James Cameron created the best sci-fi sequel in cinematic history with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Despite a meticulous process and millions spent in the making of the film, Cameron made some human errors in the final product. While he corrected certain errors that had bothered him for years in the 2017 re-release, he missed one major flaw in the re-release as well.
In the scene in question, T-1000, played by Robert Patrick, finds a quicker transport, a helicopter, to chase down T-800 and John Connor. He smashes open the front windshield, but the helicopter appears undamaged in the next shot seconds later.
James Cameron Missed A Major Flaw In Terminator 2
The destruction of the helicopter’s windshield is a cool scene in the movie for Robert Patrick’s killer machine. T-1000 jumps off a building on a bike onto the helicopter, delivering a powerful headbutt to shatter the windshield. However, in the next shot where he pursues Arnold Schwarzenegger’s T-800 and John Connor, the damage magically reverses.
While a similar mistake in the film had irked James Cameron for years, this continuity error somehow evaded his eyes. Interestingly, when Cameron re-released Terminator 2: Judgment Day in 2017, he corrected a major flaw in the scene where the T-1000 drives a tow truck off the bridge, landing behind John Connor.
In the original cut, the impact of the collision breaks the windshield of the truck, but it mysteriously reappears in the next scene, just like the helicopter scene. The Avatar director digitally reintroduced the windshield damage into the scene. He also addressed another minor mistake where Schwarzenegger’s stunt double was visible in many shots. Cameron digitally added the FUBAR actor’s head into such scenes.
It is unclear why the Titanic director did not notice the self-repairing helicopter. Terminator 2 was the film that changed Hollywood’s CGI game forever. However, Cameron earlier revealed that the film struck a balance between practical scenes and visual effects, using CGI sparingly. For instance, he confirmed that the helicopter flying in the scene was a real one.
James Cameron Overlooking The Flaw In 1991 Was Understandable
The continuity errors in the final product did not hamper the viewing experience of the audience. While the film boasted the finest use of CGI, little did audiences know about the extensive effort that went into all the special effects. Four companies were involved in the film’s special effects, with Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) handling the CGI in the film.
According to ILM, the film contained 47 computer-generated shots, and every five seconds of a CGI shot required approximately eight weeks of work from the company. A team of 35 individuals at ILM was required to create five minutes of T-1000’s appearance on screen. ILM also revealed that 15 seconds of footage took up to 10 days to complete rendering.
The production costs of the film were exceedingly high for Carolco Pictures, and the studio risked bankruptcy if the film hadn’t been a success. Considering the intense pressure of production at the time, James Cameron’s continuity errors can be deemed justifiable.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day is now available for streaming on Paramount+.