10 remarkable things about Superman IV: The Quest For Peace

Feature Ryan Lambie 15 Nov 2012 - 08:06

A flop in 1987, Superman IV is one of the most maligned sequels ever made. There are, however, lots of interesting things about it...

As history has ably demonstrated, movie sequels are just as susceptible to the laws of entropy as anything else in the universe. And just as Jaws: The Revenge and The Next Karate Kid represented the nadir of their particular franchises, so Superman IV: The Quest For Peace marked the end of Christopher Reeve's tenure as the Man of Steel.

After the huge success of Superman and Superman II in 1978 and 1980, the series' descent into self-parody began in earnest in 1983's second sequel, which saw Richard Pryor skiing around for comic effect and Superman fighting a cyborg named Vera. But while the reviews and box office receipts for Superman III were tepid at best, they were as nothing compared to the outright scorn poured on 1987's The Quest For Peace; The Washington Post stingingly described it as "More sluggish than a funeral barge, cheaper than a sale at K mart".

Now commonly described as one of the worst sequels ever made, Superman IV marked the ignominious end to a once great series. But, as ever, this doesn't mean to say there aren't plenty of noteworthy things to find within its muddled 88 minutes...

It's quite low-budget

Where the first three Superman movies were lavish productions, Superman IV ended up with around a quarter of the budget of its predecessors. By the mid-80s, original series producers Alexander and Ilya Salkind had sold the Superman rights to Cannon Films, a production company more used to making cheap action movies such as The Delta Force and Missing In Action. Cannon were also famous for producing Tobe Hooper's weird space nude female vampire movie Lifeforce, and dance craze sequel Breakdance 2: Electric Boogaloo.

Unlike the Salkinds, producers Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus had a rather loose approach to filmmaking, and the sheer number of projects on its books meant that it only had about $17 million to spend on making Superman IV - considerably less than the estimated $55 million the first Superman cost to make in the late 70s.

Right from Superman IV's opening credits,  the lower production values are plain to see. When Superman comes rushing from the distance to rescue a bunch of Russian cosmonauts whose space station has spun out of control, it isn't a pretty sight - the blue screen effects are clearly rushed, with Superman wobbling through Earth's orbit like a badly snipped-out photograph.

As we'll soon see, the poor director (Sidney J Furie, whose career highpoint was perhaps the classic British thriller The Ipcress File) had to make cost-cutting measures all over the place...

A few fire hydrants can turn any location into New York

Where previous directors had the budget to film in downtown Manhattan, Furie had to make do with various hurriedly-dressed locations in the UK. An early scene, in which Lois Lane (Margot Kidder) is trapped on an out-of-control Metropolis subway train, is clearly shot in the London underground - all the "This is America, honest" posters dotted around can't disguise the distinctive shape of Britain's tube trains.

The film's most infamous money-saving location, though, is its use of a Milton Keynes bus station as a stand-in for New York's United Nations Headquarters on 42nd Street. As Christopher Reeve gloomily put it in his autobiography Still Me, "...we had to shoot at an industrial park in England in the rain with about a hundred extras, not a car in sight, and a dozen pigeons thrown in for atmosphere."

It's impossible to imagine just how depressing it must have been to set up this particular shot. You're in Milton Keynes, you have a few dozen extras, and Christopher Reeve walking around in his cape, yet the location still doesn't look like New York; it looks like a lonely part of a modern British city. Fortunately, one of Superman IV's production designers decided that the use of a few props - a hotdog seller, a woman carrying an "I Love NY" bag and a few polystyrene fire hydrants - would help convince audiences that Superman really was on his way to the UN building.

Various other British locations were immortalised in Superman IV, too; Clark Kent's Smallville farm was actually shot in a place called Baldock in Hertfordshire, while a disused airfield in Saint Albans doubled for a US Air Force base.

"Don't worry," a location scout probably said during filming. "We'll stick a couple of fire hydrants around the place, and nobody will suspect a thing..."

