I thought that Superman III was bad, but then I watched the sequel…. Here are some trailers.
There is a key difference I think between Superman III and Superman IV is Superman III is so bad and strange that it’s hilarious, while Superman IV is just bad. It certainly helps that the laws of physics don’t apply in this movie and Superman magically has more powers than ever.
Part of this may be due to Christopher Reeve himself being on of the writers of this movie. Part of it may be the cold war, I don’t know but there really isn’t much of an explanation. Another reason is that this film never really feels like it starts until three quarters of the way through it.
Lex Luthor gets out of his chain gang prison term with the help of his dumb nephew (played by Jon Cryer) to try to terrorize Superman once again. Meanwhile, the Daily Planet has the majority share bought by a corporate man that only wants to turn the paper into a tabloid. The new owner’s daughter nearly immediately has a crush on Clark, and tries to get him to go on dates with her.
But all is not well with the world. The threat of nuclear war between countries is looming closer and closer. A school kid sends Superman a letter pleading him to fix things, and Superman doesn’t know what to do. He said that he would stay out of world politics but is worried for the human race. He needs some help to sort out his thoughts. Lois Lane comes to pick Clark Kent up for an awards ceremony but instead he is confused. They go out for air and they walk straight off the building! Lois thinks that Clark was trying to commit suicide and taking her with him, but Clark changes into Superman and they take off.
Below is a deleted extended scene of this flying. NOTE: effects aren’t complete and Superman pretends to drop Lois to her death.
Now those of you who don’t know or remember, earlier in the movie franchise Clark had revealed himself as Superman to Lois before but for her own protection took away her memory. During this flight and for a few seconds afterwards, she completely remembers but then magically forgets EVERYTHING including the flight for no reason. However, this has enabled Superman to make a difficult choice. He’s going to help disarm the world and send all the nukes into the sun.
While all this is going on, Lex Luthor is hatching his master plan. That is to steal a strand of Superman’s hair for it’s DNA, combine it with a special box WITH a clothing sample and send it into the sun to create a foe for Superman. The plan works and creates Nuclear Man! With all the powers of the Sun and Gene Hackman’s voice (for no discernible reason). Nuclear Man has one terrible weakness. He needs sunlight in order to have power, or he completely shuts down.
From there we cut to a funny scene where Clark and Superman are trying to be in the same place at once. Clark as a date with Lacy (the owner’s daughter) and have an interview almost date with Lois as Superman.
As bad as this all sounds, we then take a turn for the worse. Nuclear Man finally attacks and battles with Superman around the world. Below are some of the strangest disasters during the fight.
Notice how the girl stops spinning and is SUSPENDED IN AIR until Superman grabs her.
Here Nuclear Man had just destroyed part of the Great Wall of China. Superman saves a woman who was falling and then instead of chasing after Nuclear Man, displays a new power with repairing the damaged wall WITH HIS EYES. Superman is frozen, seals off an active volcano with the top of another mountain, and saves Russians from nuclear missiles that the shouldn’t even have.
Then we get the Statue of Liberty. Nuclear Man takes it off its foundation a takes into New York City (Metropolis? It has the Daily Planet…) and drops it in down. Notice that it loses all sense of proper scale as it seems to get bigger and smaller with each shot.
Superman puts it back in time but gets scratched by Nuclear Man which proceeds to make him very ill and age him. (for no reason that’s explained). Clark uses on last Kryptonian crystal that somehow cures him and then he fights with Nuclear man again. By this point, Nuclear Man has an interest in Lacy and kidnaps her. Superman and Nuclear Man continue to fight IN SPACE, with Lacy along for the ride.
The question is, HOW DOES SHE BREATHE?! Finally Nuclear Man is defeated, now apparently powering a city and back at home Perry White has found a way to take back the Daily Planet and kicking out the new management (seeming to forget that the guy still hold a massive amount of stock). Last but not least, Superman takes Lex back to the chain gang and his nephew to reform school.
That’s it. The last 30 minutes of this movie have all the action and plot and then it just ends. If you dare want to watch this movie, go ahead, but be warned. It’s not high quality cinema.
I will suggest that you watch some of the deleted scenes for the movie. There apparently was a whole different subplot with a failed stupid Nuclear Man that Superman beat before the “good” one was made.
My Geek Confessions – “Watching Bad Movies, So You Don’t Have to!”
Superman IV: Quest for Peace is certainly a BAD movie.