Superman does a lot in his newest adventure. Archvillain Lex Luthor, determined to make the world safe for nuclear arms merchants, creates a new being to challenge the Man of Steel: the radiation-charged Nuclear Man. The two super-powered foes clash in an explosive screen extranvaganza that sees Superman save the Statue of Liberty, repulse a volcanic eruption of Mount Etna, rebuild the demolished Great Wall of China and perform many more spetactular feats. Written by
Robert Lynch <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cannon were in severe financial trouble by the mid 80's. They bought the rights to the Superman franchise hoping the film would save them. The finished picture ended up being another costly failure. See more »
When Nuclear Man is thought to be destroyed, and Superman lands on the moon to stand the American flag in its proper place, wires are clearly visible. See more »
Perversely bad. With major budget cuts (from $28 to $16m) and story problems, the moviemakers suddenly found themselves cutting corners in all areas. And it shows. Completely lacking in awe, fun and excitement, Superman IV most of all feels like a bad joke.
The fact that it comes across more cartoonish than the previous three is hardly intentional, as everything - from effects to dialogue - just seems oddly rushed and second-rate.
The only highlight is Gene Hackman - who returns in high spirits as Lex Luthor. Christopher Reeve co-scripted this time and he again personifies the Man of Steel. But most of his co-stars are either wasted (Mariel Hemingway) or hysterical (John Cryer).
The new villian, Nuclear Man (as played by Mark Pillow), looks like a Swedish showwrestler in a home-made Halloween suit, complete with mullet hair and horrendous over-acting mannerisms.
Director Sidney J. Furie (the man behind the otherwise taut thriller The Entity) seems unable to create any sparks and Superman IV falls completely flat, head first. Game over.
Note: Certain scenes had to be borrowed from the previous movies, most notably Superman and Lois on their romantic evening flight above the Manhattan skyline. How they even managed to make this scene look worse than in the original is really mind-boggling.
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