to John. Set decoys and traps, mislead it, etc. 
At the Cyberdyne facility, why is Sarah happy to leave her young son alone with his PIN hacking device, out in a vulnerable location, while she and Dyson and the T-800 go in to set the explosives? Anything could happen to John out there!

Whatever the shortcomings of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, at least the T-X stayed totally on mission throughout, only making one daft mistake along the way (in the cemetery). By comparison, the T-1000 was RUBBISH!

2
Blue Straggler 30 Aug 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I realise that it is a film about time travelling killer robots but my questions are fair and fit into the film's universe. Especially when compared to the first film which has a reasonably watertight story and screenplay, only let down by the majority of the action sequences "shoot the tyres out shoot the tyres out! Oh now look they are trapped in the car, just walk over and kill them, don't fanny about with that big truck, oh...."  

2
Lusk30 Aug 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

If it was the ultimate killing machine, it would've done it's job in the first 5 minutes, thereby ending the series.

Where's the fun in that?

Dave Garnett 30 Aug 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> 6) why can it survive being frozen solid and shattered into thousands of pieces, but not survive molten steel?

Can't help wondering whether you are over-thinking this but for at least one of your questions I have a plausible answer.

Not sure how it controls the phase of whatever exotic metal it's made from but I can imagine that being dissolved in another molten metal to produce an extremely diluted alloy might do it a whole lot of no good.  If, in its liquid phase, it behaves anything like mercury, then close contact with some other metals, even if solid but finely divided, would result in an essentially irreversible conversion into a solid amalgam.

I guarantee that's more thought than the director of the film gave it. 

Blue Straggler 30 Aug 2019
In reply to Dave Garnett:

> Can't help wondering whether you are over-thinking this but for at least one of your questions I have a plausible answer.

Honestly not overthinking it, aside from some of these questions having bubbled around in the background for 28 years. All questions just came to mind during last night's screening. 

There is massive, scary, rabid overthinking of Terminator stuff all over the Internet, I certainly don't get involved with any of THAT! 

1
Lusk30 Aug 2019
In reply to Dave Garnett:

I actually think it's a warning from the future.

You know the way we're becoming more and more reliant on technology and automation, no matter how advanced such tech is, it will always be deeply flawed.

We must preserve our own human skills to survive.

Blue Straggler 30 Aug 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

first film: written by James Cameron with Gale Ann Hurd
second film: written by James Cameron and William Wisher

Maybe they should have Gale on board for the second film, but I think there were romantic complications going on!

Blue Straggler 30 Aug 2019
In reply to Lusk:

I must admit, the first film especially seemed quite apposite last night.

In reply to Blue Straggler:

Sometimes a film can manage to get you to overlook its gaping plot holes and overall ridiculousness due to its sheer chutzpah. It gets you on its side so you are prepared to overlook obvious shortcomings you’d write off other films for having 

i think T2 is one of these films. It’s got peak Arnie riding a Harley out of an upper floor window into a helicopter...! What’s not to like...?

goodwill goes a long way to shaping the experience of watching a film, and lack of it can kill off something that’s in reality not much different

(see also- Return of the King vs any of the Hobbit trilogy...)

Blue Straggler 30 Aug 2019
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> i think T2 is one of these films. It’s got peak Arnie riding a Harley out of an upper floor window into a helicopter...!

Not in any version I've seen! Get yourself to Specsavers...
 

> goodwill goes a long way to shaping the experience of watching a film, and lack of it can kill off something that’s in reality not much different

I go into nearly all films full of goodwill. T2 was one of them and I've admired it for decades but always those niggling questions and they really stood out last night. It's still a classic. 

Off on a tangent, I did have a positive epiphany watching both films last night. I've always been rather unkind about Linda Hamilton but she's actually truly awesome in both films, with a genuinely interesting character arc. 

summo 30 Aug 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

They also over looked some of the complications of time travel, imparting knowledge that could change small events and so on. They had an excuse with terminator, but the second movie came out long after Michel j Fox's time travel documentary so they should have covered their bases. It's probably one of the reasons Delorean was allowed to go bust, history would be a mess if everyone was going backwards and forwards all the time. 

1
Mike-W-99 30 Aug 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Back in the day we were too distracted by the special effects to worry too much about the plot holes.

