Terminator 1 vs Terminator 2. Which do you prefer?

Which do you prefer?


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Terminator 1 by a mile.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is much better as the unstoppable villain that never, ever gives up than he is as a good guy. The soundtrack of the movie is also fantastic. The 80s aesthetic of the movie appeals to me much more as well. It's a well-executed thriller movie (that even borders on properly done horror) rather than just an action flick.
 
I definitely have more fondness for The Terminator than T2, which isn't to say I dislike T2. I just love part one's tone and suspense and it's great as an 80s time capsule. When I see The Terminator on cable I'll sit through it. With T2 I'll leave it on as background noise.
 
T1 all the way. Arnold plays the role so well, no annoying kid, or completely obvious arnold stuntman in every other shot.

Plus I like the lower budget horror thing more than big action.
 
Terminator 2 is my favourite action film ever. Terminator 1 is a wonderful film in its own right though. Great companion pieces and among the best one-two film punches ever made.
 
For me, it's T2, but mainly because I have such a fond memory of me, my mom, and my sister seeing it in the Drive-In on a gigantic screen as part of a double feature. I actually think the second movie was Boyz n the Hood. Lol.

It's also just a god damned good action movie, and the T-1000 is such a scary antagonist. I'd argue actually scarier than Arnold in T1, and he was fucking scary.
 

MattKeil

BIGTIME TV MOGUL #2
Terminator 1, but it's damn close.

That's how I feel about it, they're different movies doing different things, both very well. If they were both on different channels at the same time I'd probably pick T2 more often.
No they're not. T2 is basically a remake of T1 with a budget and a kid added.
 
Terminator 1 pretty easily. I like T2 a lot but as a film the first is superior in pretty much every way bar effects.

Terminator 1 has far more expansive narrative and delivers a fully closed loop story where everything is told. It really as it stands leaves no room for any more. We know how everything plays out and there's no escaping the closed loop

Terminator 2 essentially takes more screen time to achieve actually very little. In plot/narrative terms if merely opens up the notion that the predeterministic closed loop of the original isn't actually closed and events can be changed (thus brining in both alternative time tracks the and the notion these are different people than before and also raises the spectre of the father paradox - with the future war averted (maybe) then why does Kyle travel back and father John?)

Terminator 1 has better narrative structure - a lean chase that starts slow and builds to a crescendo in a thematically matching factory - no scene is wasted, action and exposition are perfectly balanced

Terminator 2 has an uneven structure (even noted by Cameron in some material) starting wtih a re-run but faster paced of first half of T1, then slowing to a huge exposition dump halt in the middle before ramping up for a huge ending

Acting is about same across both IMHO.

Script is better in T1 and more iconic although T2 has little more humour.

Ultimately I have to put T1's strengths over bigger/better stunts effects as those do not a better film make.

Love T2 nonetheless. Like Aliens its essentially a different genre picture to T1 but like Aliens I prefer the leaner, sleeker original.
 
It's hard to pick since I love both. The first is the better film, but I think I prefer Terminator 2. The bigger budget and polish make it a little more watchable. I've seen it countless times, yet I'm still hyped about the 3D rerelease later this year.
 
No they're not. T2 is basically a remake of T1 with a budget and a kid added.
Disagree, story wise yeah they share the same conceit of 'Kill John Connor' buf I'd argue it's not just a budget difference and certainly not simply 'basically a remake' that is often thrown around.

The aesthetics and style of it are very different. I think of T1 and I get images of a dark, smokey run down L.A - a Tech Noir indeed :) There are many ways T2 doesn't even remotely want to emulate T1 stylistically and I don't believe it's purely about money.
 
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.
I agree with basically all of this. T1 definitely.
 

shintoki

sparkle this bitch
Let's break this shit down on why T1 is better than T2.

T1's script is tight, no filler, and completes it's run perfectly. There is no we can change the future or prevent judgement day. These were events that were simply meant to happen to allow the future to happen. It's a damn tragedy that has to happen, even if the characters are unaware of it themselves.

T2 on the other hand changes it up. The future has changed, we can stop it now. It wants to break away from the bleak ending of the original and make it more easy to digest. It wants to make it more family friend as others stated. The inclusion of the kid and other bits burn this in.

Nor was it as lean and tight as the original. The original is a cat and mouse game. It picks up and drops you in. There is very little exposition and everything is sold through Biehn's performance. T2 has to include the entire beginning twist where Arnold is actually here as the hero this time(You know it was coming), while protecting the kid. It never really had the same tension or speed as the original. It's a slower burner with bigger setpieces, but less ferocity and more fluff.

