Terminator 1 vs Terminator 2. Which do you prefer?

Which do you prefer?


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#1
Personally, I've always preferred the first by quite a bit, due to it's horror elements and its shroud of mystery throughout the film.

Terminator 2 is solid, but in later years, I kind of find Sarah Connor's monologues to be very long winded and preachy, and John Connor always got on my nerves. I also find the escalated spectacle to be less to my taste compared to the gritty, more grounded (for a sci-fi film) approach to the original.
 
#4
Asking me that is like asking me whether I prefer Alien or Aliens

They're both such different genres that I can't really compare them
I just thought of the same comparison reading the OP.

The first is a scary thriller, the second is balls out action. Both are great
 
#6
They're honestly almost too different to compare, in a similar way to how Alien and Aliens are actually tough to compare. Both first movies are more horror/thriller movies while the sequels are action movies. Cameron was really smart about genre-shifting in order to avoid diminishing returns. Plus, it's a hard comparison to make because both Terminator and Terminator 2 are absolute classics. If I had to pick one, I think I'd prefer Terminator 2 because it's just an overall more polished movie and the "Arnold is the good guy" twist is still pretty cool.

However, if we ever get another Terminator sequel I'd really like to see it go back to the Terminator 1 horror roots instead of being a Terminator 2 style action movie.

EDIT: Also, the Terminator 2 theatrical cut is on par with Terminator 1 in my opinion. The Terminator 2 director's cut is inferior.
 
#8
Terminator 2 was my Terminator 1. So Terminator 2. Listen the T-1000 to a 7 year old was fascinating. I didn't trust anyone for a month lol! Also though I could hack anything with a broken Casio calculator with the exposed ribbon! Ahh to be young again.
 
#10
Terminator 2 is my favorite film of all time. With that said, Terminator does a lot more with the horror aspect, which works incredibly well. Overall, I'd say T2 > T1, but T1 is one of the genre's absolute finest.
 
#19
Terminator 2, but I like them both. Terminator 1 is also a great, great movie, but it still feels like a 1980s Sci-Fi movie (which is totally still great). Terminator 2, on the other hand, feels like a movie that could be released tomorrow and it would set the box office and critics on fire with special affects, polish, tension, story, and everything else that makes it great. I think it's the best action movie ever made.

Also I like Alien > Aliens. I feel like the action in Aliens makes the movie age worse than the tension from Alien. Alien does a great job of working around the special effects of a movie made in 1979 to the point where you can watch it in 2017, almost 40 years later, and not be distracted by older special effects (at least, most scenes). Aliens is an excellent action sci-fi movie, but I think the emphasis on action dates it.
 
#21
I typically choose Terminator 2 because I think the emotional story it tells is more multi-faceted and I can't deny the enormous leaps it took in production quality. Catch me in the right mood though and I'll say Terminator 1.

It had a similar trajectory as the Alien franchise. The first one was more horror, the second one went action. And both were good in different ways. However unlike Terminator, I vastly prefer the first Alien no question. Not even close.

I think Terminator needs another horror movie. They need to look to T1 for inspiration instead of T2. The seeds T2 planted turned into abominations. Gotta get back to the roots of what made Terminator interesting.
 
#22
I prefer the first, it's a tighter, more unyielding experience without any of the cringe or pulled punches that T2 in its weakest moments has (Arnie riding on a motorcycle set to bad to the bone, John Conner's rad 90-ness).

That being said, I rewatched T2 recently and it brought them closer than I remembered. Kinda Hamilton is an absolute beast in it, the action scenes are obviously amazing, and narratively it goes to more interesting places than I gave it credit for.

I certainly wouldn't knock anyone for preferring T2, but when Arnie gets sent back in time and his massive frame looks over that LA nightscape you just know you're in for a trip, and it really doesn't let up from that (except for the lame love scene with Kyle Reese).
 
#26
Terminator 2 is one of the best action movies ever

Terminator is a really good horror/thriller with good action elements

Sounds like I'm talking about Alien vs Aliens...
 

Rhaknar

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#28
I think 1 is the better movie, but I prefer 2.

Terminator 2 is one of the best action movies ever

Terminator is a really good horror/thriller with good action elements

Sounds like I'm talking about Alien vs Aliens...
also this
 
#30
T2. T2 Arnold and Sarah Connor are so much better as protagonists than T1 Sarah and Reese that they even make up for the kid.

T1 is, by the way, spectacular. They're both just unbelievably good.
 
#31
As a kid, Terminator 1 felt really dated looking compared to the sequel, and we're only talking seven or eight years later.
Yeah, this is how I feel too.

Terminator 1 felt like a 1980s movie when I watched it in the early 1990s (was way too young to watch both of these movies... but w/e), while Terminator 2 felt like a movie from the future.
 
#34
T1 > T2

Alien > Aliens

these films just work better as horror. not that their action iterations are bad it just somehow feels cheaper.
This, basically. I don't know that I'd say ALIENS is "cheaper" than ALIEN. But T2 is definitely (and purposefully) watered-down a little. I've said it before, but that film's increase in scope and audience reach is basically the birthplace of all his worst instincts and indulgences in the films that followed.

T2 was his test-run for becoming King of the World, basically. Budget-busting four-quadrant spectacles of technical wizardry and amazing craft, built to prop up increasingly cloying, corny shit.
 
#35
Terminator 1 suffers from the same problem as A New Hope, being first in the franchise meant lower budgets, meaning hokeyer effects and fewer of them, and an overall lower sense of scale. T2, like Empire Strikes Back, benefits from studio confidence. In T2's case, genuine advancement in special effects in the intervening time.
 
#36
2.

1 loses out because I start laughing at the cheesy sex piano version of the Terminator theme when they start fucking.

also as people said, Terminator 2 felt like a film that was more modern than the ones it released against
 
#38
Terminator 1 just feels too dated to genuinely enjoy. That weird techno-synth music and the stop-motion endoskeleton at the end are way too corny.
 
#40
I adore them both for their own reasons. I greatly enjoy T1's horror theme and generally even more grounded plot. However I think T2 is overall the better movie. Where as I think T1 one is a great "horror" movie, T2 knows exactly what it is and it's just the perfect action movie in every sense.
 
#41
Terminator 2 is probably my favorite movie ever. So, that is obviously my pick. It is a movie I could watch over and over, and never get tired of. I love One as well, and Kyle is fucking awesome. But good-guy terminator is the best.
 
#43
As a kid, I would've said T2 without hesitation. I don't feel that way anymore, prefer T1.

Lean, mean, with a very specific style that I fucking love, and no (somewhat) annoying kid actors
 
#47
This, basically. I don't know that I'd say ALIENS is "cheaper" than ALIEN. But T2 is definitely (and purposefully) watered-down a little. I've said it before, but that film's increase in scope and audience reach is basically the birthplace of all his worst instincts and indulgences in the films that followed.

T2 was his test-run for becoming King of the World, basically. Budget-busting four-quadrant spectacles of technical wizardry and amazing craft, built to prop up increasingly cloying, corny shit.
T2 is also basically a big budget R-rated family friendly retelling of T1, which in itself is kind of weird. You can go from cheesy one liners and bonding scenes in one scene, to a nuclear holocaust nightmare sequence in which you watch the flesh stripped from children's bones in graphic detail.

The entire series rested on Biehn's performance as Kyle Reese.

T1
Linda Hamilton's performance in T2 I would argue is the best in the series. You believe that woman will do ANYTHING to save John.
 
#50
Man, I love both of them, but I kinda love T1 more. Michael Biehn is so good in T1. (I do wish there was a T1 directors cut, with some of the deleted scenes added in, though...)
 
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