Wealthy businessman Ross Webster (Robert Vaughn)discovers the hidden talents of Gus Gorman (Richard Pryor), a mischievous computer genius. Ross decides to abuse his talents, in a way to help Webster with his plans for economic control. When the man of steel interferes, something must be done about Supes. When Gus' synthetic Kryptonite fails to kill Superman, it turns him in an evil incarnation of his former self. The tar-laced Kryptonite pits man against himself, setting up the Clark vs. Superman battle. Written by
I'll be frank: SUPERMAN III is NOT a good film. Having heard both from people who loved the movie and hated the movie, I watched it with an open mind, but in the end it was clear to me that this movie is weak. Very weak.
Half of the movie revolves around Gus Gorman (Richard Pryor!), a dim-witted computer programmer who becomes involved in crime when he begins working for millionaire Ross Webster (Robert Vaughn). The other half of the film revolves around Superman (Christopher Reeve), as he is reunited with high school sweetheart Lana Lang (Annette O'Toole) and becomes evil when exposed to synthetic kryptonite.
One can't help but wonder what David and Leslie Newman, who co-wrote the previous two SUPERMAN films, were thinking when they wrote this film. It opens with a cringe-worthy slapstick sequence, and gets worse from there. Any and all scenes involving Richard Pryor are completely out of place in this film, making it seem more like an unfunny comedy than a superhero film. Director Richard Lester tries his best to make the movie work, but ultimately, it doesn't, thanks in part to the absence of Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor and the near-absence of Margot Kidder as Lois Lane (Kidder has a total of about three minutes on-screen). Christopher Reeve, however, is excellent as always, and Annette O'Toole is a good fit for the part of Lana Lang; interestingly, she portrayed Clark's mother, Martha Kent, on the hit Superman TV series SMALLVILLE.
SUPERMAN III is mediocre at best, a failed attempt to continue an excellent series. While it couldn't hold my attention for the 125 minute runtime, I can think of worse movies to watch late at night with a bowl of popcorn and a Coke. Superman fans may want to check it out; all others, steer clear.
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