There are important messages about nuclear war and tabloid versus 'proper' journalism

If nothing else, Superman IV is a movie with important messages in it. At the start of the film, we learn that the Daily Planet has been taken over by media mogul David Warfield, who plans to turn the paper into a more lucrative tabloid rag with lurid headlines such as, "Superman says drop dead to kid!"

Warfield (Sam Wanamaker) fires honest editor Perry White, and instead installs his own daughter Lacy (Mariel Hemingway). One of the recurring plot threads involves Lacy's infatuation with Superman, and her gradual understanding of the power of in-depth journalism - this transformation is illustrated by having Hemingway's character wear suits with successively smaller shoulder pads.

While that's going on, a letter from a small boy named Jeremy prompts Superman - after much soul searching and a trip to the Fortress of Solitude - to rid the world of nuclear weapons. "I know I'm forbidden to interfere," Superman says, "but the Earth is threatened by the same fate as Krypton."   

"The Earth is too primitive. You can flee to a new world, where war is long forgotten," advises an elderly hologram. "If you teach Earth to put its fate in any one man - even yourself - you're teaching them to be betrayed. Betrayed. Betrayed! Betrayed!"

In spite of that haunting repetition, Superman convinces the United Nations to allow him to gather up all of the world's nuclear missiles in a colossal fishing net (how long it took Superman to knit this isn't made clear), and fling them into the sun. Unfortunately for Superman, his well-meaning gesture gives his arch-nemesis a cunning idea...

Nuclear Man

In his fourth large-screen adventure, an all-American hero did battle with a blonde, hulking, monosyllabic embodiment of evil. That film, of course, was Rocky IV. Perhaps inspired by that 1985 classic, Lex Luthor (a rather subdued Gene Hackman) decides to build a terrifying Adonis of his own.

With the help of his cretinous nephew Lenny (Jon Cryer, who talks like Otto out of The Simpsons), Luthor steals a lock of Superman's hair from a museum, and using cutting edge Hollywood science, creates the evil Nuclear Man. He does this by first making a "Protoplasm grown from Superman's hair cells." By doing this, Luthor says, "We'll duplicate creation itself. The computer inside will need enough material to maintain the high moral standards I've always aspired to."

Hackman mumbles the end of that sentence, as though even he doesn't quite understand what it means. But no matter: Luthor hides the protoplasm and the computer inside a nuclear warhead, which Superman dutifully hurls into the sun, little knowing the anguish he's about to unleash.

In a blast of light, a solar-powered weightlifter is born: Nuclear Man, played by Mark Pillow - presumably because Dolph Lundgren was either too expensive, or too busy making another flop for Cannon Films, Masters Of The Universe.

With his strength, terrifying mane of golden hair, and radioactive black fingernails, Nuclear Man is, Luthor says," Superman's first nightmare. He'll pierce his skin, make him mortal. Make him sick, and dance on his grave..."

Superman once fought Lord Greatjon Umber out of Game Of Thrones

Originally, the Nuclear Man played by Mark Pillow wasn't the only solar-powered monster Superman fought. In an earlier cut of the film, which was once 45 minutes longer than the one which appeared in cinemas, Luthor actually made two versions of Nuclear Man. The first was a more shambolic character who possessed the same mixture of strength and childlike intelligence as Non in Superman II. He was played by Clive Mantle, a RADA-trained British actor who would later appear in episodes of Casualty, Holby City, The Vicar Of Dibley and Game Of Thrones, in which he plays Lord Greatjon Umber.

In what would have been Mantle's first big-screen appearance, Nuclear Man fights Superman in downtown Metropolis. Apparently played for laughs, the fight involves cars being very slowly squashed together, and Christopher Reeve's stunt double being thrown through billboard posters for well-known burger outlets. Eventually, Nuclear Man Mark One is flung across the city with one of Superman's expert throws, and mysteriously explodes like a Catherine wheel.

It is, quite possibly, one of the weirdest deleted scenes in movie history, and proves that, no matter how bad you might think Superman IV is as it stands, it could so easily have been far, far worse...

