Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut (2006) Movie Review

Title: Superman II.
Rated: PG.
Director: Richard Donner & Richard Lester (Uncredited).
Story by: Mario Puzo.
Screenplay by: Mario Puzo, David Newman, Leslie Newman & Tom Mankiewicz (Uncredited).
Release Date: 2006 (Originally released in 1980).
Runtime:  115 min (The Richard Donner Cut).
Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Romance.
Cast: Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve, Marlon Brando, Ned Beatty, Jackie Cooper, Sarah Douglas, Margot Kidder, and many more!
Budget: $54,000,000 (estimated).
My Overall Rating:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.


You can find out more about my thoughts by visiting me over on my blog here:

Roars & Echoes.



30 thoughts on “Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut (2006) Movie Review

  1. I watched both the theatrical and the directors cut and I have to admit, I like the theatrical version better. I was expecting to like Donner’s version better (talk about foreshadowing Zak Snyder!) but I liked how things were handled in the theatrical better. I did not like Luthor’s descent to Campy humor, but that’s what he was at that time I’m afraid.

    I did like how Donner tied the 2 movies together, made things feel more like one big story.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It really is amazing that Warner Bros has such a history with having tensions with directors/producers, giving birth to all this “director’s cut” stuff hahah I felt the same about Luthor since the first movie but then just convinced myself that that was how Luthor was perceived for the live-action movies. It would take them time before getting it right (e.g. making Luthor like in the comics or animated series).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sure I enjoyed it when younger, but this is another example of an older movie I have no desire to rewatch. So I appreciate being able to relive a little through your review without having to take the time to actually sit through it. 🙂 Glad you got some enjoyment out of it, even if it could’ve been better.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahahaha I can’t blame you there. I’ll probably have an even TOUGHER time convincing you to try the next two Superman movies too. 😉 I do look forward to torturing myself though. 😀 Also glad to spare you the trouble of going through these once again. I wouldn’t pressure anyone to try these out. They aren’t what Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy is for me. 😀 Thank you for reading, Todd!


  3. I’m sure I haven’t watched this one. I like the concept superhero still need to learn more thing but it would irritate me if few things are unclear and illogical. Why would they give up power for normal life, can’t they balance it? They are superheroes after all! Great review!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I have seen the theatrical and Donner cut version of Superman 2 and I have to say I still prefer the theatrical version. The director’s cut has some nice scenes added but they don’t really seem to fit into the story well, and you can see why they weren’t included in the movie. Superman 2 looks a bit dated now, but I still have a soft spot for it, especially the battle in Metropolis between Superman, Zod, and Co!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’ll have to make it my duty to check out the theatrical cut again the next time I rewatch these Superman movies just to properly determine which one I prefer. I usually always prefer the director’s cut because of how accurate it is to the original idea but it’s true that sometimes, the original idea isn’t always the best one! And like you, I do feel like this one’s a bit dated but the Superman vs. Zod and co. fight will always be, at least, nostalgic! Thanks for reading, Paul!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This review made me think of art in general. How different people (directors in this instance) can tell the same story in such vastly different ways. Isn’t it amazing? The only problem is that they might have some different ideas than you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hmm I really need some help here: is this 4/5 or 4/10? 😜 I think I’ve seen the theatrical version in bits and pieces as a kid, but to be honest, these Superman movies were what put me off from the character for years 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This movie is best seen more as a “what if” than an actual movie. That said, I generally prefer this over the theatrical cut. I believe the best version of Superman II would be somewhere between the two cuts, generally favouring the Donner cut for most scenes that exist in both, while making further edits to remove some of the weirder comedy from the Lester footage. Also, it’s worth looking into the history of the Christopher Reeve Superman movies in general. The disputes between the directors and the Salkinds, the on-set troubles with Richard Lester (Superman II and III), and the giant question mark that is the Supergirl movie … the behind the scenes stuff is almost as entertaining to read about as it is to watch the first couple of movies.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Totally agree with you. It would’ve needed another version that takes the best of both worlds but that’s probably never going to happen. The behind-the-scenes really does sound intriguing. Especially when Warner Bros tend to often have these kinds of issues… See Zack Snyder’s Justice League, for example hahaha


  8. Some great thoughts Lashaan, I find the Dinner Cut to be more of a curiosity and a tease at what could have been had Donner been able to complete the film. The tone is certainly more serious and the best thing about it really is the restoration of the Marlon Brando/Jor-El scenes.

    Yet, I find myself watching the theatrical cut more as despite it’s flaws it does have a certain charm to it and as at least a complete film whereas the Donner Cut does feel as you say, a bit choppy and hampered by having to ‘fill the gaps’.

    Oh and I can’t wait to see what you think of Superman III, if you’re not a fan of camp humour/goofiness it’s going to be INTERESTING!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, my friend! It’s amazing how much creative differences can exist between directors and producers. I think Donner would’ve needed a bigger budget to really get something more in line with his vision but it was indeed fun to see how he would’ve preferred it to go down (although I’ll never get behind his repeat-ending…).

      Bro, I’m very curious about Superman III and IV. Those are the ones I barely have a memory of. I don’t even think my kid self saw any scenes of them. If what I hear is right, my reviews will be… unforgiving. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I expect that your review of Superman IV is going to be BRUTAL. It really isn’t very good despite noble intentions…fun fact though, it was one of my early cinema experiences as I saw it when it came out in 1987 and actually remember being sat there enthralled (alas it doesn’t hold up but at the age of six I was oblivious to awful special effects and other negatives).

        Superman III has some good moments but as much as I’m a fan of Richard Pryor as a comedic legend it goofs things up a bit too much.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh man, that sounds so funny. I can only imagine how amazed you must have been as a kid too! I definitely fear that it won’t get any mercy from me too hahah I actually have zero memory of any scenes in them so I really look forward to properly watching them next! 😛

          Liked by 1 person

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