Tag Archives: Margot Kidder

Superman 4: The Quest For Peace (1987) Review

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Superman 4

Time: 93 Minutes
Age Rating: 120px-OFLCN_-_PG.svg[1]
Cast:
Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent/Superman
Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor, Voice of Nuclear Man
Jackie Cooper as Perry White
Margot Kidder as Lois Lane
Marc McClure as Jimmy Olsen
Jon Cryer as Lenny Luthor
Sam Wanamaker as David Warfield
Mark Pillow as Nuclear Man
Mariel Hemingway as Lacy Warfield
Director: Sidney J. Furie

Superman (Christopher Reeve) does a lot in his newest adventure. Arch villain Lex Luther (Gene Hackman), determined to make the world safe for nuclear arms merchants creates a new being to challenge the Man of Steel: the radiation-charged Nuclear Man.

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Superman 3 was a bad movie but I didn’t expect how bad its sequel would be. Almost everything in Superman 4 is a complete fail, the acting, the special effects, the ‘story’, with the exception of Christopher Reeve. Being the Batman and Robin of Superman, Superman 4 is so far the worst Superhero movie I’ve seen.

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The biggest plotline is following the whole nuclear weapons issue between America and Russia and Superman’s crusade to get rid of the weapons. The story isn’t interesting at all and doesn’t really progress much. All that’s worth pointing out is the colossal amount of confusing ideas and missteps that happen. What’s puzzling is that Superman is getting rid of everyone’s nuclear weapons and everyone is just perfectly willing to give them up, even Russia. There are many questionable things, like Nuclear Man getting power from the sun but yet there are many moments where he still works even when he’s not in direct sunlight. There’s a scene when Nuclear Man shoots and attacks civilians, instead of actually stopping him, Superman just tells him to stop. During a ‘fight’ with Superman, Nuclear Man turns into a kamikaze missile and flies into a mountain to erupt a volcano. Superman then uses a bit of the mountain to cork the erupting volcano. Close to the end Superman actually pushes the moon to block the sun and there’s a scene when a human is able to survive in space.

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The one thing that’s good in all the Superman movies is Christopher Reeve. He has always been the Superman we know and enjoy and even when stupid things happen, he plays it as straight faced as he can. The same can’t really be said about the rest of the cast. Nuclear Man is such a weak villain, with no consistencies in his motivations. At one point he goes to kill Superman but then goes to kill others while Superman is in pursuit. He also during the fight throws the statue of liberty at the city, not even at Superman. He also at some point suddenly takes an interest in Lacy even though he has never met her. Gene Hackman is still sort of good as Lex Luther, even if his plans are strange to say the least. There’s also an unconvincing connection between Lacy and Clark, and it doesn’t help matters that Christopher Reeve and Mariel Hemingway don’t have any chemistry.

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The most standout thing about this movie is the horrible effects. The shot of Superman flying towards the camera is reused over and over again. There is also a shot of Lois falling and Superman catching her and has quite possibly the worst blue screen ever. The scenes of Superman and Nuclear Man flying are absolutely terrible and are the worst effects I’ve ever seen. The fight scenes are also very bad, particularly with Superman and Nuclear Man. A lot of the time it just looks like they are catfighting and other times they are knocking each other such a distance away.

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Superman 4 is by far the worst Superman movies and one of the worst superhero movies ever made. Even with its 1:30 runtime, it is a drag and it’s a wonder that it actually exists. I’m always puzzled by people who say that Man of Steel is the worst Superman movie ever made, clearly they haven’t seen Superman 4.

Superman 3 (1983) Review

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Superman 3

Time: 125 Minutes
Age Rating: 120px-OFLCN_-_PG.svg[1]
Cast:
Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent/Superman
Richard Pryor as Gus Gorman
Jackie Cooper as Perry White
Marc McClure as Jimmy Olsen
Annette O’Toole as Lana Lang
Annie Ross as Vera Webster
Pamela Stephenson as Lorelei Ambrosia
Robert Vaughan as Ross Webster
Margot Kidder as Lois Lane
Director: Richard Lester

Wealthy businessman Ross Webster (Robert Vaughan) discovers the talents of Gus Gorman (Richard Pryor), a computer genius. Ross decides to abuse his talents, in a way to help Webster with his plans for economic control. When Superman (Christopher Reeves) interferes, something had to be done about him. When synthetic Kryptonite fails to kill Superman, it turns him in an evil incarnation of his former self. The Kryptonite pits man against himself, setting up the Clark vs. Superman battle.

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The Superman franchise had a trend that the Batman movies would later follow, the first two were great, while the next two were quite flawed. With the departure of Richard Donner who directed the first (and some of the second), Superman 3 ended up being one of the worst Superman movies of all time. It’s unfortunate really, because this movie had some ideas that could’ve potentially worked well (with the exception of Richard Pryor).

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Superman 3 did have ideas that could’ve worked, unfortunately a lot of the time the movie doesn’t follow Superman. Superman 3 mostly follows Gus Gorman whose story isn’t interesting, there are times where he feels like the main character, not Superman. This movie also took a turn for the worse when they tried to do comedy. The opening credits scene is filled with slapstick comedy and really sets the mood for the rest of the movie. This movie actually has an interesting idea, evil superman. The idea is fascinating but he doesn’t really do much of evil, he just sits at a bar and drinks. Also his change is very abrupt, maybe if his turning to evil Superman was more gradual and brought out some of Clark’s innermost thoughts, this would’ve worked. When Clark and Superman split into two people and start fighting, it was one of the better scenes of the movie but it didn’t make sense. There are some strange ideas like Clark somehow able to transform himself into Superman in a matter of seconds, the walk and don’t walk traffic signs start fighting after the city is hacked and near the end of the movie Robert Vaughn shoots missiles at Superman in the style of an NES video game. The movie overall is quite boring and felt too long. There are also no threats to keep the suspense and the last fight is very underwhelming.

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Despite everything, Christopher Reeve is still great as Superman and in spite of the lacklust build up, it was interesting to see him as Evil Superman. The worst part of the movie however is Richard Pryor, he is in this movie too much. He is just there for comic relief but he isn’t funny, despite him being an excellent stand-up comedian; many of the worst scenes in the movie involve him. The villain (as played by Robert Vaughan), is really a poor man’s Lex Luthor and is very weak. Although there’s not much for her to do, I do think that Annette O’Toole did an okay job in the scenes she was in.

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Although not as bad as Superman 4, the effects isn’t really as good as the previous two movies, that’s the case with the flying effects. There is a moment where Superman freezes a lake and flies it up into the air and the effects looks bad. I did however enjoy the fight scene between Clark and Superman.

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There was a lot of potential for Superman 3, it had a lot of great ideas for it to result in a great movie. However this ended up as one of the worst movies I’ve seen in a while. Although there are worse superhero movies, Superman 3 is a terrible movie which would later be followed by one of the worst movies ever, Superman 4: The Quest for Peace.