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June 20, 1981 - Image 9

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1981-06-20

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The Michigan Daily Saturday, June 20, 1981 Page9
A not-so-super sequel

Daily arts writer
If you stayed long enough to watch all
of the credits roll by in Superman, the
Movie, you would have noticed the quiet
announcement that Superman II would
be coming next year. Well, it's next
year already, and so, for many of you,
the long and torturous wait is over. You
may find, however, that Superman II
was not quite worth the wait; it offers
only a mixed bag of images that pales
next to the original adventure.
Mario Puzo has served up the good
(but somewhat predictable) story that
this saga requires. There are two levels
to the script - the first being the long-
awaited love affair between Lois Lane
and Superman/Clark Kent, and the
second being Superman's battle to
defeat the evil General Zod (Terence
Stamp) and his cohorts, Ursa (Sarah
Douglas) and Non (Jack O'Halloran).
THE FILM OPENS with a series of
images from the first film interspliced
with the opening credits, leading us to
believe that this installment will come
racing out of the starting gate. In fact,
it is a few mere seconds after the
credits that Clark Kent does a visually
impressive change to Superman in or-
der to save Lois from a nuclear bomb
planted in the elevator of the Eiffel
Tower. Superman then deposits this
bomb into outer space, where its ex-
plosion inadvertently releases the
aforementioned Kryptonian prisoners
from their one-dimensional prison.
This is where the film becomes very

muddy, misdirected, and - at times -
jarringly uncohesive. It's as if director
Richard Lester (A Hard Day's Night,
Help) wanted to play for as many
laughs as he could to cover up the fact
that he didn't know what to do with the
It seems he would have preferred to
have told the story of the romance, but
because there was a second element to
the plot, he decided to play table tennis
with the film, ping-ponging back and
forth between the two. The result is a
series of disorienting cuts; one minute
we're with Lois and Clark, the next
minute we're with the bad guys, then
back to Lois and Clark, and on and on as
LESTER ALSO has the villains doing
a lot of irrelevant and uninteresting
things along the way. The first two en-
counters - hassling American
astronauts on the moon and taking over
a small Texas town - come off as time-
killers. There is nothing here to make
us care that these evil beings want to
take over the Earth. The Texas sequen-
ce is especially lead-footed as Lester
trots out all of the obligatory heat- and
gravity-ray effects. A little of John
Williams' classic tension-building score
might have aided this lackluster scene,
but alas, it is nowhere to be found.
Gene Hackman is still having a won-
derful time with his Lex Luthor role,
which makes it just as fun to watch
him. It's too bad that we hardly get to
see him this time around.
Terence Stamp and Sarah Douglas

Christopher Reeve is back as Superman to safeguard truth, justice, and the
American way against the evil forces of the galaxy. Isn't it ironic that he
should succumb instead to poor filmmaking?

Pick Hits

are seductively ominous as General
Zod and Ursa. They would have been
marvelous in the film that should have
been made.
CHRISTOPHER Reeve and Margot
Kidder are the only outstanding
elements in the film, as their charac-
terizations grow ever more complex
with their deepening relationship. In
the much-heralded scene where Clark
Kent reveals his true identity (among
other things) to Lois Lane, Reeve
bristles with a charisma and charm
that overrides many of the film's faults

and elicits the only real squeals of
delight from the audience.
The first film truly captured the
essence of the legend of Superman, one
of the most enduring and interesting
folk heroes of modern time. It's a story
that encompasses mysticism, joy,
tragedy, and eternal hope. It should not
be a story filled with slapstick comedy
and one-liners. In the closing sequence,
Superman tells the President that he is
sorry and that he promises not to let
him down the next time. I certainly
hope he's right.

Tuesday, June 23rd-7:30 p.m.
Michigan Union Assembly Hall
-PERRY BULLARD, State Representative
-JIM ZIMMERMAN, Associate Director of UM
financial aid office
-ROSE HOOPER, Coordinator of Academic Affairs
for the graduate school
-A spokesman from U.S. Sen. Carl Levin's office
-The legal director of U.S..Rep. Jim Dunn's office
-A spokesperson from Metropolitan Savings, one of the state's
largest providers of guaranteed student loans
tion for a Fair Budget.
For more information call Pirgim 662-6597

Gang of Four
The Gang of Four - Even if they weren't the only major band playing Ann
Arbor in the next two weeks, the Gang of Four would still be the musical
event of the coming fortnight. Hell, they may well be the event of the sum-
mer in Ann Arbor. This British quartet sandwiches heavily political lyrics
into a disjointed funk sound owing as much to James Brown as the Sex
Pistols. Not to be missed. Tuesday, June 30; Second Chance, $8.00.

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