One of the few sequels that actually manages to surpass the original, Superman II follows up with the same awe-inspiring flair. Christopher Reeve is back and as good as he ever was. The mixture of the new villains, Zod (Terrence Stamp), Ursa (Sara Douglas), and Non (Jack O'Halloran) to the movie doesn't hurt either. While the first movie saw Superman facing purely mundane threats, the level of Kryptonian-class super-villains definitely ramps up the excitement in this movie.
The storyline is coherent, definitely following in the direction laid out in the first movie yet it expands upon it by further defining the relationship between Clark Kent/Superman with Lois Lane. Again, I still wasn't completely impressed with Margot Kidder's performance as the titular female lead, but it was decent enough that it wasn't unbelievable. Gene Hackman however, has definitely stepped up his game. He's even more twisted, more manipulative, and even more humorous than he was in the first film.
The special effects also took an impressive boost as the super-clash between Superman and the Phantom Zone Three was truly a spectacular battle. The one thing that I felt was totally cheap was how Superman gave Lois Lane amnesia, causing her to forget their brief marriage together. Still, the rest of the film rocked.