Clark Kent does aerobics

In a quintessentially 80s scene, Mariel Hemingway and Christopher Reeve slide into their lycra and do some aerobics. Given that this scene was shot in a Milton Keynes gym, it must have been a surreal experience for those extras, as Reeve does his usual bumbling Kent routine. A gym instructor attempts to humiliate Kent in front of his lady friend, but just like that nasty truck driver in Superman II, he soon gets his comeuppance - when Lacy's not looking, Kent chucks a huge barbell at the mouthy gym instructor. "Uh, no pain no gain" Kent says, as the gym instructor falls to the floor, possibly dead.

Superman cooks duck with his eyes

There are many, many strange incidental scenes in Superman IV. There's the one where Lex Luthor dances with a woman dressed as Marie Antoinette.

There's the scene where Superman suggestively asks Lois Lane, "How'd you like going solo?"

Our favourite, though, is the scene where Lois tells Superman that she's cooking him a spot of dinner. "I'm cooking us some scallops and some duck in this wonderful mushroom sauce with champagne," Lois rambles, clearly eager to impress. Superman, anxious to get back out of the room as quickly as possible, uses his special scowling powers to rapidly roast the duck to perfection.

Superman does a lot of tidying up

Although the first 50-or-so minutes of Superman IV are spent setting up the complicated love quadrangle between Lacy and Clark and Lois and Superman, it's all shoved aside for the final half-hour stretch, which is essentially one long fight scene between the Man of Steel and Nuclear Man ("I will hurt people!" the villain promises).

Actually, much of the final act isn't so much a fight scene, as Superman's attempts at cleaning up Nuclear Man's trail of destruction. Nuclear Man smashes up the Great Wall of China, so Superman repairs it all, brick by brick. Nuclear Man sets off a volcano in what appears to be Sicily, so Superman slices off the top of a mountain and uses it like a cork to stem the flow of lava.

Superman's compulsive love of tidying up is such that Nuclear Man even uses it to his tactical advantage. While Superman's returning the Statue of Liberty back to its original position, Nuclear Man swoops down and, with a cat-like swipe, scratches the hero's throat, leaving him with flu-like symptoms and lacking his super-powers.

On the brink of nuclear-hastened death, Clark uses a Kryptonian energy module (saved from the space ship hidden in Smallville) to restore his energy - which is just as well, because Nuclear Man has developed an alarming crush on Lacy, and wants to kidnap her.

Yet another fight breaks out on the streets of Metropolis, in which lots of cars are broken and Nuclear Man shouts, "Rarrgh!" rather a lot. Having demolished various cars and buildings, Superman and Nuclear Man resume their fight on the Moon, where rocks are thrown and Superman's bashed into the ground like a tent peg. And in the midst of all this violence, Superman still finds the time to make sure the American flag, famously deposited by Neil Armstrong in 1969, is standing up straight.

Women can breathe in space

Having engaged in a seemingly eternal slow-motion fight with Superman on the Moon, Nuclear Man mysteriously decides to whizz back down to Earth to kidnap Lacy. While she's talking about the relative merits of quality journalism, Nuclear Man smashes through the ceiling of Daily Planet HQ with a Godzilla roar.

Then, in an extremely bizarre development, he flies off into space with her. Where is he going? What will he do when he gets there? We never find out; we can only note that everything we thought we knew about space is wrong. It's actually quite possible for a human being to survive in the vacuum of space, and not suffocate or freeze to death - you can actually hear Lacy gasp and breathe as she struggles in Nuclear Man's grip.

Fortunately, Superman's quick thinking saves the day. He pushes the Moon in front of the sun, cutting off the life-giving rays Nuclear Man needs to fight and shout. Then the Man of Steel rushes Lacy back to Earth (somehow preventing her from burning up on re-entry), before flying back into space, grabbing Nuclear Man, and stuffing him into a power plant (actually Didcot Power Station in Oxfordshire, fact fans).

In case we had any trouble following all that, Superman helpfully explains to Lex Luthor what happened. "High school physics, Luthor. While was recuperating, I had time to figure out that, if you're a foul creature born from the sun, that had to be a source of energy."

