6/7/13

SUPERMAN II - REVIEW


There's a reason why both Superman reboots, Superman Returns and Man Of Steel, have both referenced this sequel heavily. Several reasons, in fact.

For one: Superman III and Superman IV weren't very good.

Also...

Zod.

If there's one thing I never really enjoyed in those old Superman movies, it was Gene Hackman's goofball take on Lex Luthor. His wacky cartoon sidekicks and his lack of a genuinely threatening character always felt off to me. So when Zod and his pals showed up in Superman II and hijacked the movie, I was over the moon. Finally, we had some worthy villains for Superman to battle and on that level, the film didn't disappoint. Though good old Luthor still stuck around in a positively unnecessary subplot where you see him break out of prison and basically tell Zod where to go and what to do. It's funny to think that Hackman didn't even technically return for this movie (his scenes were originally shot by Richard Donner). Luckily, Terence Stamp's Zod is a really fun villain and single-handedly keeps an otherwise not-so-awesome movie together. I say "not-so-awesome" because, as entertaining as it is, a lot of plot-points could have used some heavy trimming or polishing up.

The whole thing about Superman intentionally losing his powers for Lois I just find to be a brainless thing for our hero to do and a selfish thing for Lois to let him do. Plus the fact that he gets his powers back so easily feels like a bit of a cop-out. So throughout this movie you've got a hero that's making constantly idiotic decisions (except for the whole reverse-power-removal machine thing at the end) and a heroine who just doesn't care that the world could have potentially lost its saviour. After all, what is the point of Clark Kent without Superman? Did he really not think that Lex Luthor would ever rise again or that something bad might ever happen to Metropolis? And isn't it easier to protect Lois as Superman than it is as... some guy with glasses? Oh, and the whole amnesia kiss thing is just... the cop-out to end all cop-outs. Then there's always the point that Superman could have just gone back in time like he did in the first movie and solved everything 5 minutes in.

Nitpicks?

Not really, all that stuff is like the film's entire plot!

With Richard Donner leaving the production and all the behind-the-scenes nonsense the film went through, it's no wonder it's as flawed as it is. Superman II is worth it for Zod and his evil henchmen: genuinely cool characters and far more convincing as Superman foes than Luthor, Otis and Eve Teschmacher. Anytime the disgraced Kryptonian baddies are on screen, the film just works. It's like a completely different person wrote their scenes and, you know what? That was probably the case.

While not quite as focused, epic and well crafted as Superman: The Movie, Superman II is just as fun. Accepting it as more of a live-action cartoon than anything else is somewhat necessary, though, because the plot-holes will give you nosebleeds.

No wonder Donner was pissed...

Whatever, problems or not, accept Zod as your new leader and, most importantly:

KNEEL!!!

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