While “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” is a classic of sci-fi horror, the sequel does not make enough use of one of the most frightening skills of the legendary villain T-1000. After the success of the 1984 Terminator, it seemed impossible that Terminator 2: Judgment Day would surpass the success of the original sci-fi horror film. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s terminator villain, the T-800, instantly became a cult figure, and the relentless pace of the film led to dozens of imitators, none of whom could recreate its intensity and effectiveness.
Nevertheless, “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” coped with the task of reinventing the franchise with one ingenious twist, this time making Schwarzenegger’s T-800 a hero and forcing him to come face to face with an even more developed, ruthless and unstoppable villain. Since a larger and tougher Terminator model could well look silly because of Schwarzenegger’s already imposing figure, the opposite approach was used in Terminator 2: Judgment Day and a small, flexible, shape-shifting Terminator model was presented, which was much more modest and all as a result more deadly. However, despite all the best qualities of a successful sequel, Terminator 2: Judgment Day did not make enough use of the T-1000’s shape-shifting capabilities.
Related: “Terminator 7 Should Copy the Predator Prequel Trick from Prey”
The alarming disguise of a T-1000 policeman and a short creepy scene in which the character imitates Janelle Voight, John’s foster mom, show that the villain could impersonate another person when he needed it. Although he uses this skill to imitate shelter guard Lewis and then imitate Sarah Connor during the final battle, the T-1000 never thinks of taking the form of Arnie’s trusty T-800, and he doesn’t think of imitating Sarah earlier in the film when John was still more likely to fall for his tricks. By the time the T-1000 takes the form of Sarah near the finale of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, John is well aware of his abilities, whereas before he could easily be fooled.
Why did the Terminator’s T-1000 never take the form of a T-800
Admittedly, the ingenious dynamic coup in Terminator 2: Judgment Day turned Sarah Connor into an inveterate anti-heroine, so there’s a good chance John Connor wouldn’t have found someone claiming to be his mother a particularly comforting presence earlier in the film’s history. Similarly, the decision to emulate Janelle rather than John’s brash foster father made sense for the T-1000, and that disguise was only thwarted by the T-800’s quick thinking. However, the fact that the T-1000 never just takes the form of the T-800 when he knows that John trusts the old Terminator model is harder to justify.
John’s love for the T-850 grows as the story of Terminator 2: Judgment Day continues, and by the middle of the film, he trusts the character with his life. Although it was easy for John to recognize the impostor when it came to his mother and his foster mother, the character couldn’t tell the difference between a real T-800 and a T-1000 simulating a robot. So this is a strange oversight on the part of the cult villain Terminator 2: Judgment Day, who never takes the form of his rival in his attempts to track down John Connor.