June 04, 2013

Superman II

Three criminals sentenced to eternal imprisonment by Jorel (Superman's real father) are inadvertently released from their confinement. They eventually make their way to Earth, where they have the same powers as Superman (Christopher Reeve). Superman II (1980) isn't as exciting or as fun as its predecessor, but the villains are entertaining, particularly Sarah Douglas as Ursa, who of the three bad guys is the most amused by her new-found strength. As General Zod, Terence Stamp looks a bit too ridiculous in that costume with the black, shiny boots and the V-neck, like he just walked out of an altogether different kind of movie. Gene Hackman gives the film some levity as Lex Luthor, although without his bumbling assistant Otis (Ned Beatty, who has little more than a cameo), he doesn't have anyone to make fun of. The director, Richard Lester, is constantly thinking of ways to make light of the situation, but the humor doesn't lift the film out of its funk for long. The film suffers from being too heavy-handed at times. And it's hard to believe anyone could beat Christopher Reeve up, as tall and large as he is, even after he briefly gives up his Superman powers to be with Lois Lane. Still, there are some entertaining scenes, such as Clark Kent trying to rescue Lois at Niagara Falls, and the three villains turning Metropolis (a.k.a. New York City) into a playground for their own amusement. With Margot Kidder, Jackie Cooper, Susannah York, Jack O'Halloran, Marc McClure, E.G. Marshall as the President, and Valerie Perrine. 127 min. ½

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