This brings up the performances. The heart of the franchise has always been Reese(Specifically Biehn's performance).
We had 5 minutes total of future time in the original through Kyle remembering and the rest is sold through him. He is terrified, he is off the edge, and it shows. You have a man who has no idea what the future holds, but was manipulated by John to go back to the future, save/sex Sarah, and die. His creepy obsession with her was the only thing keeping him moving and it was created intentionally by John to secure his future. He is the tragic character of the series. T1 isn't about choice, but events that are meant to play out and his character is one with the notion of free will, yet everything he does was already determined by others.

He was replaced by Linda in the 2nd one, who simply is not even half as good of an actor as Biehn was. Sarah talking to herself was not the same as Biehn being unhinged. While the new Sarah was John this time, who wasn't half the actor that Linda was. We went from someone who is rightfully terrified of the machine chasing them and hunting them down, to "Say Hasta La Vista" dude.The tone of the film is off now between the two characters creating a lax in tension. It was like, John has a father now... the father who killed his real father! Who less than 10 minutes ago in the film, I was freaking out about and having nightmares about, got locked up for, etc. It's inconsistent between the characters. Specifically, having Arnold as the hero this time.

Second, Arnold. Arnold was more imposing as the Villain than the Hero. There is no fucking scene in 2 that matches the Police shootout. Between I'll Be Back, to rolling in their double gunning. It's terrifying, it's menacing, and it shows exactly how ineffective we are as humans against the machine. T2 loses this because it's machine vs machine now. Bullets don't mean shit anymore. They can't hurt either of them. Since it's no longer a qasui-horror movie either, there was never once that same dread Arnold or Patrick brought that match T1. Basically, it lost it's spark in terms of bigger action pieces. Great ones at that, but everything in the original was so quick and effective. They didn't need to up the scale of the set pieces to hide it.
 
His creepy obsession with her was the only thing keeping him moving and it was created intentionally by John to secure his future. He is the tragic character of the series.
Great post overall though I'd add it's not a 'creepy obsession' in the way we'd usually see that as a negative.

He's a man born into war who has never been with a woman. He's seen a lot of shit. He hears stories over the years of Sarah's strong nurturing nature over John and was given a keepsake photo by a man he admires greatly of a pretty looking young female who looks sad to keep with him

His latching onto it leading to an obsession makes a flawed perfect sense.
 
^

The best (well my favourite) scene in 2 is when they call back to the police attack when they are questioning Sarah. I love the police station scene so much in the first film.

T1 is also a really well shot night film as well.
 
Let's break this shit down on why T1 is better than T2.

T1's script is tight, no filler, and completes it's run perfectly. There is no we can change the future or prevent judgement day. These were events that were simply meant to happen to allow the future to happen. It's a damn tragedy that has to happen, even if the characters are unaware of it themselves.

T2 on the other hand changes it up. The future has changed, we can stop it now. It wants to break away from the bleak ending of the original and make it more easy to digest. It wants to make it more family friend as others stated. The inclusion of the kid and other bits burn this in.

Nor was it as lean and tight as the original. The original is a cat and mouse game. It picks up and drops you in. There is very little exposition and everything is sold through Biehn's performance. T2 has to include the entire beginning twist where Arnold is actually here as the hero this time(You know it was coming), while protecting the kid. It never really had the same tension or speed as the original. It's a slower burner with bigger setpieces, but less ferocity and more fluff.

This brings up the performances. The heart of the franchise has always been Reese(Specifically Biehn's performance).
We had 5 minutes total of future time in the original through Kyle remembering and the rest is sold through him. He is terrified, he is off the edge, and it shows. You have a man who has no idea what the future holds, but was manipulated by John to go back to the future, save/sex Sarah, and die. His creepy obsession with her was the only thing keeping him moving and it was created intentionally by John to secure his future. He is the tragic character of the series. T1 isn't about choice, but events that are meant to play out and his character is one with the notion of free will, yet everything he does was already determined by others.

He was replaced by Linda in the 2nd one, who simply is not even half as good of an actor as Biehn was. Sarah talking to herself was not the same as Biehn being unhinged. While the new Sarah was John this time, who wasn't half the actor that Linda was. We went from someone who is rightfully terrified of the machine chasing them and hunting them down, to "Say Hasta La Vista" dude.The tone of the film is off now between the two characters creating a lax in tension. It was like, John has a father now... the father who killed his real father! Who less than 10 minutes ago in the film, I was freaking out about and having nightmares about, got locked up for, etc. It's inconsistent between the characters. Specifically, having Arnold as the hero this time.

