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Empire's 50 Greatest Movie Sequels | The follow-ups that achieve greatness in their own right

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Superman II
DIRECTED BY RICHARD LESTER, RICHARD DONNER (UNCREDITED)
RELEASED: 1980

Why's it so good? Superman worked beautifully as a world-setter, but suffered the inherent drawback of most Superman comics: the baddies weren't powerful enough to really give Superman a run for his money. This time, three bad-to-the-bone Kryptonians raise the stakes considerably, while Supes himself is depowered out of love for Lois.

Superman II Superman II
How does it stack up to the original? What you lose in Kryptonian flashbacks and bucolic Smallville scenery, you gain in not having a stupid "flying around the Earth backwards to turn back time" move. It also benefits from the stronger love story with Lois - although the cop-out memory-wiping kiss at the end is a disappointment.

Glaring error: The visible joins between the work of Richard Lester and Richard Donner are one thing. But what's with the cellophane S-plate Frisbee thing that Superman pulls out of his chest and throws at Zod? Does anyone have an explanation for that?


GAP BETWEEN SEQUEL AND ORIGINAL: 24 MONTHS


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