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The M.O.W.'s Movie Reviews (333)

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Superman II 
For "Zod" sake, this is a good movie
3/4 stars

Years ago, on the planet of "Krypton", three master-criminals (Terrance Stamp, Sarah Douglas and Jack O'Halloran) were trapped and sentenced to the "Phantom Zone" for all eternity. Years later, on the planet Earth, one of the greatest criminals known, one "Lex Luthor" (Gene Hackman) escapes from prison with his dimwitted assistant "Otis" (Ned Beaty), whom eventually is left behind at the prison and is immediately captured by prison guards. "Luthor" and "Miss Teschmacher" (Valerie Perrine) go by a hot air balloon to the North Pole and discovers the "Fortress of Solitude", the secret base of "Superman" (Christopher Reeve).

Meanwhile, in Paris, France, "Lois Lane" is covering a hostage situation at the Eiffel Tower, and, like always, she gets herself in trouble. "Superman" swoops in from the sky and saves her, and she informs the "Man of Steel" that the hostage takers have a nuclear bomb. "Superman" then launches the elevator that the bomb is attached to into outer space and saves the day. However, when the bomb explodes, the energy wave it causes strikes the "Phantom Zone" releasing the three prisoners who first make it to the Earth's moon where they kill astronauts who are investigating the lunar surface. The three, "General Zod" (Stamp), "Ursa" (Douglas) and the mute "Non" (O'Halloran), make their way to Earth and eventually take over the White House in Washington, DC.

However, "Superman" has no clue of the escape of the criminals from his home planet, because he is starting a romance with "Lois Lane (Margot Kidder), who accidentally discovers that "Superman" and "Clark Kent" are actually the same person.

When he discovers that the three criminals are causing terror around the United States, it appears that he is unable for him to do anything. This is because he had his "abilities far beyond those of mortal men" which are powered by Earth's yellow sun have been removed so he can spend the rest of his life with "Lois".

The biggest problem with this movie is the two directors with totally different views of the movie. However, what we get is still a good film. Another problem is powers revealed in this movie. Why haven't we seen them in the first movie and the two later films? In my opinion, the only powers we should have seen are the ones that only appear in the original DC Comics publications.

Christopher Reeve does a much better performance as "Clark Kent" in this film. In my opinion, he made "Clark" way too wimpy in the first film. In this one, "Clark" is portrayed more campy. Kidder's performance is also slightly better in this film. Hackman appears more like one of the good guys in this film due to the fact of the performances of Stamp, Douglas and O'Halloran seemed even more evil than his version of "Luthor" was in the first film. I personally would have liked to have seen more of "Perry White" (Jackie Cooper) and "Jimmy Olsen" (Marc McClure) since they were fairly large roles in the comic books. Despite their length on screen, those in minor roles help advance the storyline.

On a visual stand point, there are many special effects which have not held up well over the years. For example, in the scenes in the hot air balloon, it is quite evident that Hackman and Perrine are in front of a blue screen. Also, a lot of the scenes where the "Kryptonians" use their super-strength is good, but it's very evident that what or who they are throwing are being guided by wires. Also, if you look quickly and closely, you can see that the "heat vision beams" do not quite match-up with the eyes they are suppose to be coming from.

Like I said earlier, the three super-villains are performed very well, especially "Zod" and "Ursa". "Non" is more of comic relief and "muscle" than anything else. "Lex Luthor" is more of a second-banana to these three, whom we never see or hear from again, and is not as evil.

The character development in this film is also good. The characters are expanded upon nicely, with exception of "White" and "Olsen", who have been relegated to minor characters. In fact, the characters are improved in this movie.

Despite the plot holes, which include how "Superman" gets his powers back specifically, Superman 2 is a good follow-up to Superman: The Movie.


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