Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut

One line review: A film that once again suffers from over an hour of plot holes and stupidity before finally getting to some decent superhero action.

Movie Title: Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut

Actors: Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve, Marlon Brando, Ned Beatty, Jackie Cooper, Sarah Douglas, Margot Kidder, Jack O’Halloran, Valerie Perrine, Clifton James, E.G. Marshall, Marc McClure, Terence Stamp

Director: Richard Donner

Year:[Superman II] 1980 / [Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut] 2006

Genre: Action / Adventure

Method of Viewing: DVD

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: [Superman II] 87% – The humor occasionally stumbles into slapstick territory, and the special effects are dated, but Superman II meets, if not exceeds, the standard set by its predecessor.

[Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut] 83% – This version of Superman II is a triumph of intention, sending the imagination soaring again over this new angle on a very old question mark.

My rating: **

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): I simply can’t understand why either of the two Superman movies I saw are considered so good. If this is considered good I can only dread what the sequels would hold in store for me. There are enough plot holes in this movie to make my mind melt, there are enough stupid actions by characters to make me wish I could smack each and every one of them up side the head. I’m now convinced that there is no live action movie that truly captures Superman, they seem too busy trying to make Superman a comedy rather than an action movie.

I may as well list off all of the different plot holes that infuriated me.

We can start with General Zod. I could start by complaining that Zod was able to breathe in space, talk in space, and fly in space, however, considering that Superman’s powers himself seem to defy physics, I won’t push this too far. They land on Earth, and after walking on water for some reason (even though they can just fly over it, why not pull off such a silly trick?) they come across a snake. The snake bites the woman, it hurts her, so she decides to laser eye beam it. We can start by complaining about why you would even try glaring at a snake after it bites you when you could just snap it in half, then we can move on to wondering how the hell a snake can penetrate the skin of a Kryptonian on Earth. Even if you somehow argue that she hadn’t developed that power yet, she flew through the atmosphere without even her clothes burning up and then one of the Kryptonians shoots themselves with a shotgun just a few moments later. Oh yes, and speaking of that shotgun, they heated up the metal part of a shotgun with a wooden handle (yet the handle glowed red), then somehow made the gun float towards them (despite the fact that Superman has never held such a power). Wonderful.

We can move on to Lex Luthor, who uses a damn hot air balloon to get out of prison (whatever). He then decides to go after Superman’s hiding spot. After simply being told that he is occasionally seen flying North, Lex Luthor assumes that he has a base in the North Pole. Now normally a trip to the North Pole would take a team of trained experts weeks of training, harsh travel, and expensive equipment. Lex Luthor and his assistant do it in two days on a snowmobile. Somehow Lex finds this tiny base in the middle of a winter wasteland with no idea where it is or what it looks like. He’s able to enter very easily (you would think Superman would at least make sure the only entrance could be reached by flying), and is also able to activate Superman’s crystals. We then find out that Krypton was an absolutely perfect paradise without only three criminals ever existing. Isn’t it amazing that Krypton has never had any criminals other than these? Why do they even need a justice system if everything is so perfect?

Superman and Lois are having an even stupider time together. Lois finally figure out that Clark Kent is Superman, and takes the most logical path of confirming this BY THROWING HERSELF OUT A WINDOW! I hope everyone in Metropolis is this smart, so that people everywhere are randomly flinging themselves out windows. Natural Selection at work. Superman dodges this reveal attempt, but later Lois PULLS A FREAKING GUN ON HIM! Now we’re talking about reverse Natural Selection, as the dumb are killing the possibly smart. However, Lois only fires a blank, but Superman accidentally thinks he’s been shot……… How? How the hell does Superman, the guy who’s faster than a bullet, mistake a bullet for a blank? He’s SUPERMAN! He could watch that bullet slowly approach him, he could probably hear the sound of the gun was different than it should be. He’s SUPERMAN! He got tricked by a fake bullet? HE’S SUPERMAN DAMNIT! Well now that all is revealed, Superman takes Lois to his fortress, Super-bangs her, then has all of his powers removed. For some reason they have a car waiting in the fortress, and they just DRIVE from the North Pole to some gas station. Once Superman figures out he’s super useless without his powers, he decides to WALK BACK TO THE NORTH POLE! He doesn’t even have proper winter gear and he just WALKS BACK TO HIS HIDDEN FORTRESS. IF THE DAMN THING IS IN WALKING DISTANCE, HOW HAS NO ONE ELSE FOUND IT.

While there are other stupid things in this movie, I’ll let it go as I wanted to mention one last thing. Once all of this stupid plot is out of the way, this movie actually has a few moments of an enjoyable superhero movie. A fantastic fight scene in the city, the hero pulling off one last trick to save the day. That’s all great, it’s just unfortunate that it took an hour to get to that spot. I realize it’s necessary to suspend disbelief in superhero movies, and I’m more than willing to do that to an extent. Still, when I’m bored out of my mind for an hour, it’s inevitable that I won’t be able to focus on anything other than the glaring stupidities. I simply didn’t enjoy the majority of this movie, or the first Superman movie. I can only imagine how much worse it got, and I will only be imagining as I have no intentions of watching Superman 3 or 4.


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