We'd love to hear Superman explain the science behind the rest of the movie...

Superman IV isn't quite as bad as you might have expected

With Nuclear Man squashed into a reactor and presumably dead, the final pieces of the story fall into place. Good guy former editor Perry White manages to buy out Rupert Murdoch's  - sorry, David Warfield's - stake in the Daily Planet, thus returning it to a quality broadsheet. Lex Luthor's dragged back to prison, while his nephew Lenny is sent to a boys' school, which is run by a very shifty-looking clergyman. "Every boy can be helped, Superman," he says.

When compared to Superman and Superman II, the dodgy special effects, disjointed storyline and gaps of logic present throughout Superman IV make it an obvious disappointment. The budgetary constraints are obvious wherever you look, and the script is, at times, laughably bad ("I'd like our civilians to know that our subway system is still the most safe and reliable form of transportation," Superman says after preventing a train crash).

Bearing all this in mind, I'd argue that time's been unusually kind to Superman IV, and viewed for what it is - a camp, messy B-movie - it's actually enormously entertaining; more so, perhaps, than the disappointing Superman III. Had Superman IV been shot with the $40million budget originally earmarked, it's even possible that, with more money to sort out the effects and continuity errors, the movie would have been regarded by history as something of a return to form instead of a failure.

At the very least, Superman IV has Gene Hackman back as Luthor. And while doesn't exactly have all his dramatic cylinders firing here, he's still sly, self-aggrandising and very funny; he launches a nuclear missile while dressed as an American general, complete with cigar and extraneous shades. He tells Superman to calm down and buy a kitten. He dances with Marie Antoinette.

Then, finally, we come to Lois and Clark. Even woeful production values and a duff script can distract from the undeniable charisma and chemistry Margot Kidder and Christopher Reeve bring to their roles. When Lois visits Clark, whom she thinks is simply sick with flu and not dying from nuclear poisoning, it's a surprisingly touching moment:

"If [Superman] really is in trouble, then there's something I'd like to tell him. I'd tell him that I will always cherish the time we spent together, and I never expected anything in return. It didn't matter how many minutes I saw him for - it always made me happy. Tell him that I love him. I'll always love him."

Sadly, this would be the last scene Kidder and Reeve would spend alone together as Lois and Clark. And with Superman IV's box office failure, it would be almost 20 years before Krypton's most famous son would fly again.

Superman IV isn't the swansong Christopher Reeve deserved - to date, he remains the best large-screen incarnation of the Man of Steel - but that doesn't mean that it isn't, at the very least, a lot of fun.

Other entries in the '10 remarkable things' series:

Jaws: The Revenge

Battlefield Earth

RoboCop 3

The Next Karate Kid

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Disqus - noscript

Haha!!! I live in Baldock, Herts. It's a very nice place thanks. Also, the last Harry Potter was filmed here. Another also, Simon Peggs 'The worlds end' is currently being filmed in the town next to Baldock, Letchworth.
It's like Hollywood round here

True story

It really makes me miss the arms race.

All the old Superman films are pretty dire when viewed today. Superman III is probably the most enjoyable though.

"Don't worry about it. Lois. That wall knows what it did!"

Agreed. At least Superman III had that fantastic scrap-yard "scrap" between evil Superman and Clark Kent.

Superman IV is truly awful and the only way it can possibly be enjoyed is if you're watching it with your mates while drinking vast quantities of alcohol.

Clarke Kent? Where'd that rogue e sneak in from?

I think the best Superman was Superman II. I just loved the whole Superman Vs Zod and Co.

Three was good though as it did have that comedy feel (sets it out from the start, big busty blonde walking along the streets causing chaos behind her), but parts of it were also very scary for kids. When it came out I was 6 yrs old and remember the scene of when the robot 'Vera' was made (wires wrapping her up) scaring the crap out of me! And also the Clark Vs Superman fight, was quite horrendous when he throws him into the car crusher and you hear him screaming!

