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Superman II (1980)

Has the Man of Steel met his match?

Directed by:

Richard Lester / Richard Donner

Rating: 7/10

Running Time: 127 minutes

UK Certificate: PG

On DVD

Country: United Kingdom

Don’t put your feet up and have a kip just yet, Superman! Three badly-dressed Kryptonian crims have escaped their galactic prison and guess where they’re headed? No, not ‘Gap’ – you’re being too specific. Actually, it’s Earth.

So it’s up to Superman (Christopher Reeve) to save the world all over again – though this time it’s an altogether more hardy challenge. General Zod (Terence Stamp), Ursa (Sarah Douglas) and the other one (Jack O’Halloran) boast the same powers as Supey, only their intentions are a little less honourable. Zod, in particular, is one to keep your beady eyes on. He’s got an unhealthy obsession with seeing people kneel before him (someone should look into his childhood), and even manages to rope the President (E.G. Marshall) into it at one point.

Once again Margot Kidder is Lois Lane, though fans of the will-they-or-won’t-they premise may be disgruntled to hear of her and Superman eventually ending up sucking face. Also back again is Gene Hackman, carrying on his hilarious portrayal of arch-baddie Lex Luthor, but this time a tad under-used.

Inside wranglings between the producers and director Richard Donner caused jumbo problems on set, eventually leading to Richard Lester being brought in as replacement. Meanwhile, Marlon Brando’s parts had to be edited out thanks to a legal hitch. It all results in a lack of fluency in the production, some shabby direction and, worst of all, large chunks of the movie not making a great deal of sense thanks to the gratuitous editing.

So it’s left to the cast to produce the goods and, thankfully, they don’t let us down. Reeve, Kidder, Hackman and Stamp save this movie from nose-diving straight into the tripe category, and leave us with a witty, entertaining piece which pretty much equals its predecessor.

It's Got: A big, noisy climactic street battle for the Man of Steel to get to grips with.

It Needs: Superman III and IV to join the first two on DVD.

DVD Extras Just a trailer – disappointing considering deleted scenes and a ‘making of’ documentary DO exist somewhere out there. There’s more info on those left-out scenes here. DVD Extras Rating: 1/10

Alternatives:

Superman, Superman III, Superman IV: The Quest For Peace

Summary

Inconsistent and poorly put together, but still extremely watchable thanks to the talent on show in front of the camera.

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