Sunday, May 27, 2012

Superman 2 - Donner cut

Richard Donner was replaced as director on Superman 2 by Richard Lester. In 2006 Donner and the writer Tom Mankiewicz edited a version of the film that was closer to their original intentions.

Although it is a bit rough and ready in places it is a much better film. Some of the scenes included look like rehearsal footage and there are some costume and hair inconsistencies particularly in the scene where Lois deduces that Clark Kent is Superman, but the result makes a lot more sense. In the theatrical version there was the rather strange moment when Kent trips into a fire revealing his secret identity. Superman should not trip up. In the Donner cut Lois uses her investigative skills to figure it out and the trick she uses to finally make him "un-mask" is clever although I'm not convinced it would really fool Superman.

The battle with the Phantom Zone villains is better and doesn't resort to the silly wind gags from the original. Nor does Superman make up any new superpowers on the spot, so there is no throwing the S shield from his chest and no kiss of forgetfulness for Lois. Unfortunately this does mean we get the same unsatisfactory turning back the world device from the end of the first film but we can't have everything I suppose.

All in all this is a much better film and just leaves me wondering how it would have been if they had left Donner in charge. Maybe we would have the superhero sequel equivalent of Godfather II. Check out this version if you have not seen it yet.

Now on to number three and all those terrible jokes.

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