My preference, 2/1/3/Returns/4!

no superman 4 WAS as bad as I expected

"it would be almost 20 years before Krypton's most famous son would fly again." on the big screen yes, but don't forget the 90s series "Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman"

Love how we had the Cosmonauts from earlier bound up in space suits, yet Lacy survived the vacuum. Silly movie can't even follow it's own continuity.

Am I the only one who liked Returns?

I think Superman II is massively overrated.
I think the new film could be brilliant if they get Superman Vs Zod right.

Nope! I found it highly enjoyable. Not a classic, but it has some great scenes.

Superman 2 was only made good with the Richard Donner cut. The original cut was too zany. and it had powers that dont even make sense. Superman the movie is the best on original release. Three was even more zany than two and failed on a lot of things. Four was laughable. Returns was better than people give it. My order? 2(Donner cut)/1/Returns/2(original)/3/4

A few years ago I bought the Superman boxset.
While watching Superman four I didnt realise Jim Broadbent was in it.

The sort of film you love when you're a kid and should never be watched ever again.
Brilliant article folks.

Two remarkable things about Superman IV: The Quest for Peace.

It got made.

Anybody watched it.

A very poor film. At some point I will watch it on the Bluray box set, but I've not seen it since sitting in The Point cinema (in Milton Keynes) and seeing locations that were literally just round the corner from where we were! It actually makes Superman III look good, and that's saying something!!

Christopher Reeves speech at the end is a real Superman moment, very sadly Superman IV suffers from budget and screenwriting.

I liked Returns, too. I think Singer was too inhibited by his own admiration of Donner's vision and stifled what creativity he could have brought to the project.

I havent seen this film since I rented it on VHS back in the day, cmon Channel 5, chuck it on a Sunday afternoon so I can see it again

stuxmusic, you hit the nail firmly square-on... my thoughts exactly!

It's a massive shame Richard Donner and co didn't shoot ALL the location and soundstage footage required for 'Superman II' during the initial 1977 principal photography process, that way, all they would have needed to do was complete the blue screen and miniature shots, and '...II' could easily have been readied for a December 1979 release... and the story would have been complete!

And the story WOULD have been complete, no need for a misguidedly comedic third, a simply appalling fourth - word of advice to future Superman films; the man of steel should never, NEVER get political - or an earnest-but-dull attempt to try and make a belated sequel to '...II' where none was required... 'Superman: The Movie' and 'Superman II' form one single, epic, three-act saga that goes hence;

Act I: Krypton opening to first reveal of Superman in the Fortress of Solitude (origin story).

Act II: Clark's arrival in Metropolis to the foiling of and capture of Lex Luthor (protagonist faces adversity in his journey).

Act III: the entirety of 'Superman II' (protagonist confronts ultimate evil and learns valuable life lessons).

The story ended in '...II', no further installment was necessary on a narrative level... but like the upcoming new 'Star Wars' films, there was simply too much money to be made to just stop when they should have!

Have you played the drinking game yet? Anytime someone says, "DESTROY SUPERMAN!" take a drink. Hell, at one point in the film, Lex Luthor even does it — smile