Second, Arnold. Arnold was more imposing as the Villain than the Hero. There is no fucking scene in 2 that matches the Police shootout. Between I'll Be Back, to rolling in their double gunning. It's terrifying, it's menacing, and it shows exactly how ineffective we are as humans against the machine. T2 loses this because it's machine vs machine now. Bullets don't mean shit anymore. They can't hurt either of them. Since it's no longer a qasui-horror movie either, there was never once that same dread Arnold or Patrick brought that match T1. Basically, it lost it's spark in terms of bigger action pieces. Great ones at that, but everything in the original was so quick and effective. They didn't need to up the scale of the set pieces to hide it.


correct.
 
Terminator 1 is a paranoid fever dream. Love it.

Terminator 2 has some solid stuff in it too, obviously, but it's definitely the lesser film. Its plot also kind of ruins the original, so that's a huge negative.
 
The Terminator is a perfect movie. It's brilliant in balancing the sci-fi, action, and horror elements with an intimate love and survival story.

I absolutely love T2 and easily consider it a top 5, probably top 3, action movie of all time. As great as it is there's just something about the first movie that I find a little more charming. Both great in their own ways but the first edges out T2. That said, there isn't a single soul among those who wore out their VHS copies of T2 in the 90s who doesn't still gets teary eyed at this:



Back to The Terminator, the moment Sarah and Kyle reunite during the police station attack is one of my favorite movie scenes of all time.
https://youtu.be/zFxaCa-hr8o?t=3m53s

I love when that synth music kicks in and wish I could have been sitting in a theater sharing that moment with an audience during the original release. Sends chills down my spine every time.
 
T1 is a really competent horror movie with a unique premise.

T2 might be the greatest action movie of all time.

That said, I don't feel comfortable calling T2 the outright better movie. I blame Edward Furlong.
 
I am 100% sure I've answered this question many, many times here on GAF, and probably even this thread.

The Terminator is the clear choice. And I love T2. But it's not even close for me. Tech Noir "Hey that guy didn't pay!", Burnin in the Third Degree. Too good. Just the general menace and pacing and look. Perfect.
 
I love when that synth music kicks in and wish I could have been sitting in a theater sharing that moment with an audience during the original release. Sends chills down my spine every time.

Brad Fiedel's score is a huge part of developing the atmosphere and tension in the film. Fiedel doesn't get enough love for his work. Between his score in the original Terminator and Fright Night he scored two of my favourite 80's scores.
 
Anyone here watch the original Terminator 2?




It's basically just Aliens but with Terminators, somehow mixing two awful movies in to one big mess.
 
Terminator 1 is some pretty real shit. Its like a neo-noir slasher movie where the unstoppable slasher monster has a gun instead of a knife. But that sex scene is really, really bad. I'm sorry.

Terminator 2 is THE quintessential action movie, and people were playing catch-up with it until Fury Road finally came out and could call itself an equal. Its one of the movies where you can see how that massive budget worked well for it with the tech behind the liquid metal T-1000 and the action sequences are just outstanding. Extremely well shot and sharply written too. I'm gonna have to go with T2.

Arnold Terminator is more terrifying then the T-1000 though.
 
Really different movies TBH. It think I liked the first one more but T2 was also a great movie.

To quote Jeff Gerstmann:

"Terminator 1 was real, man. It could happen!"
 
I love many of the action scenes in T2, Arnie stuntman climbing along the truck blew my mind when I was a kid and still looks amazing.

T1 is the better film, it's scary and tense, unstoppable machine out to kill you.
 
Terminator 1 is some pretty real shit. Its like a neo-noir slasher movie where the unstoppable slasher monster has a gun instead of a knife. But that sex scene is really, really bad. I'm sorry.
I laughed.

Ok I'll bite - how could they have improved the sex scene?

It was a 30 second non-lingering scene that was efficient in telling the story as the rest of the film had been. The Kyle conversation in the kitchen where he talks about his sheltered life and his latching on to / 'love' for Sarah was the real emotional thrust, the sex scene was just cementing that.

Maybe he should have asked to fool around with her for three minutes in the back of a car
 

Pancake Mix

Copied someone else's pancake recipe
I actually prefer the original Terminator, almost a slasher movie in some ways, and it's probably my favourite film ever made. That's to take nothing away from T2 though, I put that just behind, and it had a better ending of course.
 
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