Superman II ★★★★½

2018 Superhero Rewatch: In which I return to superhero movies I've seen before to see how time has treated them.

"They killed Superman! Let's get 'em!"

This was almost the greatest superhero movie of all time. The threat is greater, the hero's sacrifice is deeper, and the performances are great. The late Margot Kidder was fantastic in the first Superman movie, but she glows in this one, showing the sort of wit and sly, scheming nature that makes her a true match for the man of steel. Terence Stamp has a terrifying presence as Zod, and the other two Kryptonians at his heels just enhance his menace

The film isn't perfect. There are some sillier moments (not as silly as it would get in Superman III and some goofy powers (not as goofy as they would get in Superman IV), but the biggest thing that's always bugged me is the ease with with Superman regains his powers after giving them up. He was told at the outset that it was a permanent change, no backsies. Then, off-screen, he just sort of asks for them back. It undercuts the sacrifice a bit, making it seem as if he could just step into the molecule chamber and turn them on or off whenever he wants.

Still, a good film. But man, if Donner had only been allowed to finish it...