I enjoyed reading this article because admittedly I am a big fan of this sequel! For all the production problems and the original intentions to put the series back on track, I really find this movie enjoyable because of the awful special effects (The Blu-ray really brings the mistakes out more!) and you have to admit that the score by Alexander Courage was pretty awesome, much better than what Ken Thorne offered for Superman II and partially Superman III.
The commentary by Mark Rosenthal on the DVD Deluxe Edition and Blu-ray is a worthy listen to find out what scenes were cut and what was originally intended to be in this sequel. I have the comic adaptation and structually it made more sense as a story and I really like the comic book approach to what Christopher Reeve written with Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal. I thought it was a much better entry than Superman III.
Had the budget been bigger and the right special effects were used, I think this would have been an enjoyable entry in the series. I wonder what it would have been like had Christopher had played Nuclear Man as well as Clark and Superman like Mark said on the commentary. I know this was sort of explored with the Bad Superman in the third film, but I didn't mind the cheesiness that Mark Pillow brought to the role as Nuclear Man. His other powers that wasn't in the film, like explanding in body size and shapeshifting into a metallic nuclear element heading for Russia would have been interesting had the effects were completed. I like the 'Red Alert' scene with Lacy saying she wanted to help Superman save the world as a diversion for Nuclear Man destroying Russia and seeing more of Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor. (He had so many scenes cut, didnt he?!)
If you see the video/audio interviews with Christopher Reeve and director Sidney J.Furie, they really had high hopes and felt confident they were making an exciting sequel and look fully unaware of how Cannon were going to treat it. Look at the ending with Lacy - The add on with her in space was done at the last minute. It was annoying but I guess the space shots were cheaper to use than the canyons where she originally started to fall. I also enjoy the deleted scene in the Taxi with Clark and Lacy saying goodbye, a really nice moment.
I agree the deleted scenes with the Nuclear Man prototype looked very awkward and strange, but it was great to see more footage of Christopher Reeve in the suit and how much more the production was involved with the car crushing with hydrualics. It makes you wonder how Richard Donner would have handled the whole film had he was interested/not still reeling with hurt from the way The Salkinds treated the series before Golan-Globus brought the rights.
I wished Warner Bros. would have released the deleted footage from the Metro Club scenes with Clark and Lacy as it sounded like a fun and enjoyable scene with the retro dance music by Paul Fishman and seeing the characters warm up to each other more before the brief fight with the Nuclear Man Prototype played by Clive Mantle.
I still really enjoy this film and was a real shame for Christopher Reeve and all those involved who really had good intentions to make this worthy of the Richard Donner entries.
It is nice to see this movie that has some fans like myself who appreciate it for what it is and I am looking forward to 'Man Of Steel' next year.

Ahhhhhh yes, simpler times....

It's a pet theory of mine that even the worst entries in superhero franchises can have moments that are pure, wonderful comic booky bits. I'd cite Val Kilmer swinging down by the rays of the Bat-Signal to meet Nicole Kidman; Supergirl flying up into the clouds to catch a lightning bolt; George Clooney fighting Two-Face on the latter's helicopter; and in this movie, the speech by Lois Lane you mentioned,and Superman's cape fluttering to Earth.

Cards on the table: I *like* SupermanIII - if you read “Action Comics” at the time, rather than the “Superman” title, that was pretty much the vibe, and it’s a pretty good page to screen transfer. I can see why it wasn’t to all tastes, but it was in the spirit of the comic.
Superman IV on the other hand is just plain bad; Chris Reeve is still perfect casting, and probably looks more heroic in this than in any of the other films, but the material wasnever going to be great. Whilst sci-fi and fantasy can deal with concepts, it can’t deal with absolutes: you *can* discuss arms races, and why people go to war, but you can’t offer a solution to such problems, so effectively the narratove in Supes IV was doomed to fail.
However, I’d temper your scepticism about the deleted scene of Superman crushing the cars - it was fantastic! I can’t say if it would have worked if, as you suggest, the whole sequence was to be played for laughs, but the filming of part of the scene (at least Christopher Reeve’s end of it) was was covered in a TV programme (“Clapperboard” if I remember correctly, but it could just have been a “Making of” or a general cinema “Behind the Scenes” show), and it was an excellent practical effect.
A line of apparently parked cars were in fact gutted of their interiors, welded together boot-to-bonnet into what amounted to a metal tube, and fitted inside with hawsers attached from the front to winches at the back. On cue Reeve or (his double) leaned on the front car and walked forward, as the cables were wound in, and the cars buckled and concertinaed up, under the power of “super strength”. It was far more convincing and realistic a show of Superman’s abilities than lifting up the San Andreas Fault…
Oh, one other saving grace of Suoerman IV – it has a beautiful score; John Williams’ themes are wonderfully served by Alexander Courage’s arrangements.

Nope, i loved it though it tried a bit too hard with the continuity from 1 and 2.

As M said in Casino Royale - 'God I miss the Cold War'

"the undeniable charisma and chemistry Margot Kidder and Clark Kent bring to their roles" Mistake: Superman acts as Clark Kent, no the other way around.

