Universal Studios revives Terminator

Campus Times
May 7, 1999


by Heather Baxter
Staff Writer

"Consider yourself warned," proclaimed Sarah Connor, as the final group of sneak peek Terminator 2: 3D Attraction participants prepared to enter Cyberdine's main auditorium.

Universal Studios Hollywood has scored a major coup as it reunited the main cast of the blockbuster movie "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," as well as director James Cameron, to create the newest interactive attraction at the theme park.

Not only does this activity feature a brand-new plot that picks up where the end of the movie left off, it expands on the special effects that were prevalent in the film.

A mixture of three-dimensional film and a live-action play on stage, Terminator 2: 3D reminds one almost of another Universal Studios attraction, Back to the Future: the Ride, as the participants are included in the attraction.

Audience members seats move as do those of actors both on and off the main screen do (including descending in an elevator, and shaking after a major explosion), the actors directly address the audience many times.

Upon entering the main gate to reach the line for the attraction, visitors have the opportunity to see several of the costumes that were actually worn during the filming of this new Terminator 2.

Also on display are several of the new weapons utilized in the attraction.

Visitors are encouraged to experience the fictitious Cyberdine company's newest technology: a pair of humanly-controlled cyborg arms.

The premise behind the Terminator 2: 3D attraction is that Cyberdine (the company in the Terminator 2 movie that was responsible for creating Skynet, the cyborg defense system that released nuclear weapons that destroyed the future world and was also responsible for sending back the Terminator to kill the Connors), is thrilled to introduce their newest pet project, Skynet.

Skynet is a program that relies on computers to control the United States' defensive reserves. Cyberdine says that by having computers control these things, human error is eliminated.

It is as the community relations officer for Cyberdine is introducing Skynet that Sarah Connor and her son, John, interrupt, telling everyone to "Get out, now!"

Cyberdine quickly covers up the interruption and escorts the participants into the auditorium, where they showcase the cyborgs that they proclaim are the newest wave of defensive soldiers.

It is at this point where participants are told to put on their 3D "safety visors," as the Connors overpower Cyberdine security guards. As an actor portraying Robert Patrick jumps out of the screen, the attraction truly begins.

Jumping from the Universal Studios portrayers and the actors on the screen, the illusion that only one set is actually there is created.

The three-dimensional special effects are extremely life-like, causing many viewers to reach out in front of them in an attempt to touch what is apparently two inches from their faces.

Perhaps the most intense action scene during the attraction is when the on-screen Arnold Schwarzenegger and the on-stage portrayer fight a giant, "liquid metal" arachnid that wants to kill both the Terminator and his young charge, John.

The Terminator is able to effectively dispatch this huge spider, but only after it terrifies the audience with razor-sharp edged legs inches away from participants eyes.

Utilizing much the same approach as he did to dispatch Patrick's evil Terminator-1000, the original Terminator freezes the arachnid and shatters him. Mist floats down on the audience, making the action that much more real for those watching.

Action-packed, frightening and exciting, this attraction should become the biggest draw for Universal Studios.

Terminator 2: 3D should attract die-hard fans and curious visitors alike. There is one warning that must be imparted though: "your pass gets you in, but you're on your own getting out!"

Universal Studios is located in Universal City. General Admission is $34 for adults.