Here in Superman II, we have the best of the original four movies. With a few strange elements, of course. Kal El delves deeper into the decision he made in the first film to embrace humanity by becoming completely human so he can romance Lois lane. Unfortunately, Gen. Zod an two of his cohorts, Kryptonian terrorists all, lead him to realize he has to strike a balance between being Clark Kent and being Superman.
Kal El makes the fateful decision to give up his powers once he realizes, after revealing his identity to Lois, his alien nature will forever keep them apart. The two are so lost in love, they never notice Zod has taken over the entire planet. After learning both the pleasure (Sex. Woo hoo!) and pain (Getting bullied) of human frailty, Kal El realizes it is more important for him to be Superman. He may have embraced humanity as his own, but he realizes he may have to sacrifice his own happiness in order to be its defender.
So superman kicks Kryptionian terrorist hienie in a very impressive special effects laden battle in downtown Metropolis which not only had a comic book battle come to life feel to it, but still stands up well today in the era of CGI. I still think it is the best Superhero battle ever filmed.
Aside from the great comic boo come to lie atmosphere, which would be enough to elevate the movie to superhero film classic, I like how the movie continues the theme from the original that Kal El is still trying to find his own identity. All too often, Superman is presented as a very bland character whose great power always puts him on top of things. He is more interesting when he is unsure of himself, particularly wen it is human emotion that is making him so.
John Williams’ stirring score returns, as does a couple of strange powers such as creating a cellophane net and planting smooches that cause selective amnesia. But the good far, far outweighs the inexplicable bits. For a long time there, Superman Ii was the reatest comic book movie of all time. Its two sequels did not give it much competition.
Rating; ***** (out of 5)