Blue Straggler 30 Aug 2019
In reply to summo:

They dealt with it by having Sarah in the final scene of the first one, narrating tapes to John, saying "a person could go mad thinking about this stuff", and John repeatedly saying "this is intense" and such-like in the second one  

As my mate said after the second film "The T800's alive, he's in 1885!"  

cb294 30 Aug 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

T2 was a massive disappointment when it came out. Casting Arnie as a goodie after his brilliant role as a baddie was never going work. 

Also, compare his lines between the films, "Hasta la vista, baby" just does not cut it vs. "I'll be back..." *!

CB

* of course, Conan, Commando, and Predator are all even better in this respect!

1
Shani 30 Aug 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> tl:dr - why is the T-1000 so crap?

With over 20 years experience as a software developer this is very easy to explain:

1. The requirements document was written by Skynet managers not end users.

2. T1000 was developed using a Waterfall model.

3. Skynet mandated the latest technology because they got schmoozed on a golf course by some OTS sales douche.

4. It was complicated and so the project slipped. To save money the Skynet Project Manager cut ongoing testing with a mind to "test T1000 at the end to make sure it works". His bonus depended on hitting go-live milestones.

5. The devs were AI contractors -  AI much smarter than the Skynet PM. The contractors pissed the budget away, were poorly controlled, fudged stuff, and quickly moved on to a new job.

Post edited at 12:01
Dax H 30 Aug 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I'm going to answer this in the spirit of your question. 

> 1) if it can take any form why doesn't it disguise itself? It always morphs back into Robert Patrick in a police uniform, so Sarah and John and the T800 can easily recognise him

Maybe the first thing it morphs in to after teleporting becomes the default and most energy efficient setting. 

> 2) where is its CPU? Why does it need eyes? How can it speak if the liquid metal can't form complex objects? How does it mimic the texture of clothing, sunglasses, hair, security badges etc?

The CPU is made of nano particles distributed throughout the metal, I take complex objects to mean mechanical parts, speaking is wind over cords, clothing by keeping the outer layer in a semi fluid form

> 3) why does it fanny around quite so much? Example, right near its demise, after Sarah has blasted it 5 or 6 times and it recovers, before Arnie reappears, it has a perfect opportunity to kill Sarah and John but it just stands there and wags its finger at Sarah

Yeah this was crap and put in as a TV moment

> 4) elsewhere, why does it waste time on emotion and thoughts unrelated to its mission (e.g. pausing and frowning when it sees the silver mannequin at the Galeria mall?)

It's programmed to dislike what it perceives as one of its kind being exploited by the man. 

> 5) what is it doing for a whole day when Sarah, John and the T800 head down to Mexico? Assuming it can't track them, surely its next move should be to stake out Miles Dyson's home. Even the T800, an inferior model, says that this is something he would do. Yet he only turns up there much much later

RE charging, Apple had the contract to build the original robots and we all know how bad iPhone batteries are. 

> 6) why can it survive being frozen solid and shattered into thousands of pieces, but not survive molten steel?

See reply from Dave garnett, I'm going to add that freezing and shattering won't alter the molecular state but melting might. 

> Away from the T-1000 specifically....after the T-800 has intercepted John Connor, what is the mission of both cyborgs? The T-800 knows the T-1000 is out there still on the chase but it also fannies around a lot (OK it is programmed to follow John's orders somewhat, but its overall mission is to protect John which means stopping the T-1000....yet soon after the hospital breakout, everyone seems to chill out about the T-1000 to the point of almost forgetting about him, and indeed he is out of the picture for what feels like 45 minutes). The T-800 should surely have some strategy to destroy the T-1000 which is the primary threat to John. Set decoys and traps, mislead it, etc. 

The T800 is a bit crap and not very good at anticipating things so it was replaced with the 1000

> At the Cyberdyne facility, why is Sarah happy to leave her young son alone with his PIN hacking device, out in a vulnerable location, while she and Dyson and the T-800 go in to set the explosives? Anything could happen to John out there!

Again the T800 isn't very good and Sarah is never going to win mum of the year. 

In reply to Blue Straggler:

> Not in any version I've seen! Get yourself to Specsavers...

Oops- you’re right. It’s a long time since I’ve seen it...

> I go into nearly all films full of goodwill.

Oh yes; but some films exhaust the reservoir of goodwill pretty quickly. With the Hobbit, for example, it had drained completely before the ‘Goblin Town’ sequence ended in film one. And it went downhill rapidly from there...

