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Superman IV: The Quest for Peace
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47 out of 60 people found the following review useful:

So bad, yet so watchable !

6/10
Author: Theo J Hyman from London, England
3 April 2002

Superman 1 was such a classic movie, and 2 was almost as great - Superman 3 is not a great Superman movie, but as a piece of '80s American comedy / spoof it succeeds and has some very memorable scenes (notably Chris Reeve as the evil Superman). But Part 4 is just an awful film overall with few redeeming qualities. Reeve's admirable storyline works well, and the double date scene with Superman & Clark is very entertaining (similar to the style of Superman III). But it's when Superman IV tries to get serious and exciting in its action sequences that it fails miserably and becomes a cheesey, ridiculous farce that only succeeds in showing how pointless it was to make the film on such a small budget. The story's not bad and if Donner was directing and you had 100 million dollars you could do it now and create a great adventure movie with some classic comedy scenes and some exciting action sequences. But anyway, it's too late. For all its failings, every time you see it, it's still fairly watchable, mainly because you're always expecting it to magically be better this time around. It's not as bad as everyone makes out and far more creative and original on a 16 million budget than what Batman and Robin did with 100 million! If Batman and Robin's a 3 out of 10, then Superman IV's a 6 out of 10.

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50 out of 70 people found the following review useful:

Crashing down to Earth

Author: Lars Christensen (c@cool.dk) from Copnehagen, Denmark
21 November 2001



* (1 out of 5)

Superman IV: The Quest For Peace

Directed by: Sidney J. Furie, 1987

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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34 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

Not A Very Memorable Ending To The Reeve-Superman Series

6/10
Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
2 February 2007

Superman Turns "Peacenik" could be another title to this film. Christopher Reeve remarked several times that this was his most "important" Superman movie. Being somewhat of a Liberal "peacenik," he was the kind you'd see out with a big "peace sign" at rallies against nuclear weapons.This movie had the kind of message that was dear to his heart.

Superman goes about trying to rid the world of nuclear weapons here, especially, of course when they get into the hands of villain "Dr. Luthor" (Gene Hackman). It was a nice message and, overall, a nice film. Unlike the other Superman films of the era, they didn't overdo the sappy romance with "Lois Lane" (Margot Kidder). They concentrated more on the story. Unfortunately, that story - even with good intentions - just wasn't all that memorable.

Ask anyone: people remember the first two Reeve Superman films a lot more than the last two. This one, and the third one with Richard Pryor, pretty much "bombed" at the box office, at least compared to the others.

It did not help that the producers of this movie were Golan-Globus films, guys that were known for their cheap and usually-sleazy exploitation films. "Superman" deserved better.

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27 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Great premise...bad delivery.

Author: LONE SOLO
15 May 2000

I like the idea of Superman stopping a nuclear war, however this film wasn't that great. The problem lies with SUPERMAN tackling a "real life" problem. Why not have Lex Luthor do something to percipitate a nuclear war and have Superman stop it. This film was done by Cannon films, and boy did it show. The villian with the N on his chest wasn't that great either...his only line was "kill SUPERMAN". After the third film (which killed the francise) alot of interest was lost. I mean who could top SUPERMAN 2? Unless they found a new threat or villian equal to the villians in film number 2, they shouldn't have done anymore sequels. However, this is Hollywood remember.....they flogged this francise for every dollar it could grab, and with disasterous results I might add.

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38 out of 54 people found the following review useful:

The Last Nail in the Superman Coffin.

2/10
Author: phillafella from Nashville, TN
23 June 2003

SUPERMAN IV: THE QUEST FOR PEACE pits the Man of Steel against Nuclear Man, Lex Luther's newest creation while ridding the world of nuclear weapons. This is easily the worst of the SUPERMAN movies, and it was doomed to fail right from the start. Cut from its original 134-minute version, it is full of plot holes resulting in a movie with some scenes that just don't make any sense, but even with the extra 45 minutes intact, the movie still wouldn't work because the special effects are cheap and ridiculous, and it shows. Unless you are a diehard fan of the Superman genre, this movie should be avoided.

1 out of 5

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55 out of 88 people found the following review useful:

Should have been titled Superman IV: Rest In Peace

1/10
Author: KMM from Topeka, KS
2 March 2002

This movie never should have been released. This movie is at the opposite end of the spectrum as far as favorites go for me. The 1978 original is one of my all time favorite films, while sitting through this one at the movies was like getting a root canal without the novocain. Special effects were horrible as well as character development and plot line. How could any studio head or those involved with the final print of this film feel comfortable with the finished project?

