The 'Terminator' franchise is full of ups and downs, but no matter how you feel about any of them, the fact of the matter is that 'Terminator 2: Judgment Day' is the perfect 'Terminator' movie, and no matter how they try, it will never be lived up to by any further sequel. You can watch this on the big screen today, and thanks to its big budget of practical effects, it still, after damn near 30 years, holds up as one of the greatest action films of all time.
Real quick, this is the sequel to the first film, and to me, the pair stand alone. The first film has Sarah Conner (Linda Hamilton) running for her life from a Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) who has been sent back in time to kill her, therefore killing her chances of one day giving birth to the man who would save humanity - John Conner (Edward Furlong, though not in the first film). All the while, she's protected by a soldier named Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn), who was also sent back.
The second chapter, here, finds Sarah Conner in an asylum, due to her proclaiming that the world is gonna end by 1997. The film takes place roughly around 1995, due to John being ten years old here (according to a police record), running around and causing trouble. In the same spirit as the first film, a new Terminator gets sent back, known only as the T-1000 (Robert Patrick), this time targeting John, himself. In response, a T-600 is sent back to protect John - the same type of Terminator who was once sent back to hunt down Sarah. Eventually, the T-600, Sarah and John find themselves working as a team against the T-1000; a liquid metal, shape-shifting Terminator, in order to save humanity from an eventual apocalypse.
What more could ever be said about 'T2'? It's simply the pinnacle of everything a good action movie should be. Practical explosions, snappy dialogue and one-liners, and most importantly, it develops its characters very well. Sarah, being the perfect example, is a completely changed character here, making her the bad ass we all love her as today. Even the T-600, a machine, begins to develop things like understanding, and compassion, and you totally buy into it, the way its executed.
Of course, the real star of this movie is the special effects though. Imagine the fact that this 1991 movie has CG animation that looks better than a lot of the CG you found when it really blew up (late 90's/early 00's). I'm happy to be able to say that I've actually seen this on the big screen twice now, and it holds up incredibly well. It's the perfect balance of action and drama, and Schwarzenegger in his prime is always awesome on the big screen. It stands among history's action genre as a solid gem, and if you're an oldschool action fan who somehow hasn't seen it yet, you simply must fix that. It's a personal favorite, and I just cannot praise it enough as a God among action movies.