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Superman is back again
To keep the world on track again.
He loves reporter Lois Lane,
Who loves the hero heaven-sent
But not her coworker Clark Kent,
Not knowing they’re one and the same.
Paris has a bombing threat
And soon owes Superman a debt.
He lets the bomb explode in space,
Unknowingly releasing three
Kryptonians from captivity,
Who plan to rule the human race.
At Niagara Falls, though, Lane
Believes Clark isn’t so mundane.
She learns that he is Superman;
For their love he then commits
To sap his powers; he just quits
Freely, with no backup plan.
Ursa, Non, and General Zod
Take the planet and play God.
When Clark learns of this too late,
He regains his mighty powers
To defend this world of ours
From the trio full of hate.
When he cannot beat all three,
There’s one place that he can flee.
But Lex Luthor tells the sinners
Where to find him, so they soar
To his Fortress to make war.
There they vie to be the winners.
Superman, through cleverness,
Makes the villains powerless
And each wicked rogue descends.
Lois though is still upset,
Such that Clark makes her forget,
And they’re once again just friends.
Thus with fanfare, this tale ends.

Superman was one of the great original superhero movies, and this sequel continued its winning blend of (then) impressive visuals, memorable villains, and melodramatic comic-ness. My VC and I have always felt that Christopher Reeve was Superman, easily outdoing Brandon Routh and Henry Cavill in embodying the character. Likewise, Gene Hackman excels as Lex Luthor, though Kevin Spacey came close to hitting the mark in Superman Returns while making the character much darker than Hackman’s portrayal. Margot Kidder may not be the Lois Lane, but she’s the best one I’ve seen and does pair well with Reeve. Lastly, the three villains, Ursa, Non, and General Zod, may be one-dimensionally villainous, but they are certainly formidable opponents for the man of steel.

I’ll go ahead and say that the first film is higher on my list, mainly because this second one has some elements that bother me. Aside from some silly effects, like clothes fluttering in the “breeze” of space, Superman himself is much less vigilant than he ought to be, letting both a nuclear threat in Paris and a worldwide extraterrestrial takeover slip past him. His removal of his powers (for the sake of “love”) may be romantic, but it also seems quite selfish and irresponsible on his part, as well as Lois Lane’s. The scene where he is beaten up in a diner confirmed the issue to me. In the first film, it was clear that Superman was pretending to be the nerdy Clark Kent; in Superman II, mainly in the middle part, it seems as if Clark Kent is pretending to be Superman and failing.

Nevertheless, it’s an enjoyable superhero film that may not have the spectacular effects of more recent movies (though some destructive scenes in the Metropolis battle are impressive), but the familiar characters, engaging plot, glorious score, and campy action come together to make it a classic. It’s also much better than its two sequels. I haven’t seen them, but my VC says don’t bother.

Best line (or at least the most laughable): (a Metropolis bystander, after they think Superman has been defeated by the invulnerable supervillains) “They’ve killed Superman! What are we gonna do now?” (another man) “Let’s go get ’em! C’mon, I know some judo.”

Artistry: 5
Characters/Actors: 8
Entertainment: 8
Visual Effects: 4
Originality: 7
Watchability: 8
TOTAL: 40 out of 60

Next: #217 – The Terminator

© 2014 S. G. Liput

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