Great article, but I don't care what you say; Masters Of The Universe was AWESOME =P

shhhh! I've spent the last 15 years trying to forget that series!

Metropolis is not New York, at least in the comics, so the location thing can always be ignored, no?

Spot on article.

The movie is a very fun movie to watch, and Nuclear Man had the potential to be quite a good Superman villain, actually.

Those of us that bought comics when this film was due out rushed to buy the adaptation. Nuclear Man Mark One is better known as Bizzaro and was supposed to be his first screen appearance. The comic book story demonstrates that the battle on the moon was not the last part of the story. I would like to see an extended cut restored and fixed with some love. The story told in comic form was quite good really

"All the old Superman films are pretty dire when viewed today."

Why? Becuase they don't have fancy cgi? Becuase they're not "dark, gritty, brooding"?

It was not the use of Milton Keynes, nor the shoddy blue screening that spoilt this for me but the aforementioned 'Woman breathing in space' moment and the final comedification of Lex Luthor - someone who is supposed to be the greatest criminal mind of our time - with him arsing about in a quarry and a museum with Duckie out of Pretty In Pink. He was hardly a sinister threat.

They're just bad to watch. Far too long, camp and silly.

hey I grew up on it, and loved it.

i always thought the Nuclear Man stuff was supposed to be inpired by Bizarro. I also always thought the computer in Superman 3 was supposed to be inspired by Brainiac too.

Train station, not bus.

No. I think it was awesome. A great update for Supes. Brandon Routh and Kate Bosworth were awesome. And I loved the art deco style of Metropolis. One more thing: I don't care what anyone says, NO ONE CAN TELL ME that Kevin Spacey wasn't the AWESOMEST Lex Luthor.

Hmmmmm well same thing happened in the first two movies.

In Superman (1) Superman took Lois into space - lack of oxygen no problem for lois.. meanwhile in Superman 2 I think it was Ursa or General Zod who pulled a NASA patch off the Astronaut's space suit and he died from losing the oxygen in the suit or the air pressure.. whatever

It bored me to tears. I can't decide which is worse - Man of Steel or Superman Returns.

The one saving grace of Superman IV is the scene where Lois brings Clark Superman's cape. It is, as the reviewer says, touching. Beyond that the film's a tragedy.

Robocop 2 was worse than Robocop 3.

Superman III is dire... the worst of the bunch, by far.

Superman Returns was a great movie I thought. I was a little sad when all the fanboys hated on it so bad. A sequel to it would probably have been better than Man of Steel, though I liked it ok too.

Agreed. Superman III, while flawed certainly, is much misunderstood. On the level it was intended (not necessarily the one critics and many audiences EXPECTED), it's actually quite enjoyable.

I'd certainly rather watch SUPERMAN III again than the first two STAR WARS prequels..........

IV is the worst. III is the most enjoyable.

I place Superman IV as the second worst Superman film, beaten to the top (or bottom) spot by the godawful Man of Steel.
They could quite easily have relaunched the Superman series with a new Superman, a new Lex Luthor and a new Lois Lane, but instead decided to retell the origin story, cramming Superman I and II into one film, cutting out all of the great story telling from the originals. MoS replaced this wonderful story telling with over the top CGI and a lack of fun.
It's almost like they completely ignored what made the originals so appealing.

In comparison, I would class Superman IV as a success. At least their modest budget was put to good use. Furie managed to make a well shot film that has aged no worse than any other Superman film. Superman III has aged poorly due to it's subject matter, but the issue of nuclear armament rumbles on.
Superman IV will never be called a 'great' film, but I feel it is better than the majority of the Burton/Schumacher Batman films (particularly the latter).

With hindsight, IV is not the swansong for the perfectly cast Christopher Reeve that he deserved, but he took this script and put of much of his heart and soul into it as he did with the undeniably brilliant Donner films.

Reeve set a benchmark with his portrayal of Superman/Kent/Kal-El that hasn't been matched since.

Indeed. According to DC, Metropolis is in Delaware, last time I checked.

And Gotham City is in New Jersey.

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