Superman II (1981)
Critic Consensus: 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.
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as Lex Luthor
as Clark Kent/Superman
as Lois Lane
as The President
as Gen. Zod
as Eve Teschmacher
as Jimmy Olsen
as News Vendor
as Perry White
as Diner Owner
as Man at Bar
as President's Aide
as Presidential Impostor
as Football Fan (uncredited)
as Krypton Elder
as Cab Driver
as CRS Man
News & Interviews for Superman II
Critic Reviews for Superman II
Let's face it, times change, and Superman and friend have sweetly embraced the spirit of the '80s as well as each other.
A solid, classy, cannily constructed piece of entertainment which gets down to action almost immediately.
The combination of Richard Donner's superb original casting and visual attack with Lester's wit and his ear for sound proves a pretty formidable alliance.
Superman II is a marvelous toy.
Audience Reviews for Superman II
It may not set an new standards in this series, especially because it's almost impossible to live up to the amazement that the original film brought to the table, but "Superman 2" exceeds in many more ways than one, embracing it's cheese and creating awesome action scenes, even if the extras become a bit distracting and the effects laughable. The effects are definitely dated, but the story is stronger than ever. As seen at the beginning of the first film, Zod and his sidekicks have been locked up in the phantom zone, only awaiting their accidental release in this film, making them the main focus as Kal-El/Superman faces real-life issues. I loved everything about this film, but it is just hard to praise it as much as the first, because I wanted to see just a little more of everything. Still, it's a fantastic superhero film that I can watch over and over again!
**** "Superman 2" is one off those sequels that does a lot of the same as the first one, but changes it up enough to actually be better. Here, everyone is back, only the villain is General Zod(Terrance Stamp) along with his 2 sidekicks, who have escaped their exile, and come to Earth to rule. Once here, they meet with Lex Luther(Gene Hackman) and learn that Jor-El's son, Superman(Christopher Reeve) is living on Earth. It then becomes their mission to destroy Superman and make him kneel, while ruling the world. There is a lot more action in this one that the first(and the 3 and 4th), and although the ending is one big rehash, it's very entertaining and keeps at a good pace. The version I watched is the Richard Donner cut released from 2006. I don't remember much from the original theatrical version, so I'd have to rewatch it sometime before I can say what's different, but this version works fine. Reeve was an awesome Superman, and just as awesome as he was, Stamp was amazing as Zod. For a guy dressed like a dominatrix, he was a perfect villain. The film runs a little long, and obviously looks dated, but it holds up better than the other 2 sequels by far. Actually, I would say this is the best of the Reeve's Superman movies. If your gonna revisit any of them before the new one, this is the one to check out. If anything, to compare the Zod performances.
Replacing Donner halfway through production, Richard Lester's (A Hard Day's Night) campy slapstick tone severely clashes with the serious tone of the Donner-filmed scenes. General Zod makes for an entertaining foe but too much of the story is taken up by the time-killer sub-plot involving Lois discovering Clark's secret identity. The narrative puts the Last Son of Krypton through the dilemma of losing his powers but due to its inexplicable anti-climactic resolution and the infamous memory-wipe kiss; any dramatic potential or intriguing story opportunities are wasted. Thankfully the special effects and still fantastic-as-ever cast elevate this flick. With the exception of the moon sequence, the special effects are very creative and delightful to watch. Seeing the powerful trio of Kryptonian criminals effortlessly destroy buildings (White House and Daily Planet sequence) is extremely fun to watch and perfectly conveys that Zod is very much Superman's equal in strength. The Metropolis wind-tunnel sequence has some impressive special effects work also but the forced sight gags and jokes undercut the dramatic tension. Terence Stamp's turn as the rogue General Zod is very memorable due to his cold-calculating nature and subtle arrogance. Stamp shouting "Kneel before Zod!" is a very memorable line. It is a shame that the story is so ridden with jarring tonal inconsistencies, lame slapstick, cheap gags, and wasted opportunities. 'Superman II' shows signs that the franchise was already descending into the realms of self-parody that will only get worse in the ensuing two sequels.
Superman II Quotes
|Clark Kent/Superman:||General, would you care to step outside?|
|Lex Luthor:||Superman, thank god. I mean...GET HIM!|
|Gen. Zod:||Come to me, son of Jor-El! KNEEL before Zod!|
|Gen. Zod:||Kneel Before ZOD!|
|Gen. Zod:||Why do you say this to me, when you know that I will kill you for it?|
|Gen. Zod:||[as somebody pulls a gun on him] These humans are beginning to bore me.|