Friday, May 31, 2013

CLASSIC FILM REVIEW: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)

CLASSIC FILM REVIEW:  Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)

I can remember clearly when this movie came out. Summer, 1987. My sister had a birthday and I convinced her it would be fun to see this movie. I was wrong.

I was just a kid then, so what did I know right? Nope.

What happened? The film starts off okay, with Superman saving some people and then heading to the old Smallville home briefly, which brings back memories. But then we get a confusing number of subplots.
Superman pledges to end nuclear arms. Okay. Noble. Then there is a love subplot between Mariel Hemingway, as Perry White's daughter Lacy, and Clark Kent. Okay, Clark is often ignored. On top of that we have Lenny Luthor, an annoying nephew character played by Jon Cryer (yes, that Jon Cryer), who breaks Lex (the welcome return of Gene Hackman) out of prison. Once out, Luthor uses Superman's strand of hair to combine with the nuclear blast when it is thrown into the Sun to create a super-being that will destroy Superman.

None of these plots are developed particularly well, and the special effects in this film are dime-store quality. The reason given over the years is that the Salkinds had sold the rights to a company called Cannon films. They were apparently spending too much money on other projects, and cut too many corners. The result is a mess of a film, which ultimately ended the Christopher Reeve Superman series. The one bright spot in the movie are the efforts of the cast to bring some life to it. Unfortunately, this isn't enough to save it. Fans would have to wait until 2006, nearly 20 years later, to see their favorite superhero on the big-screen again.

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