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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Intended to entertain, not educate.
Good and bad are clearly defined. Superman wins the day by lying to Lex Luthor and the Kryptonian supervillains (knowing that Luthor's pledge to not reveal a secret was, in itself, a lie). Some underlying messages about love and relationships weakening a man, but this is not explicit.
Positive Role Models
Superman is the ultimate superhero role model -- sacrificing himself for the greater good.
Violence & Scariness
Lois is nearly crushed to death. Superman undergoes a creepy-looking change (with muscles and skeleton visible) when he sacrifices his powers for Lois. Younger viewers might be disturbed when the powerless Clark Kent is bested by a roadside bully, resulting in a bloody nose. Superman has several encounters with villains, the most notable being his battle with the trio from Krypton, which leaves much of Metropolis destroyed. Not many casualties are viewed, with the exception of a snake who is burnt, and a little boy who receives the same treatment (offscreen) for trying to warn authorities about the trio's threat.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Lois and Clark consummate their relationship, but it's discreetly depicted.
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Some cursing: "damn," "hell," "ass," "son of a bitch," "s--t."
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Products & Purchases
Tie-in to vast quantities of related merchandise.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Superman II is a sequel to the 1978 live-action film and is heads and shoulders above the original. Witty and fast-paced, a playful sense of humor pervades this superhero saga. School-age kids respond to both the action and the sympathetic portrait of the nerdy Clark Kent. Although they'll be repelled by the primitive-looking special effects, preteens respond well to the flippant humor and fast pace. They're also able to comprehend Superman's "sacrifice" for love. Teen and older viewers enjoy the movie's irreverent attitude towards many hallmarks of the Man of Steel mythos, while also appreciating the "date" between Lois and Clark. This film does, however, deal with mature themes of world domination, crime, love, heroism, sacrifice. There is some cursing, including "s--t" and "bitch." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Superman II is the most entertaining and exciting live-action Superman adventure. It delivers plenty of slam-bang action, a hearty dose of amusing sight gags, and a wonderfully endearing take on our hero's love life. Top-notch scripting and direction elevate this sequel above other depictions of the Man of Steel, with the exception of the later WB animated series.
The major failing of Superman was its emphasis on preliminaries -- an extended origin story, sketching of the central characters, and a delineation of our hero's superpowers. Superman II cuts to the chase by introducing the cast of supervillains and getting Lois and Superman together right away. The key elements distinguishing Superman II are its whimsical sense of humor and excellent pacing.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.