Note: This review will be covering the original, theatrical cut of the film directed primarily by Richard Lester.
Superman 2 is less of a sequel and more of a “Part 2,” directly continuing threads woven in the original, despite production problems and being arguably inferior to the first.
Once again, the relationship between Clark & Lois takes a good portion of the spotlight, and the plot receives organic development in the form of Lois discovering Clark to be Superman. The plot develops even further when Clark opts to use the Fortress Of Solitude’s technology to remove his powers in favor of a normal life with Lois, only to find life as a human is far different than what he has experienced all his life. As Superman losing his powers is inevitably temporary, the quick resolution to this arc is forgivable. Clark somehow mind wiping Lois to forget his identity via a kiss and this reverse all the development their relationship underwent? Less so.
General Zod and Kryptonian followers, Ursa & Non, provide a substantial improvement over the first film’s villains, with all three providing suitable menace and serving as a legitimate threat to Superman. Terrence Stamp’s performance as the Kryptonian General is deservedly iconic, giving the antagonist a overarching sense of dynamic theatricality. On the other hand, Luthor, already not the most intimidating antagonist in the first movie, is reduced into a mere lackey for Zod and a borderline caricature.
Given the presence of three foes for Superman on his physical footing, the effects would need to be even more (for the time) advanced than the first installment. Like the first installment, though the effects obviously hold no candle to the visuals so common in modern day blockbusters, the film’s technical aspects still hold up decently for the most part. Despite some clunky composition, the scenes where Zod’s trio display their powers to the people of Earth and their battles with Superman are nonetheless entertaining and were likely masterful for the era of the film’s release.
Overall, while inferior to its predecessor overall, Superman 2 benefits from stronger villains and even more advanced effects.
Rating: 3.5 Out Of 5 Stars
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