Terminator 2 Theatrical cut vs. Special Edition


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Which cut of the movie do you think is better?

I feel that overall their are pros and cons to each, and there are two scenes from the special edition should have been kept in.

WARNING: "spoiler" spoilers below
The scene where Sarah is beaten up in the institution, the scene where it shows Miles talking to his wife and kids about going to the waterpark, and maybe the additional Kyle Reese scene, but not sure on that one.

Other than that, I feel every other part of the special edition should have been left out, and then you would have the perfect cut. What do you think?

Special edition is better, even though it doesn't add much to the overall movie.

The extra Kyle Reese scene is when he appears to Sarah in a dream but it's literally only about 12 seconds of extra footage in a scene that is already in the cinematic version.

The weird thing with the special edition, is that there's a scene with the T-1000 going through Connor's bedroom/belongings that wasn't included.
It's only available as an extra in the cut scenes on the DVD.

I think the only problem I have with the special edition, is with the Miles Dyson family scene.
In the cinematic version, his daughter is never seen at all... in the special edition, the daughter appears for a brief scene, and is never seen again, even when Sarah storms the house and starts firing an extremely loud firearm.

Other than that, it's a character development scene which I think is a nice touch... but... it's not exactly needed considering the scene with Dyson and the security guard already sets up that Dyson is a family man when the guard asks "How's the wife and kids?".

We know Dyson is a family man. He has a wife and kids.
The reintroduced scene... we see he's a family man, which we already know, yet he's slightly distant from them, distracted by his work... forgetful of them.
It's repeated information... with a little added extra that builds the character more.

Like many Cameron movies, he cuts scenes that tend to repeat what was already established... but in special editions, they get reinstated and, if nothing else, they add a little extra background to the characters because they tend to have a small detail amongst the repeated details, that we never knew before.

Cameron's Aliens is the same.
The cinematic cut, Newt's behaviour alone shows that she's witnessed terrible things and her line "It won't make any difference" really hammers home its mark.

We also know the colony was sent grid references to the alien ship, which is the reason for the colony's downfall.

In the special edition, we see it was actually Newt's family who were sent to that grid reference.
It's repeating what we already know... but with a slightly different piece of information added to it.

I think though going back to the OP... T2 Special Edition is better than the cinematic.
It also contains the pin-switch scene where they go into the Terminator's head and pull his chip out... which explains how he was able to change his character so much as the movie progressed.
Originally Posted by doubledenim
Garbage bag people fighting hippy love babies.

Bots gotta be bottin'

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Oh okay, that's interesting. I thought that the movie made perfect sense without the pin-switch scene, and the pin-switch scene just seemed unnecessary. In the theatrical cut, he said the more he is interacting with humans, the more he learns from them, which seemed like a good explanation to me. Don't know if the pin-switch adds anymore, unless I missed something?

Well, it's explained by the Terminator that his pin-switch is set to "read only" when Terminators are sent out alone.
Sarah's reply is "Skynet doesn't want you to do too much thinking, right?"

Without the scene of them actually doing the reset of the switch though, it just seems as if the Terminator is just being taught stuff by John.
Having the scene, shows that the Terminator actually has a weakness, and is also willing to put itself in danger by giving Sarah and John access to its chip... and shows how John is progressing as a person.
"I'm supposed to be a great military leader, and my own mother won't listen to me"
It's a good character building scene... which leads into the Terminator actually having its own character arc.

I had to see the scene of the dog and the room of john where the t1000 finds out that he lied about the dog s name, to me we needed that, plus the pin switch made a lot of sense to me

I clearly remember seeing the scene where John teaches the Terminator to smile in one of my first viewings of the film. Yet in my more recent watches, it's nowhere to be seen.

Which version is that scene in?

The smiling scene is the extended cut.
It's when they get to the roadside cafe in the desert and John tried to make the waitress smile as an example, but she's miserable... so John points out another person for the Terminator to copy.

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I thought the smiling was in the special edition, or at least it's in my special edition that I own.

As for removing the chip and resetting it, I just have a hard time believing that John and Sarah would put their lives at risk to do that, because what if something went wrong and then they have no protection? It just seemed to me it was too big of a risk, just so the terminator can develop his character more.

So I found myself not being sold on that scene. However, I do like the dog scene, where the T-1000 figures out he was fooled and wish they had kept that in as well.

Welcome to the human race...
What could go wrong, though? They're already in hiding, the change-over only takes a moment, and he's a highly-advanced machine with a chip that can (mostly) survive a hydraulic press. That the T-800 even suggests the idea in the first and is able to talk them through the process without a problem would indicate that he knows it's a simple and easily-accomplished process - the only real threat comes from human error, which is what happens when Sarah attempts to destroy the chip herself.

To answer the original question - hmm. While the theatrical is tighter, you do miss out on certain smaller moments that are peppered throughout and are more often than not missed throughout (another one being a quick shot of Dyson simply borrowing an axe from the T-800, wistfully saying "I worked a lot on years on this" and then angrily smashing his scale model of the chip) to the point where I do feel like I'm not quite getting the full experience when I catch the theatrical cut on TV.
I really just want you all angry and confused the whole time.

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Oh well, whenever I try to unplug components of a computer, I run the risk of something going wrong, so I just wouldn't trust it from a robot from the future that I was not aware of the technology of. Or what if the T-1000 busted in on them and had found them, during the chip removal process, and The Terminator is then offline to defend them. I just thought it would be risky.

Plus I also had a hard time swallowing that Sarah would want to kill The Terminator because if the Terminator wanted to kill them,he would have done so already, and teamed up with the T-1000 to do so. So her thinking that getting rid of her protection against the T-1000, because that protection could turn on her, just seemed kind of foolish on her part, but maybe understandable, still?

As for the theatrical cut being tighter, I have no problem with a longer runtime.

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Yeah I suppose if I had to pick the best sequel of all time, it would be T2 for me.

I like both but preferred the theatrical cut just because the pacing is a lot better. The bonus scenes are fun to watch but they did make the movie drag a little and the extra character development didn't justify slowing the pacing for a sci-fi blockbuster action film like this.

It's definitely a contender for greatest sequel of all time although I'd probably go with Godfather Part II.


I just dug my special edition DVD out and it's got a commentary track!
Had this thing for years and never even noticed!!!!!!!!!

That's me sorted for the next 3 hours

my cousin today told me he didn t watch those scenes from the director s cut, so i let him watch it today and he really liked those added scenes, they made a lot of sense, where i found myself with the theatrical version as if something was missing from the storytelling

Ok so... if anyone wants to question the scenes in the special edition... watch it with the commentary on.

The scenes make sense as it is... but the commentary makes them even more important as they get explanations from Cameron and the production team.

I don't personally think the film loses much without those scenes. Likewise the Aliens Special Edition, apart from the scene about Ripley and her daughter the theatrical release didn't miss not having the extra scenes.

I do think Cameron's Abyss Special Edition is a massive improvement on the theatrical version though. The whole film makes much more sense in the extended version

I don't personally think the film loses much without those scenes. Likewise the Aliens Special Edition, apart from the scene about Ripley and her daughter the theatrical release didn't miss not having the extra scenes.

I do think Cameron's Abyss Special Edition is a massive improvement on the theatrical version though. The whole film makes much more sense in the extended version
To me the scene where t1000 sniffs connor s room and when dison explains about the big chip to his wife gives it that rounded feel of the film..i enjoyed it more with those and felt more coherent