Superman returns to Earth after spending five years in space examining his homeworld Krypton. But he finds things have changed while he was gone, and he must once again prove himself important to the world.
Batman must battle former district attorney Harvey Dent, who is now Two-Face and Edward Nygma, The Riddler with help from an amorous psychologist and a young circus acrobat who becomes his sidekick, Robin.
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 <email@example.com>
On August 1, 1981, a television spot for the film was the first commercial ever aired on MTV. See more »
When Zod, Ursa, and Non land on Earth for the first time, Zod walks on water. In the wide-angle shot, when he walks from the middle of the lake to the shore, the outline of a board or platform is visible just under the water. See more »
Alert, alert, alert.
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Opening credits incorporate an extensive amount of footage from the first Superman movie. See more »
The ABC television version originally contained 17 minutes of footage that had been cut from the theatrical release, much of it remnants of Richard Donner's scenes he originally shot before 'Richard Lester' became director, while others are alternate scenes involving Lex Luthor in prison and the Fortress of Solitude. Also, the network version has an alternate ending where Lex Luthor is arrested and taken away by the Arctic Police (and, if you look closely, the three Phantom Zone villains are also arrested and taken away!), thus explaining Luthor's appearance in "Superman IV".
At the end of the film Clark Kent bumps into a large bald guy, which reminds him to go to the diner to face the obnoxious trucker who beat him up earlier
Superman destroys his Fortress of Solitude.
The Phantom Zone villains land outside the Fortress of Solitude with Lex Luthor and Lois Lane, trying to figure out how to get in!
Extended scenes of the three Kryptonians invasion of the White House, with Zod using a gun and Non frightening a dog.
Superman cooks souffle using his heat vision, during dinner with Lois.
Extended discussion between Zod and Ursa on the moon.
The three Kryptonian villains are arrested in the TV version.
It's really a shame that those jerks the Salkinds fired Richard Donner after he made the first Superman movie into a smash hit. For one thing, the 2nd one could have and would have been better with Donner still at the helm and, quite possibly, "Superman III" and "Supergirl" may not have sucked. The only thing in the movie that Richard Lester really deserves any credit for is directing the 12 minute fight in Metropolis between Superman, General Zod, Non and Ursa. That scene is still fun to watch, even with today's overblown CGI.
Well, #2 is the love story entry in the series as Lois Lane discovers that Superman and Clark Kent are the same guy and she lets him know about her infatuation with him. They go steady in his Fortress of Solitude, he gives up his powers so he can live a normal life with her (which the comic book Superman WOULD NEVER DO) then he has to get them restored after he finds out that the villains General Zod, Ursa and Non are raising hell and taking over the planet. Lex Luther is also back for the 2nd go around.
People keep complaining that the film doesn't explain how Superman got his powers restored. Well, I have an old copy of an ABC Sunday night showing of "Superman II" and, mind you I still haven't bought the DVD, the TV showing implied that Superman used the green crystal - the same one that started off his awakening in the first movie and built the Fortress of Solitude - to restore his powers. And according to an interview I read with Richard Donner, the whole idea was that Superman restored his powers by draining all the crystals in his Fortress of Solitude and lost the ability to contact the ghosts of his parents in the process. Another plot hole I can't get over is how Superman ever fell for the Margot Kidder version of Lois Lane - she's an illiterate, chain smoking scatter brain! Gene Hackman still gives the worst performance of his career as Lex Luther, but hey, it's Gene!
Legend has it that Hackman refused to do "Superman III" because he was outraged over the way the Salkinds had treated Richard Donner.
Christopher Reeve is still a good Superman though, and here he actually has a real threat in the form of cold blooded Terence Stamp as General Zod, who is helped by Jack O'Halloran's mute hulk Non and Sarah Douglas's misanthropic Ursa (she later played the evil queen in "Conan the Destroyer"). And as mentioned above, the fight between Superman and Zod's trio is a knock out. Don't miss Christopher Reeve/Superman throwing Terence Stamp/Zod into the giant neon Coke sign!
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