Superman II

Starring: Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve
Director: Richard Donner, Richard Lester
Encoding: Region 2, 4
Format: Color, Closed-captioned, Widescreen
Studio: Warner Home Video
DVD Features: Theatrical trailer(s), Widescreen anamorphic format



"Good clean fun" my wife remarked after watching Superman II with me.

Well, it is Superman I wanted to say, but considering what the character has been through in recent years (getting killed off, getting a new hairstyle, etc.) she has a point. This Superman sequel was originally part of the original movie's plot. The nukes detonated by arch villain Lex Luthor at the end of the first movie were to set free the three supervillains from Superman's home planet of Krypton. Obviously it would have been too long, so they decided to make it into two movies.

Despite a change in director (the producers had a lot of fights with The Omen director Richard Donner), this sequel remains remarkably similar in spirit to the original. The formula still works, but it wouldn't work for long however: up next were the terrible Superman III and Superman IV - The Quest for Peace sequels. After a lengthy credit sequence documenting events from the first movie, Superman II wastes no time in getting straight to the action as Superman has to do battle with three supervillains who are as powerful as he is.

Sheer comic book mayhem resumes: characters are hurled straight through entire buildings, they use buses and manhole covers as weapons and so forth. If you're into superhero comics it'll be impossible to watch these scenes without a hint of a smile. Unlike today's CGI effects, these scenes look real at times instead of like something from a video game.

While the movie itself is in an okay condition and not as startlingly good as the Superman - the Movie DVD, the disc merely features a trailer and chapter selections. Disappointing after the excellent Superman - the Movie disc.

WORTH IT? One can pick this one up here in South Africa for the price of a movie on VHS. Cheap then, probably because of the lack of extra features.

RECOMMENDATION: Buy it along with your Superman - the Movie DVD - you probably won't be able to help yourself . . .



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