Without James Cameron, who wrote and directed the first two Terminator movies, this long-awaited sequel seems content to reprise the elements that made Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) an international blockbuster; as a result it's less about the characters than about the first two movies, whose best scenes it congeals into ritual or parody. Nick Stahl replaces Edward Furlong as John Connor, who's destined to save humanity from totalitarian computers, and Arnold Schwarzenegger returns as the T-101, a cyborg sent back from postapocalyptic 2029 to protect Connor from a robotic assassin (ice goddess Kristanna Loken). With a reported budget of $178 million, this is one of the most expensive movies ever made, though its most extravagant spectacle (a truck-mounted crane rakes through an office building's glass facade) is no match for Schwarzenegger's monotone line readings (told to drop dead, he responds, “I'm unable to comply”). Jonathan Mostow directed. 109 min.