Terminator 2: Judgement Day
Between this and Aliens James Cameron has proved that you can make a great sequel that builds on the original story yet stands alone. Unfortunately, Hollywood took this as ‘all sequels can work’ and started churning out lazy cash-grabs. We probably need to send Arnie back in time to deal with him.
Then again perhaps we shouldn’t because this stands as a masterpiece of action cinema. The formula is simple - one robot is sent back in time to kill John Connor, another is sent back to protect him. On the face of it, Terminator 2 is just two robots shooting at each other. In reality, it’s all in the execution.
Everything about this film hits the spot. The special effects are still slick as ever and the action is used sparingly enough to still be effective. Cameron seems to have an instinct for when his audience might start to get fatigued as things get louder, and knows when to pick up the pace in quieter scenes. It’s hard to believe this is the same man who made Avatar.
An action masterpiece that has somehow aged less than the sequel they made in 2015.