Terminator 2: Judgment Day features some of the best action scenes in the sci-fi genre, and one of them was accidentally foreshadowed in The Terminator. James Cameron’s Terminator franchise began in 1984 with the film simply titled The Terminator, following Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) who is chased by a cyborg assassin (Arnold Schwarzenegger) that was sent back in time to kill her and thus avoid the existence of her son, John Connor. The film spawned five sequels, including the upcoming Terminator: Dark Fate, but only one is regarded as an all-time great action movie.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day followed the first film’s time-traveling premise but with a twist (and a better, more developed story): this time, a reprogrammed Terminator was sent back in time to protect a young John Connor (Edward Furlong), while a more advanced Terminator, known as T-1000 (Robert Patrick) was now sent to kill him. The film is packed with action scenes, of which the most impressive one happens in the first act of the film, after John’s first encounter with both Terminators, and it mirrors a scene from the first film.
In the first film, after being chased by the Terminator on a motorcycle and him wounding Kyle (Michael Biehn), Sarah knocks him off his motorcycle and loses control of the car, flipping over. The Terminator then hijacks a tank truck and chases Sarah, attempting to run her down, only to be stopped (momentarily, of course) by Kyle sliding a pipe bomb onto the truck’s hose tube, causing it to explode. In Terminator 2, both cyborgs and John Connor come face to face in a shopping mall, and John escapes on his motorbike. T-1000 then hijacks a truck, with the Terminator going after them on his motorcycle. Just like in the first film, it’s the evil cyborg chasing their targeted Connor in a truck, although John had a bigger advantage than his mother, who had to literally run for her life. There’s another scene during the third act in Terminator 2 in which T-1000 once again hijacks a truck, only this time Sarah, John, and the Terminator have a car to make their escape easier than before.
These car chase/truck scenes are also a reference to one of James Cameron’s odd jobs prior to becoming a filmmaker. After dropping out of college, Cameron worked as a janitor and truck driver, but kept writing in his free time. Surely, a car chase involving a truck, and with the protagonist in disadvantage (whether by having to run or by riding a motorbike) is much more intense than one with regular cars, but it’s also a fun nod to Cameron’s pre-Hollywood life – never forget your roots, they say.
Cameron reportedly quit his job as truck driver after watching Star Wars in 1977, which gave him the push he needed to fully pursue a career in filmmaking. His directorial debut came in 1982 with Piranha II: The Spawning, and The Terminator arrived two years later – and was the only one out of those that could include a chase scene involving a truck, for old times’ sake. Of course, the one in Terminator 2: Judgment Day was superior, and is regarded as one of the best action scenes out there.
- Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) release date: Nov 01, 2019