Picking up where "Superman: The Movie" left off, three criminals, General Zod (Terence Stamp), Ursa, (Sarah Douglas), and Non (Jack O'Halloran) from the planet Krypton are released from the Phantom Zone by a nuclear explosion in space. They descend upon Earth where they could finally rule. Superman, meanwhile, is in love with Lois Lane (Margot Kidder), who finds out who he really is. Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman) escapes from prison and is determined to destroy Superman by joining forces with the three criminals. Written by
Keith Howley <firstname.lastname@example.org>
After the rushing into pre-production of Superman, Superman II footage remained in vaults in Pinewood Studios for the time being. This was where the cast and crew were supposed to pick up filming of Superman II in early February of 1979. However a new order was called in by producer Ilya Salkind. A new director to be exact, and that was the dellima of Superman II. In 1977-78, Richard Donner shot a near estimate of 80 % of Superman II simultaneously with Superman, but that is not the point. The point is that his version was a much more subtle version, which followed the characters emotions from the blockbuster first film, and had an exciting plot of Lois and Superman falling in love, villains killing earth beings, and Superman almost having to risk it all for the world...or the woman he loves! But when director Richard Lester came in to do reshoots and shoot all new scenes, he had a different vision in mind. His version was simple. Make the villains look like dumb butts, while Lois and Superman enjoy an unequal relationship where Lois is given the back seat treatment to mediocre looks and a Superman that would rather make the metropolis people laugh than save the world! As that is what so wrongly happens, we shall go over the facts. Superman and Lois are supposed to have the kind of love that EVERY American dreams of having. Donner insured this in never seen love scenes which would have garnered the film an R-rating. Lester's love scenes are cheap and tacky with hilarious dialogue and no wit to back it up. The villains scenes in the Donner version are cruel, ruthless, and downright evil. In Lester's scenes, the villains pronounce names wrong, look at eachother in stupidity, and act like imbeciles. The film had a good premise going for it: Superman has just saved the world from nuclear destruction and then the villains arrive and start destruction. Meanwhile, Lois and Superman fall in love. That was still the plot, but the myth and mystique which made the original film such a classic are nowhere to be seen here. Instead we get NASA jerks talking about a "curl" in space! Lester was really trashing the mythology with this peice of junk. America had thought that the second Superman film would be a film that they would remember. No such luck as one would have guessed. The film is basically two unfinished films sloppily put together in this turkey! Superman II is NOT without interest. In fact, alot of the scenes are fun to watch because of the action sequences. But it is true what others say, that it seems like Lester was trying at a Beatles/Superman film. Clumsy comedy and stupid chaos ensues as the villains blow through metropolis. Another thing that gets on this writer's nerves is when the townspeople are rooting for Superman in the battle sequence! This villains are trying to kill these people and what do they do? They don't run in fear as they should, but root for Superman when he beats the villains up, calling out rediculous dialogue such as "C'mon! Get 'em Superman!" as if they are present at a high school football match! Too much stupid writing and directing. I will always have respect for Superman II because the whole Superman series has been a part of my better memories in life for a long time. We have yet to see if the true version of Superman will ever be released on DVD, in the form of the Richard Donner cut, as so many fans like to call it. IT is really Ilya Salkinds cut, as he has the contract to the rights of ALL the films(including Supergirl) and their footage. All in all, Superman II fails on a lot of top levels but has the interest for lower levels. Only if Richard Donner's version gets released, will we as an audience and appreciative film viewers get the true experience of Superman II: The Adventure Continues!
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