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Old 11-07-2017, 07:41 PM
1,132 posts, read 414,943 times
Reputation: 265


I found out about the Richard Donner Cut and why he made his own cut so I decided to check it out, since Superman II is one of my most favorite superhero movies.

I like a lot of the things in the Donner Cut for sure. I love the scenes with Superman and Jor-El that were put back in. I feel that they are written better and flow better than the Lester version with Super-man and Lara's scenes. Not that Superman and Lara's scenes where bad, I just like the Jor-El ones better.

I also liked how the attack on the white house was extended and resulted in some grittier violence against the secret service men. I feel they didn't need to cut this in the Lester version, if they felt it was too violent, cause it wasn't really, just grittier, in a good way.

And some of the more strange things are taken out, which was for the better, such as Superman throwing the giant S, and redubbing of the mute henchman's scream, which was nice as well. The guy talking on the phone during the attack on the streets was cut too, which is a good thing overall.

I suppose Lois Lane shooting at Clark with blanks to test to see if he is Superman, is better than Clark falling and burning his hand by accident. However, the footage doesn't work in the sense of the obvious continuity flaws, when the new footage is added. So this is both a pro and a con.

I do not like how Superman and Lois have sex before Superman gives up his powers though. It feels like Lois having sex with Superman as a human was a pay off, to him giving up his powers for her. So the pay off came first in this case, and it didn't feel near as special as a result.

I didn't like how Donner removed the opening sequence with the terrorists wanting to bomb the Eiffel tower. I thought it was a really good opening and better than the opening Donner had originally conceived. I know that this movie and the first Superman were originally suppose to be one movie, now that they are two movies, the Eiffel tower opening works a lot better in that case.

The worst part of Donner's cut is how his opening with Lois Lane was changed though. In Lester's cut, Lois starts to think there are resemblances between Clark and Superman so she decides to ask him questions and test it. When she doesn't get the answers she likes, and thinks about it, becoming so convinced, she decides to jump off Niagra Falls hoping Superman will save her to prove her point.

Now this comes about one third into the movie, cause she builds up her decision to jump throughout the first third.

In the Donner Cut, in Lois's first scene, she sees a picture of Superman in the paper, then looks at Clark, and then decides to jump right out of the office building window, right then and there, no question, hoping Clark will reveal that he is Superman.

There is no build up to her deciding to jump like that hardly, and it feels like it comes out of nowhere. Right there, I had doubts about Donner's cut being able to recover from that, cause I was really taken out of it, because of her jarring decision.

And later as I suspect, the Niagra Fall jump was cut completely, cause Donner wanted to opt for this much more jarring test of Lois's, with no legitimate build up to it.

I also do not like how after Superman defeats the villains, he is with Lex Luthor and Lois, then once he leaves the fortress of Solitude with Lois, Lex Luthor is not longer there with them. Superman then decides to destroy the fortress of solitude. Why? Was Lex Luthor in there and he just murdered him then? It was a huge continuity flaw I felt.

And I can understand that Donner wanted to take out the kiss that erased Lois's memory, and have Superman time travel back in time to erase her memory instead, cause Superman never had those kissing powers in the comics. But the problem with this is, now that he has time traveled back to erase her memory, Zod and his goons are now a threat that have to be stopped all over again, and the movie never addresses this.

I prefer the ending where it shows Superman return the flag to the white house, which I thought was nice, but they cut this out of the Donner cut as well.

So overall, I would have to say that the Lester cut is better. Donner has some things that he added to improve the movie, but I think he got carried away, and ended up putting back in things, that do not gel, continuity wise, with the current movie, he had to work with.

I think the ideal version would leave the Jor-El footage in, and the extended white house attack, but everything else is worse in his version compared to Lester's. There are more cons than pros, and Lester's version is my preferred one if I had to pick.

But what do you think?
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Old Yesterday, 06:56 AM
Location: Maine
13,186 posts, read 17,886,169 times
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I've never seen the Donner cut. I may have to check it out.

I remember I loved Superman II when I was a kid. I re-watched it as an adult a few years ago and found it VERY goofy.
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Old Yesterday, 11:18 AM
1,132 posts, read 414,943 times
Reputation: 265
It is goofy but I think they were going for that tone intentionally. The Richard Donner cut is more serious and arguably less goofy, but it has more plot holes in and I would probably take camp over plot holes, to compare.
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