Blue Straggler 30 Aug 2019
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> Oh yes; but some films exhaust the reservoir of goodwill pretty quickly. With the Hobbit, for example, it had drained completely before the ‘Goblin Town’ sequence ended in film one. And it went downhill rapidly from there...

to be honest by the time The Return of the King was out it already felt like "homework" going to see it, and when they announced that The Hobbit would be released as three films I abandoned any plans to keep up with these Tolkien films. My goodwill was drained by that announcement and my calculation of how much it would cost a family of four to watch it (assuming full price weekend tickets and lots of sweets and drinks for kids) and it all just seemed very greedy!

DubyaJamesDubya 30 Aug 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I agree they overdid trying to up the ante of the main protagonist but a lot of the things you mention could be justified if given time. How much of the film's run time is it worth giving to things like this?

At least Cameron is better than most action directors when it comes to the physics of stunts in his films.

DubyaJamesDubya 30 Aug 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> to be honest by the time The Return of the King was out it already felt like "homework" going to see it, and when they announced that The Hobbit would be released as three films I abandoned any plans to keep up with these Tolkien films. My goodwill was drained by that announcement and my calculation of how much it would cost a family of four to watch it (assuming full price weekend tickets and lots of sweets and drinks for kids) and it all just seemed very greedy!

My goodwill (speaking as a moderate appreciator of the LOTR films) was completely drained by the feeling that the first film hadn't even got started after 2 hours (watched on TV as the reviews meant I wasn't going to risk the cinema) Still haven't got through the second film.

Shani 30 Aug 2019
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

Two sentences that will save you 20 hours of Peter Jackson spaffing your life away (contains spoilers):

They successfully throw the magic ring in to the fire. The monkey dies.

In reply to Blue Straggler:

I would be interested to see your list of questions after watching Paddington.

Ridge 30 Aug 2019
In reply to Shani:

> With over 20 years experience as a software developer this is very easy to explain:

> 1. The requirements document was written by Skynet managers not end users.

> 2. T1000 was developed using a Waterfall model.

> 3. Skynet mandated the latest technology because they got schmoozed on a golf course by some OTS sales douche.

> 4. It was complicated and so the project slipped. To save money the Skynet Project Manager cut ongoing testing with a mind to "test T1000 at the end to make sure it works". His bonus depended on hitting go-live milestones.

> 5. The devs were AI contractors -  AI much smarter than the Skynet PM. The contractors pissed the budget away, were poorly controlled, fudged stuff, and quickly moved on to a new job.

Brilliant!

The T1000 is obvious also cutting edge technology like the F35.

The documentary on RAF pilots in training that was on recently seemed to involve a lot of "Are you sure you've put the right password in? Have you tried turning it off and on again?"

Maybe the T1000 spends the time it's off-screen on some ATOS help line, or is trying to find the "Kill the kid" menu on an system developed by SAP?

ThunderCat 30 Aug 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I only found out recently that Linda Hamiltons twin sister appeared in the movie, playing the part of the copied Sarah Connor... And that this scene isn't actually a mirror... Its the two sisters facing each other...which obviously explains why you don't see the camera when it moves across the scene... 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C55bAvhEiuY

Was this common knowledge? 

Post edited at 20:02
Blue Straggler 30 Aug 2019
In reply to ThunderCat:

Common knowledge and I don’t think they ever face each other. The tubby security guard at the hospital was also twins 

Blue Straggler 30 Aug 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> I would be interested to see your list of questions after watching Paddington.

Nobody has spent decades parading Paddington as watertight and thought-provoking intelligent sci fi. The rules are different. The film Paddington 2 was a 9.5/10 from me (searchable on these forums if you were ACTUALLY interested). Near perfect cinematic storytelling. Wind your neck in, petal. 

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planetmarshall 31 Aug 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> Nobody has spent decades parading Paddington as watertight and thought-provoking intelligent sci fi.

Who's been parading T2 as thought provoking intelligent sci-fi? It's not exactly 'Arrival', or 'Interstellar'. 

Blue Straggler 31 Aug 2019
In reply to planetmarshall:

The same sort of mentally-stuck-at-14 people who think The Matrix and Ex-Machina (good films that they are) and Interstellar “really make you think about things” 

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ThunderCat 31 Aug 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> Common knowledge and I don’t think they ever face each other. The tubby security guard at the hospital was also twins 

OK, maybe not face each other, but at least in front of each other... 


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