By: Oberst Von Berauscht (Three Beers) –
Cast out into the darkness in a giant flying space-square, General Zod, his lover Ursa, and sweetly retarded cousin “Non” are finally set free by the shockwave of a nuclear explosion. Evil by nature, they decide to conquer the nearest available planet, which based on their limited knowledge of the area, they assume is named Huston. Elsewhere on Planet Huston, Superman and Lois Lane are shacking up in his crystalline palace in the Arctic. In order for them to be together though, Superman apparently has to lose his powers and get beat-up by a trucker. Oh, and Gene Hackman collects an easy paycheck while having his life threatened…
Scenery chewing costs money
Many people consider this the best of the Superman movies, and I have to agree, not because it is particularly a good or even great movie, but because every minute of it is Grade-A certified camp. Superman has never been the most interesting Superhero character, because invincibility and an undying sense of altruism doesn’t make for good writing. Director Richard Lester made a wise decision in eschewing the more serious dramatic moments of Superman: The Movie to focus on turning the series towards self-parody. Sure, there are detractors who believe that original Director Richard Donner would have made a better movie. And indeed 75% of the film was shot by Donner, but having not seen the relatively recent “Richard Donner Cut” of the movie, I can only judge it on its own merits.
One of the more interesting aspects of the plot is the way the Antagonist is portrayed. General Zod is supposed to be such a threatening figure, but he spends half the movie just standing around waiting for Superman to come and challenge him. I would even argue that he doesn’t even care if he wins, he only wants a chance to fight someone who can actually hurt him.
Even in his glory he just looks bored…
While this does make for occasional moments of hilarity it also makes Zod a rather boring villain. Gene Hackman’s performance as Luthor was by far the best thing the first movie had going for it. Which is probably why Lex Luthor was brought back, despite having almost no use to the plot whatsoever.
Superman’s powers make him powerful enough, but was it really necessary to add “hypnotic kissing” and “S-Throwing” to the mix?
Yes… yes it was.
While it hasn’t exactly aged well, it has gotten funnier… So that is something.
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: when Zod demands that someone kneel
Take a Drink: when Lex Luthor lies
Take a Drink: when Lois gets herself into trouble, take another drink when superman saves her
Drink a Shot: when Superman pulls a random power out of his ass (and/or chest)