This coming July marks 30 years since the release of James Cameron’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and it still more than holds up as one of the greatest blockbusters to ever come out of Hollywood. Given the movie’s monolithic standing in the action genre, it’s hard to believe that when it went into production, there were many insiders and analysts skeptical that it would be a success.
People writing Cameron off only to end up eating their words has become one of the recurring themes throughout his entire career, though, and T2 was no different. Not only did it come armed with a budget fifteen times higher than the first installment, but it was also the very first film to cost more than $100 million, $15 million of which went straight into Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s pocket, along with a private jet.
There was also the small matter of the filmmaker changing the face of the entire industry by seamlessly integrating a fully CGI character into a live-action project, which kicked open the doors for the visual effects revolution that Jurassic Park blew the hinges off just a couple of years later. Of course, none of that would matter in the slightest if the story and set pieces weren’t up to scratch, but they most certainly were.
Terminator 2 is one of the most iconic big budget epics of all-time, and it remains the highest-grossing entry in Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s entire filmography after earning over $520 million, while it also went on to scoop four Academy Awards. It’s currently experiencing a resurgence on Netflix as well, which is a happy coincidence with the 30th anniversary just over six weeks away, and it remains as thrilling to experience now as it ever was.