After the successful release of Superman II, father & son producers Alexander & Ilya Salkind, decided to develop a third installment with Ilya writing a blueprint to the script about Superman going head to head with a space android named, Brainiac, who’s one of Superman’s main opponents from the comics. Another important character in the Superman mythos, is his long lost cousin, Kara Zor-El/Supergirl. Unfortunately, Warner Bros. (WB for short) scrapped the idea. The Salkinds decided to come up with a idiotic plot with late stand-up comedian, Richard Pryor, to co-star in this movie known as Superman III.
Superman III was released in 1983. (same year Scarface came out) It received negative reviews from critics, fans & movie goers alike. Despite poor reception, it managed to make enough revenue at the box office.
Now that Nicolas Cage has signed on to voice The Man Of Steel in the upcoming Teen Titans Go To The Movies, I’d proudly present you on what not to do when if you’re gonna make a film based on a beloved comic book series. Employees working at Cartoon Network if you’re reading this, you should be ashamed of yourselves for what you did to the original Teen Titans cartoon, by transforming it into a moronic animated sitcom appealing only to the Lowest Common Denominator! (LCD for short)
The following review contains big SPOILERS. If you’ve never seen this movie, read at your own risk.
Strong: Christopher Reeve did a great job on his unforgettable portrayal as Superman/Clark Kent & an evil version of Superman. So far, it is the closest thing to see Bizzaro on the silver screen. I bet video game developer/creator of Mortal Kombat, Ed Boon, must’ve taken some notes on Superman’s Dark Side, so that he and his crew can interpret their own Evil Superman for Injustice & its sequel. NetherRealm Studios, if you’re reading this, I want you to add a junkyard level for Injustice 3!
I’m giving Superman an Extra Point for screaming in agony before his good self splits into Clark.
Fight Scene between Superman & Clark, was the only good Action Sequence about fighting the enemy within yourself. It makes me want to play Injustice so I can reenact the fight scene with Superman as a playable character and opponent.
Other Cast Members including Margot Kidder, Marc McClure & Jackie Cooper reprise their roles and did a good job on their performances.
Cinematography looked normal featuring no errors.
At the 1:30:40 mark, there’s a Blade Runner poster on the left.
Besides damaging an oil tanker in the sea as a cruel act by causing gas stations to suffer from an oil crisis, Superman’s evil antics including straightening The Tower Of Piza, using his super breath to extinguish an olympian’s torch to commence an Olympics Ceremony and making out with a henchwoman, resembles what The Cast of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia would do if they had super powers. Instead of using them for good, they would use them for personal gain, humiliating people, cruel pranks, etc. I think Aquaman must’ve be devastated to see his sea creatures covered in oil. No wonder he doesn’t want be a member of Justice League!
At a high school reunion in Smallville, Clark & Lana slow dance to “Earth Angel.” Two Years Later, the song was used during a pivotal scene from Back To The Future.
Ross Webster (the main villain) said, “Let the games begin.” Twenty Nine Years Later, Bane uses the phrase in The Dark Knight Rises.
John Williams’ Superman’s theme is retained.
Weak: Blue Screen Effect didn’t age well. I’ll give this con pass, as I’ve stated from my previous Superman reviews, C.G.I. was never around back then.
Margot Kidder only appears in the beginning & end of the movie. Margot’s prescience was reduced after she complained to The Salkind’s on firing Richard Donner.
Richard Pryor did an embarrassing job on his performance as Gus Gorman. His character felt out of place from a different movie. Sorry Mr. Pryor, I’ll have to Double Down your performance as its a precursor to Jar Jar Binks!
Robert Vaughn’s character, Ross Webster, is a carbon copy of Lex Luthor. He’s not an interesting villain, he belongs in The Department Of Redundancy on recycling supervillains. Weber’s villain motive is too similar to Lex’s greedy schemes.
Webster’s girlfriend’s annoying high pitch voice is like a cross between Bernadette from The Big Bang Theory & Leslie Mann, (Judd Apatow’s wife) that’ll make your eardrums explode! Every time I hear her voice, I tend to fun of it.
The Opening Scene contains a Slapstick Sequence. It doesn’t belong in a Superman film, it belongs in something off of Inspector Gadget. (live action film, not the cartoon) What I just witnessed, represents Superman III’s tone in an unbalanced equation!
The Opening Credits is a cheap knock off of Star Wars’ Opening Title Card. I’m surprised that George Lucas didn’t sue WB for stealing a trademark from Star Wars.
Once again, the people from Metropolis & Smallville are complete idiots that they don’t recognize Clark as Superman. Clark accidentally sneezes while a bowling ball is heading straight towards the bowling pins, Clark’s “super sneeze” causes the ball to accelerate like a cannonball blowing up the pins.
Gus managed to pass his way through a security guard, by offering him alcohol. In real life, I don’t think it’ll work. If you’re gonna infiltrate through security guarding a classified area, use a smoke pellet, than knock out a guard, something Batman uses whenever he needs to pass an obstacle.
The name of the weather satellite is called “Vulcan.” First the movie is stealing from Star Wars, now Star Trek? In the words of Scott Evil from Austin Powers, “RIP-OFF!”
Gus rambling about Superman claiming he sabotaged coca beans, belongs as one of Richard Pryor’s rejected unfunny stand-up routines.
Gus manages to survive from falling off a building with the help of skiing through glass windows attach to the building he was falling from the beginning. In reality, he could’ve been drop like a hard boiled egg.
Webster uses a misspelled guided targeting system to shoot Superman, resembles a video game. EGADS! Webster’s computer screen looks horrendously bad compare to Superman 64!
Product Placement featuring several brands such as American Express, Coca-Cola, KFC & Fritos. I’ll give this con a pass for not exposing a bunch of brands.
The Final Verdict: D, FOR DUMBFOUNDED!
Superman III is one of the weakest DC films that nearly destroyed the Superman film franchise, until Superman IV: The Quest For Peace tarnished it. Do not watch this film along with Superman IV, if you want to see the closest thing to a third installment related to both Superman & Superman II, try watching Superman Returns.
Fans of DC Comics, I’ll continue to introduce future generations of fans by introducing them to proper DC related entertainment that’ll continue to live on and show them what it truly means to a lifelong fan of superheroes.
One thought on “Superman III”
The film is undeniably muddled, but there is some love to be found for it. If like me, you’re a child of the late 1970’s (I was 6 when this came out), there’s a rosy nostalgia to Superman III – kind of like eternal beer goggles. Oh, and the junkyard scene is absolutely brilliant!