TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY dazzled its global audience with astonishing special effects and re-confirmed Arnold Schwarzenegger's mega-star status. Trend-setting visuals compensate for a plot that lacks the imagination and edge of the 1984 original. In a future, war-ravaged L.A., human rebels led by an adult John Connor (Michael Edwards) do battle with silvery, skeletal robots. Two "intelligent machines" have been dispatched to the past, one to protect the young Connor, the other to kill him. On late 20th-century Earth, young John Connor (Edward Furlong) finds himself pursued by two androids. The one who would be his guardian (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a replica of the Terminator model T-800 which dominated the original film; the other is a newer model, the T-1000 (Robert Patrick), which takes on the appearance of a young policeman--the first human it dispatches after arriving on Earth. The "bad" Terminator is able to assume the exact shape and appearance of anything with which it comes into contact. Now convinced that androids from the future really do exist, John realizes that his mother, Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), is far from crazy. (Sarah's belief in killer robots has had her detained in Pescadero State Hospital.) Now the boy and his Terminator must somehow free Sarah, destroy the T-1000, and prevent an impending nuclear apocalypse. Though Arnold Schwarzenegger is the nominal star of TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY, the show is stolen by extraordinary special effects, particularly the "morphing" in which the liquid metal T-1000 transforms itself into a multitude of organic and inorganic forms. On a dramatic level, the film is less satisfactory. Like an increasing number of big-budget extravaganzas, it bears all the hallmarks of having been created by a demography-minded committee. Thus the violence is offset by a more user-friendly Schwarzenegger, who is forbidden to kill anyone. Meanwhile, Linda Hamilton is given a lot of New Age, motherly things to say; nevertheless, her muscle-bound, gun-toting persona is refreshing. Flaws aside, TERMINATOR 2 is an enjoyable, often exhilarating piece of filmmaking, with a wry sense of humor to boot.