Three Villians, Two directors, One amazing Superman film. The action is amazing. The characters are beyond iconic, and movie was a blast to sit through. Definitely recommend watching it again.
This film is very controversial. Mainly because "Superman" and "Superman 2" were both being shot at the same time. When production fell behind schedule Richard Donner stop filming the scenes for "Superman II" and concentrated on filming the scenes for "Superman 1". When Donner was ready to finish work on "Superman II" he was fired. Now why he was fired is up for grabs. Truth be told everything with Gene Hackman is "His Footage". Richard Lester ended up being the director of record for "Superman II". The 1981 film is still a good film. 25 years later Warner Brothers released "Superman II" the Richard Donner cut and it is good but the restored International Cut is actually the best cut of the film. It re-incorporated many scenes that were shot by Richard Donner. In fact the balcony scene in the international cut is much better than the scene that Donner used in his cut. Both scenes however were shot by him. In this film the three villain from Krypton have now found there way to earth and they are taking over the world with a little help from Lex Luther. At the same time Lois Lane is out to find out if Clark is really "Superman". This film has more action than the first film but it doesn't have the heart but its not meant too. Its meant to be an action adventure film and succeeds. THis version (RESTORED INTERNATIONAL CUT) is not available to buy but you can download it. I just wish the Richard Donner would have used more of the Lester Footage to so his cut did not seem so jumpy. Trust me must comic book films today are terrible when compared to "Superman" and "Superman II"
Aside from its clashing tones and mismatched narrative elements, Richard Lester's "Superman II" is a solidly entertaining, nearly great superhero film. Its flaws may be writ large across the screen, but, thanks to an appealing leading man and some engaging notes of darkness, the action film manages to stand-out.A sequel to Richard Donner's "Superman," "Superman II" finds Christopher Reeve's man of steel squaring off against three criminals from his homeworld. This would be plot enough, but the narrative also includes the return of Gene Hackman's Lex Luthor and a subplot where Clark Kent rids himself of his immortality in order to be with Margot Kidder's Lois Lane.Less overstuffed than it is disjunct, the story rarely feels cohesive. Plot elements seem at odds with one another, never fitting into place with the next. More importantly, the tone ranges from goofy to dark with little effort made to make the different tones layer seamlessly. Fortunately, the story elements and tonal shades that do work overshadow those that do not.The sequel is a fitting complement to Donner's first film. It is a colorful, energetic work that boasts a now-iconic cast in Reeve and Terence Stamp. Action beats are strong when they do not turn to silliness, and, despite a certain cheapness that permeates some scenes, effects work is rousing. It is a grand, sometimes goofy superhero opera.A clear case of the final product being more impressive that its separate parts, "Superman II" makes for an impactful spectacle. At its best when it is its darkest, those more textured beats may be fleeting; but they are memorable, and those moments of thematic and cinematic urgency elevate the entire exiting action affair.
Due to the complex and troubled production behind Superman II it seems more likely for it to have been a disaster of a film, yet despite of this I consider Superman II to be the perfect Superman film. While I enjoy the first film, I find Superman II improves on it in so many ways, delivering a more emotionally satisfying film. A rare instance of the perfect combination of cast and crew coming together to create something wonderful. I do feel on the whole Richard Lester is a better director than Richard Donner and after seeing Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut I thought to myself "thank God Donner was fired from this production". The romance between Lois and Clark is very forced and underdeveloped; there is a lack of humor, and no exaggeration, one of the absolute worst endings I've ever seen. I'll stick with the Richard Lester version.The actors of all the Christopher Reeve era Superman films have such a great dynamic together that even in a movie as poor as Superman IV I can still enjoy their interactions. Especially the scenes in the Daily Planet offices are have such energy to them and even containing a bit of that His Girl Friday feeling to them with Christopher Reeve having a bit of that Cary Grant to his acting DNA; plus you know an actor is perfect for a role when I find myself accidentally referring to the actor as Clark Kent and not Christopher Reeve. But if there's anyone who steals the show its Terrance Stamp as General Zod. One of those performances which bring me eternal levels of respect to an actor. Every one of his beautiful, hammed up, menacing lines I could listen to all day. The wonderfully kitsch special effects of Superman II just get better with age; give me these charmingly fake effects over eye sore CGI any day (ok I'll try and avoid a CGI rant). Likewise the 3rd Rock From the Sun type humor such as Zod and his minions mistaking Earth's name as planet Houston to the visual comedy (Zod walking on water) has some big laughs (as well as that humorous use of product placement during a fight scene for Marlboro Cigarettes and then Coca Cola only a few seconds later amuses me).Many people will say Superman is a boring superhero, what tosh! A guy who makes the world a better place for others who can't enjoy his own life and has to work with the woman he's madly in love with, but can't profess it to her. If that's that tragic then I don't know what is. Speaking of romance, that is perhaps my favourite aspect of Superman II; the romance between Lois and Clark is perfect. I so badly wanted to see these two get together, two down to earth souls who are too perfect for each other. Margot Kidder's voice is so emotive and she has that Margaret Sullavan like quality to her. At the film's most intense romantic moments her tearful pleas kill me.