Superman II (2006) - Rotten Tomatoes

Superman II (2006)

Superman II




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Reconstructed using archival film and sound elements long thought to be extinct, this special cut of Superman II pieces together unseen footage shot by Richard Donner in order to present the most comprehensive version of what was to be the original cut of the blockbuster sequel. As initially planned, the first two films were to be filmed back-to-back using the same sets and actors to save on production costs. However, with a budget escalating out of control and Warner Bros. breathing down the producers' necks, the decision was made to drop any further filming on the sequel in order to finish the first movie and usher it into theaters. Of course, the first Superman was a wild success, so then it was just a matter of ramping up production again, though this time, Donner was not asked back. Instead, producers went with Richard Lester, who had served them well with his Three Musketeers films. Decisions were made to drop most of the key scenes that were already in the can, including all of the footage featuring Marlon Brando as Jor-El, the Man of Steel's father. After completion, the sequel found much success in theatrical and home-video box-office returns, though that didn't stop die-hard fans from speculating what Donner's cut would have looked like. Once the Internet was spawned, Warner Bros. saw interest grow more and more for this alternate version, even prompting the company to send cease and desist letters to individuals who had posted a re-edit of the film using deleted footage taken from an alternate TV version from the U.K. With the release of Superman Returns, the company saw this as a chance to finally deliver what people had wanted for years and enlisted Michael Thau to oversee the restoration process. Under the tutelage of Donner's notes, scripts, storyboards, and the director himself, the new version was delivered to home audiences in 2006, thereby not only giving people a look into what could have been, but giving a director an unprecedented chance to realize a vision long thought lost in the annals of movie history.more
Rating: PG (sequences of action violence, some language, and brief mild sensuality)
Genre: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By: ,
Written By: Mario Puzo, David Newman, Leslie Newman
In Theaters:
On DVD: Nov 28, 2006


Christopher Reeve
as Clark Kent/Superman
Gene Hackman
as Lex Luthor
Margot Kidder
as Lois Lane
Jackie Cooper
as Perry White
Valerie Perrine
as Eve Teschmacher
E.G. Marshall
as The President
Marc McClure
as Jimmy Olsen
Terence Stamp
as Gen. Zod
Roger Kemp
as Spokesman
Roger Brierley
as Terrorist
Anthony Milner
as Terrorist
Alain DeHay
as Gendarme
Marc Boyle
as CRS Man
Alan Stuart
as Cab Driver
Shane Rimmer
as Controller
Antony Sher
as Bellboy
John Hollis
as Krypton Elder
Gordon Rollings
as Fisherman
Hal Galili
as Man at Bar
Don Fellows
as General
Michael J. Shannon
as President's Aide
Tony Sibbald
as Presidential Imposto...
Tommy Duggan
as Diner Owner
Eugene Lipinski
as News Vendor
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Superman II

Critic Reviews for Superman II

All Critics (10)

This edit primarily contains restored footage of Marlon Brando as Jor-El, but given its erratic pacing and occasional lulls, I still prefer the version shown in theaters back in '81.

Full Review… | June 13, 2013
Creative Loafing

The fascinating curiosity that's worth watching, but the theatrical edition remains the more defining take on 'Superman's' sequel.

Full Review… | June 8, 2013
Lyles' Movie Files

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.

Full Review… | December 7, 2006

It's pretty darn nice - provided you can keep it in your head that this is a rough sketch of a movie and not a final, perfect version.

Full Review… | December 4, 2006

Is it a better film? Not particularly -- it's a different film, and an interesting film.

Full Review… | November 30, 2006
Combustible Celluloid

Like so many other director's cuts, it is finally more of an appendix than a complete work: they really did just fine the first time around.

Full Review… | November 26, 2006
Flipside Movie Emporium

Audience Reviews for Superman II


Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut is a very entertaining picture as director Richard Donner originally intended. Now I never really was into Superman, and this is the version that I have seen instead of the theatrical release of Superman II. Picking up where the first one left off, Christopher Reeve adorns the cape yet again and delivers another great performance as Clark Kent/Superman. This is a well crafted action film that is entertaining from start to finish. I really liked the Richard Donner cut, and in general I liked director's cuts because I feel that it reflects a director's vision on how they envisioned the film to turn out. Fans will surely enjoy this follow up to Richard Donner's classic. The film boasts a great cast who are wonderful on-screen. This is a very good sequel that does a great job at delivering the thrills that made the first one so good. Christopher Reeve is great here and he is matched by Terrence Stamp, who plays a very good villain as well. The film does have its flaws, but is still far better than most sequels. The cast are what makes this one worth seeing and with a great plot as well, it is sure to keep you entertained from start to finish. Now, I have yet to see the theatrical version, but for what it is, The Richard Donner cut is great and a must see for superhero fans. Add to that some great special effects that though slightly dated, still look wonderful nonetheless and look better than most movies that use effects. Richard Donner delivers a very exciting follow up and though not on the caliber of the first, is still a great film in its own right.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer


Just as good as the original, if not better yet. More action, more fun and more interesting villains. Special effects-wise, it's awfully dated, but I didn't really mind that much, as the entertainment level is kept at a constant high. The only part that bugs me a bit is the one where the bad guys fly around in that flat square thingy in space. It just looks so tacky and ridiculous, that you might as well be watching an Ed Wood movie. Or the eye-roll-inducing fact that Lois Lane is the only one who notices the obvious resemblance between Clark Kent and Superman - and it took her a whole movie, plus who knows how many encounters with him, before it finally dawned upon her. Personally, I prefer more realistic superhero films like Christopher Nolan's two masterpieces, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, but this well-made sequel does have it charms as well. One thing that will never get old, is the beautifully orchestrated music by the one-and-only John Williams. Nor Christopher Reeve's iconic performance, which shall always be remembered. Although I doubt anyone will ever nail the role as perfectly as he did, I'm glad though that the saga lives on through other creative film-makers. Next up we have Zack Snyder's Man of Steel to look forward to, which has every potential to be a winner. That is, assuming he doesn't let us down again with another Sucker Punch to our faces. Either way, I'll definitely be getting my ticket.

Mike S

Super Reviewer

Director Richard Donner's version cut made me little confused, rough around a couple of edges and didn't make sense in the story as well as I really like the original theatrical version than this one. I see the battle scenes are a mess, with no geography between cuts. It's just random action. Aside from having a disjointed feel to it, the dialog was actually more campy in many places, sometimes bordering on silly. The evolution of the Lois Lane/Superman romance is less well-developed (one of the strengths of the original Superman II) and the ending was particularly unsatisfying.
I found out why Donner was bringing scenes re-filmed because of Marlon Brando as Jol-El, Superman's father, was deleted in the theatrical version, I was surprised.

Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

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