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Superman III (1983)

Superman III (1983)


Christopher Reeve
Richard Pryor
Annette O’Toole
Robert Vaughn

Directed by Richard Lester

Here is a movie that leaves behind the seriousness treaded into the first two Superman films and adds too much comedy into the mix with the introduction of Richard Pryor. This new tread made many dislike the movie, but for me although this movie is not as good as the first two, it was an interesting and enjoyable movie which you can watch with your family.

The movie production did have its quirks, the female interest in the movie is Lana Lang played by Annette O’Toole instead of Lois, now O’Toole put up a wonderful performance as Lana, but what is Superman without Lois?
This happened because the producers had issues with Margot Kidder and sidelined her character Lois Lane to a cameo appearance in the movie. The producers also went back to their desired writers David and Leslie Newman who wanted from Superman I (1978) to make Superman a comic film. Richard Donner who directed Superman I and part of Superman II had the script for both movies which were then shot back to back rewritten to make it serious and eventful.
But since the producers had parted ways with Richard Donner during the production of Superman II (1980) they went back to the way they wanted things in this Superman III.

The biggest no no in this movie is Richard Pryor performance, although the movie also had other bad happenings, Pryor acting in this movie could have been better.
Then, Gene Hackman stepping down as Lex Luther led to the introduction of a new character to play the antagonist, Robert Vaughn played Ross Webster the new antagonist who was nowhere near a good addition to this movie. His character was irritating and I just want both he and his evil sister to get off the screen the moment they are shown as quickly as possible.

The best part of this movie is Christopher Reeve, his portrayal of a corrupted Superman is memorable and something you have to see. When I think on this movie that is what comes to mind is how Reeve pulled off a convincing evil Superman. Then the battle between his good side and bad side in the junk yard is also a sight to behold.

The movie plot starts with a slapstick intro letting the viewer know from the get go that this movie is going to be more comic than action. A millionaire (Ross Webster) has a plan to become richer by stopping the supply of oil all around America, except the ones that come from him. To get this done he gets assistance from a computer hacker Gus (Richard Pryor).

His plans to mess up the weather, was stopped by Superman which led Ross to source the components of Kryptonite to use and kill Superman. But Gus who was given the task noticed that one of the components of Kryptonite is an unknown element, substitute that element with tar. The resulting compound didn’t weaken or kill Superman, but turned him evil.

Now Ross begins his plans and the only person that can stop him doesn’t care.

In the end the movie was critical failure, but a moderate commercial success not making as much money as the previous two films.


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