Howdy people of the north, south, east and west, and welcome to Day #17 of Month of Superhero Film Reviews 2! During this month I’ll be reviewing of some of the best, average and worst comic book adapted films. Today I’m going back to the Superman film series with Superman 3.
So as you may recall from 2013, like the Batman film series, I skipped a few films in the Superman series only reviewing Superman 1, 2 and Returns. But something told me I’d be back to review those other films and now that’s coming to pass now. I know how bad they are but I’m curious to know if they are as bad in their entirety as people have suggested.
The story can be summed up as the following:
“The Turtles and the Shredder battle once again, this time for the last canister of the ooze that created the Turtles, which Shredder wants to create an army of new mutants.”
I’m going to try and keep this brief. The story is bad, really bad. I mean some of it is not unlike what has come before with Superman saving people and the planet from some form of disaster, but a lot of the story is just beyond ridiculous with an inconsistent tone, haphazard evil schemes, irrational thinking and decisions within the story that felt like they were made on the fly, rather than planned out. It also doesn’t help that there is a huge emphasis on humour and while I don’t mind humour in my superhero films, this just took it into such cheesy and cartoonish territories especially and since it plays such a big part in the film it dilutes any form of dramatic or serious moments in the film.
Now let’s talk about the cast. Christopher Reeve is still fine as Clark Kent/Superman, Reeve is the same as ever, but he seems to make Clark Kent even lamer with his shy and silly behaviour, it is painful to watch. It was interesting to see a more aggressive side of Superman, but the execution was a little off and was more funny than scary. Richard Pryor as August “Gus” Gorman, oh man, this character’s whole existence is a mystery. How can someone so incompetent be able to become a computer genius? It doesn’t help that he doesn’t really grow and develop as person, instead he just cracks jokes and continues to be silly. Pryor is funny man but he was mainly annoying here. Robert Vaughn as Ross Webster, he was a cartoon character, a generic villainous multimillionaire with plans to ruin the world and take out the hero, while Annie Ross was a little better as Vera Webster and Annette O’Toole as Lana Lang was fine, but I didn’t like how weak her character seemed because she kept going on about how she didn’t have a man in her life. Pamela Stephenson was gorgeous as Lorelei Ambrosia but ultimately a bit too silly for my liking. As part of Ross’ plan, she seduces Superman. Jackie Cooper and Marc McClure are still good as Perry White and Jimmy Olsen, but Margot Kidder as Lois Lane, wow she was wasted in this one, she was barely around and I wonder why she was even included.
Now let’s talk about the presentation. Visually the film is fine for its time but the special effects don’t look as good as they did in the last two films. As for the soundtrack, Ken Thorne takes over for the main composing and is score just doesn’t have that same hook and charm of the last two films, the John Williams themes are still around but they don’t sound as good, and Giorgio Moroder’s contributions are alright I guess.
And lastly how does it compare to the comics? My knowledge of Superman is very small, but from what I’ve seen they’ve kept the main character’s powers and persona intact. Though I don’t if Superman ever became bad and selfish from coming into contact with synthetic kryptonite or splits himself into two halves, one good and one evil and fights himself. Oh and Superman going on a drinking binge that was so random and stupid.
So to conclude Superman 3 is a bad film. It is not the worst comic book film I’ve seen but it is definitely in the top 20, probably top 10. You could tell that the creative team behind this franchise were running out of ideas because of the way they handled Superman character and the story. Avoid this one if you can.
That’s 17 reviews done, only 13 more to go. So have you seen Superman 3 and if so what are your thoughts on it? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts yo! Come back tomorrow and I’ll have a new film review online, until then peace out!