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Movie Review: Unforgettable
Come to me, son of Jor-El, kneel before Zod! - General Zod
Superman II means a lot to me since it left a hefty impression on me when I was younger. I was all about that movie! I thought
Zod owned all, had the hots for Gothie-light Ursa and collected the movie cards. In light of Supermanâ€™s long overdue return to the big screen
(via Bryan Singerâ€™s upcoming film Superman Returns), I decided to re-visit this old favorite of mine. Well not much has changed! I still think Zod is the bomb, still want to bang Ursa silly and still own the cards â€¦yes I had a blast!
I donâ€™t know whatâ€™s more interesting, the Superman II that we got or the story behind the Superman II that we couldâ€™ve had (see Bullseye for details). In terms of this released version though, the too many cooks occasionally spoiled the chili rule did apply. You can see the film going for a bleaker path (that's Donner) but it never went far enough whilst watering down what was there with campyness (blame Lester). But thatâ€™s not to say it still wasnâ€™t an incredibly entertaining film. Wearing its comic book roots on its sleeve, Superman II didnâ€™t do it all perfectly but did it all nonetheless. It poignantly jacked up the stakes of the characters when having to do with Lois and Supermanâ€™s courtship. That made way for a touching love story, hard hitting drama (love the diner sceneâ€¦by Donner incidentally) and ballsy plot turns. The threat factor flew through the roof as well! The concept of this film was a fanboy's wet-dream come through (mine anyways): three anarchist villains with the same powers as Superman wanting to kick his ass! You just canâ€™t wrong with that!
Yes the baddies were my main anchor to the film with Terence Stamp as General Zod in particular stealing the show effortlessly every time he popped up onscreen. The man had all kinds of captivating presence and his dead pan delivery made it all happen. Definitely the numero uno bad guy of the Superman franchise thus far if you ask me. And of course, their rambunctious presence resulted in some eye popping, crowd pleasing action bits. The main clash of the Titans set piece in the heart of the city was one for the book!! They truly milked the situation and taking into account the technology of the time, the effects and stunts owned! Granted the trickery wasnâ€™t always seamless but the creativity and energy behind them made up for that in the blink of a blink!
Humor wise, the film tried real hard to be funny no doubt, but for me itâ€™s when it didnâ€™t force feed it down my yapper that I got my giggles. Some of the circumstantial humor worked and General Zodâ€™s â€śIâ€™m boredâ€ť demeanor, his â€śbow to him fetishâ€ť and his stubborn one track mind when it came to Superman kneeling before him had me on the freaking floor. Have a drink every time Zod yells out: â€śKneel before Zod!, plaster yourself silly and thank me later! Lastly, much like the first film, the cast was bang on, contributing heavily in making the magic that is this film happen. Gene Hackman was side splitting, Margot Kidder was as natural as ever while Christopher Reeve WAS once again the man of steel. Itâ€™s really hard for me to imagine anybody else in the role. Reeve nailed it so well and with so much class at that! Heâ€™s IT for me bar none!
Unfortunately the flick was in places too campy for my taste, especially when it came to the random bad lines and the â€śyuk-yukâ€ť sight gags. The last thing I wanna see when bad guys are blowing the streets away to hell with their super â€śwind breath", is dudes in phone booths/on public phones, holding on to that receiver for dear life while attempting to continue their conversation. Urg! The flick was also filled with huge gaping plot holes (many of them a result of over tinkering in the editing room), narrative carelessness (Where did Miss Teschmacher go?) and conveniences in the name of serving the plot.
Then we had the new superpowers, which didnâ€™t sit well with me either. Teleportation? Mind erasing kisses? Supeâ€™s Glad Bag â€śS Symbolâ€ť net (That vanishes seconds later...the point?)? COME ON! Being Superman doesnâ€™t mean you can do â€śevery thing you can imagine" and that I as an audience member will gobble it whole! Those were too much (and they all came from Lester)! Lastly, the Gene Hackman voice double blew chunks (didnâ€™t sound like him) and can somebody explain to me why does low rent, off the rack Sear clothes appear on Superman after he loses his powers? You lose your gifts and suddenly youâ€™re a fashion victim? I saw what they were going for but it didnâ€™t work.
Wow this review is a freaking book! Let me stop here with the Lowdown! LETâ€™S FLY FORWARD!
Tag to that my own nostalgia factor in terms of this specific flick and you can understand why I love it so freaking much. Superman II is a film that I can re-watch over and over again. It always carves a smile on my face while making me forget the shitty world we live in. Hereâ€™s hoping that Donnerâ€™s cut of the film gets to us sooner than later and that Superman Returns is worthy. Iâ€™ll end off with one of my fav line from the film. ZOD: â€śWhy do you say this to me when you know that I will kill you for it?â€ť LOL! I'm bowing Zod! I'm bowing! YOU OWN