Originally Posted by The Batman
And I don't see how "this is dated so it cant be the greatest" is a valid argument.
Mainly, because its not a valid argument.
I didn't grow up with the movie, and only watched it around three years ago, after I had already gone through the entire DCAU and read through several Superman comics, so my immediate response to it was that it's very dated, even when compared alongside some of the older cape films, such as Spider-Man 1 and 2. The difference in characterization load between Peter in the Raimi films and Clark in Superman the Movie is huge. He has no flaws and can barely be said to have a personality. All we get from him are a few minutes in Smallville, and suddenly its as if Clark stops existing as a character and becomes a plot device as Superman. Superman is my favorite superhero, but I can see why many who have only seen Superman the Movie would find him dull and unimpressive.
Lex was also extremely non-threatening and felt poorly matched against the unbeatable, god-like Superman. They basically took Silver Age Superman, at his most overpowered, somehow managed to beef him up even more, and then paired him against a film-only version Lex, more incompetent and less intelligent than any of his other incarnations. None of this is helped by the fact that Superman can turn back time and gets powers as the plot demands. There was no tension. Hackman's Lex compares very poorly when matched against the likes of Molina's Doc Ock, McKellen's or Fastbender's Magneto, Shannon's Zod, and even Dafoe's Green Goblin. This is a shame, since comic Lex is one of the greatest antagonists out there.
MOS had better characterization, just going with Zod and Clark, alone. I still highly respect Superman the Movie, though, since if it didn't exist, all of those films that copied and improved upon its formula, through hindsight, over the course of several decades, would never have been created (not really fair to compare it to them for that reason). Donner basically invented the superhero movie genre with that film.