07 August 2013

Super History of Superman: Superman: Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut (2006)

This film is the kind of idea that sounds amazing on paper, like say on the back of a DVD cover; Richard Donner's original take on Superman II, the Superman II that would have been made without meddling and cost cutting by the producers. The mind can only imagine some epic, untold story worthy of a 25 year wait. The sad truth is that the "Richard Donner Cut" cannot really exist because many scenes that would belong in it were never actually shot. Still, this cobbled together version of the movie contains some real gems including restored scenes with Jor-El.

Another highlight of the Donner Cut is the scene in which Lois actually figures out Superman's secret identity which was restored from audition footage. Overall, this cut is great "special features" fodder, but there are some significant problems. Even though the amnesia kiss doesn't make a lot of sense in the theatrical versions, this film ends by recycling the Superman turning back time trick which may make even less sense than it did in part 1. Zod and Co are restored back to the Phantom Zone, and yet Clark still felt the need to teach the trucker a lesson - even though at this point the dude should never have had a run in with Clark at all. Still, I guess he had it coming. The Donner Cut is definitely worth watching, but it won't replace the theatrical cut as my main go to for this movie. Now if we could only get another cut merging some of these scenes with the existing Superman II film, primarily Jor-El, then we would have a contender for the ultimate version of the film.

Check back next week for another chapter in The Super History of Superman.

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