Analysis of Terminator 2

Summary In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, a cyborg is sent back in time to kill the future leader of the human resistance, John Connor. Meanwhile, John's mother, Sarah, is in a mental institution, convinced that a terminator is coming to kill her. As the terminator and John join forces, they try to stop a new version of the terminator, the T-1000, as they destroy the Skynet chip to prevent it from being created. The movie ends with the ultimate sacrifice of the terminator, leading to the destruction of both the T-1000 and the Skynet chip, securing a new future for humanity.

Screenplay Story Analysis

Story Critique The screenplay has a solid plot structure and engaging action scenes, but the character development and dialogue could be improved. The emotional stakes and relationships between characters need more depth and nuance.
Suggestions: To improve the screenplay, focus on developing the characters' backstories and motivations, as well as their relationships with each other. The dialogue could benefit from more natural and distinct voices for each character. Additionally, exploring more ethical and philosophical questions about technology and humanity could add depth to the story.

Note: This is the overall critique. For scene by scene critique click here

Characters in the screenplay, and their arcs:


John Connor is the future leader of the human resistance against the machines. He starts out as a young boy, thrust into a dangerous world and forced to mature quickly. He is curious, inquisitive and eager to understand the world around him. He is brave and resourceful, adapting to each new challenge he faces. He struggles with the weight of his responsibility as humanity's savior, balancing the trauma of his past with the overwhelming task of saving the world. He learns to embrace his destiny and proves himself as a capable and confident fighter.


The Terminator is a cybernetic organism, programmed to follow orders without question. He is initially introduced as a ruthless killing machine sent back in time to eliminate John Connor, but gradually begins to develop a deeper understanding of humanity through his interactions with John and Sarah. Despite the stoic and unemotional facade he presents, it becomes clear that he is fiercely loyal and dedicated to the mission of protecting John and preventing Skynet's creation.


The T-1000 is a highly advanced cyborg assassin sent from the future to kill its target. It has a liquid metal skin that allows it to shapeshift and mimic other people with ruthless and efficient precision, regardless of the emotions or concerns of anyone else. The T-1000 has limited dialogue and personality beyond its mission to eliminate its target and complete its objective.


Miles Dyson is a brilliant scientist who initially felt overwhelmed and terrified after discovering the role he played in creating Skynet. He deeply cares for his family, particularly his wife and son. Dyson is committed to stopping Skynet at any cost. He is determined and willing to do whatever it takes to protect the future of humanity.

Character Arc Critique Suggestions
John John's character arc throughout the movie is a journey from a young, innocent boy to a confident and capable leader. He initially struggles with the weight of his responsibility and the trauma of his past but gradually learns to embrace his destiny. He starts out curious and inquisitive, eager to understand the world around him. He matures quickly, becomes more confident in his abilities as a leader, and starts to build a sense of unity and trust among his allies. By the end of the story, he has come into his own, proving himself as a brave and resourceful fighter, capable of leading the resistance against the machines. The character arc is well-defined and follows a clear trajectory. However, it would have been good to see deeper emotions from John. While he does struggle with the weight of his responsibility, this is a theme that is often repeated in the series, and it would have been more interesting to see more facets of his character.
To improve the character arc, it would be good to explore John's emotional journey in more depth. We could show more of his inner turmoil as he grapples with the realization of his destiny. We could also see him develop deeper relationships with the people around him, particularly his mother and Terminator. This would add more depth and complexity to his character and make him more relatable to the audience.
Terminator The Terminator's character arc begins with a single-minded focus on completing his mission to eliminate John Connor. Over time, he begins to understand and appreciate human emotions and morality, forming a bond with John and Sarah as he learns to protect them. He evolves from a cold and efficient killing machine into a selfless protector and friend, sacrificing himself to save humanity and prevent the rise of Skynet. The Terminator's character arc is well-executed and provides a satisfying journey for the audience. However, some of his development could have been explored more deeply, particularly in the earlier stages of his relationship with John and Sarah.
To improve the character arc, the writers could have delved more deeply into the Terminator's initial lack of understanding of human emotions and behavior. This would have added more complexity to his eventual transformation into a protector and made the journey feel more earned. Additionally, exploring the limits of the Terminator's programming and his own agency could have added another layer of depth to his character arc.
T-1000 The T-1000's character arc begins as an emotionless killing machine with a single-minded mission to eliminate its target. However, as it encounters more obstacles and challenges throughout the film, its ability to adapt and improvise becomes more nuanced. With each transformation, the T-1000 becomes more sinister and unpredictable. Eventually, it becomes so focused on its mission and the idea of fulfilling its programming that it puts itself above everything else, including its own survival. In the end, the T-1000 sacrifices itself to accomplish its mission, epitomizing the ruthless and efficient nature of its design. While the T-1000 is an iconic villain, its character arc could benefit from more depth and development. The lack of personality and emotion makes it difficult for audiences to connect with the character and invest in its arc. Additionally, the character's actions and motivations feel somewhat predictable and one-dimensional, despite the impressive visual effects and technical abilities of the character.
To improve the T-1000's character arc, the screenplay could explore its origins and motivations in more detail. Are there any limitations or flaws in its design that could cause it to deviate from its programming? How does the T-1000 see the world, and what is its ultimate goal beyond its assigned mission? Additionally, the T-1000 could interact more with other characters, allowing for more moments of insight or even vulnerability that could humanize the character and deepen the audience's understanding of its actions and choices.
Dyson Dyson's character arc begins with fear and guilt for creating Skynet. As he comes to terms with his responsibility in creating a future ruled by machines, he becomes determined to protect the future to make up for his mistakes. Throughout the film, Dyson must grapple with the consequences of his actions and ultimately sacrifices himself to destroy Skynet. The character arc of Dyson is effective in terms of his personal growth and redemption. However, it would have been interesting to see more of his internal struggle and emotional journey as he wrestles with the morality of his actions.
To improve the character arc of Dyson, the screenplay could have explored more of his emotional journey and moral struggle throughout the film. This would have made his ultimate sacrifice more impactful and given the audience a deeper understanding of his character.