Talk about a film that rode on the popularity of its predecessors and failed to live up to any expectations that fans of the earlier films had. This movie certainly was the nail in the coffin as far as the Christopher Reeve Superman films go. And for what it's worth I fall in the category that feels Superman 3 was better than this mess. A waste of celluloid.

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22 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

The End of an Era... for Christopher Reeve

6/10
Author: gavin6942 from United States
20 September 2006

In this 4th and final Chritopher Reeve Superman film, Superman tries to rid the world of nuclear weapons, only to find that Lex Luthor is back and ready to supply the world with these dangerous weapons. Oh, and he has a new sidekick: Nuclear Man!

Many people have given this a lower rating (understandably), but a 3 or 4 out of 10? It really is not that bad. The film is fun, fast-paced and very watchable. Some consider it the worst, but I did not find it any better or worse than part 3. Granted, parts 1 and 2 are superior (thanks Richard Donner) but I've seen many worse films than Superman 4.

Random thoughts: The double date scene was clever, but really annoying and completely pointless. If Superman would just reveal himself to Lois Lane he wouldn't have to find other girls on the side... although see below.

The idea of getting rid of nuclear weapons was very nice and a great social and political commentary. I agree getting rid of nuclear weapons would be a good move. But the film made this very unrealistic. The world cheers him on, when in reality the countries would protest. He invades a variety of countries and steals their to secret hidden weapons (not sure on the legality or logistics of that). And what is to stop someone from building these weapons all over again?

What happened to Lana Lang? At the end of part 3, it looked like Superman finally realized that Lois Lane is a loser and hooked up with Lana. But she is never seen or mentioned in part 4, despite working for the Daily Planet (at least as of the last film). What gives?

Does anyone else think Lex Luthor is getting a little tired? Did we really need 3 films with Luthor and one with a Luthor knockoff? What about Brainiac or Bizarro or the Eradicator or just about anyone else? Heck, General Zod is so much cooler than Luthor (with all due respect to Gene Hackman).

There's a scene where he rebuilds the great wall of China just by looking at it. What power did he use? Tractor beams from his nipples?

But anyway, this film is not as bad as many would have you believe, and if you've spent six hours on the first three, you might as well invest 90 more minutes in this series finale.

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32 out of 47 people found the following review useful:

Even Superman couldn't save this one!

1/10
Author: griffolyon12 from United States
14 May 2006

I am a huge Superman fan and I loved the first two Superman films,but starting with the third one this franchise slowly started going down.Now we reach the fourth installment in the franchise and not even Superman himself could of saved this one.The story and villain were weak and the action was boring.Plus this sported the worst special effects in the franchise.This film feels rushed and choppy,cutting from scene to scene leaving you confused.Christopher Reeves still played the part perfectly,but him and Margot Kidder are the only ones.I felt throughout the film they tried to rekindle the success of the original two,but just couldn't do it.With a corny script,bad special effects and action,weak acting,and terrible directing and editing this one is completely passable.You definitely will not be watching this one again and again like the first two.

A disappointing: 1/10!!!

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17 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

A lot of promise and potential wasted

Author: MovieReporter from United Kingdom
29 March 2006

Its Supes versus Nukes for the fourth, much-derided Superman adventure often slated for its repressing low-budget, inferior special effects and a whole wad of plot holes and incoherence – thanks no doubt to the extraction of a whole fifty minutes, much of the film's middle portion. Yet, among the wreckage are signs that there was a good film in here somewhere, as our hero struggles to decide whether or not to intervene in human history and the character's rather touching realisation that he is not just a visitor to Earth. A nicely-toned return to the Lois-Clark-Superman relationship also could have rooted the film back to its glorious predecessors - bar number three - but once Nuclear Man shows up and the film's story is cut in half, all promise and potential disappears from the project and the audience is left with a strictly mediocre re-tread of Superman II.

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Not As Bad As You Might Think...

6/10
Author: Matthew Kresal from United States
31 October 2006

Despite its reputation as the worst of the Superman movies, Superman IV: The Quest For Peace is not. Despite the horrendous special effects and rushed ending, the film manages to still present itself with some respect.

Christopher Reeves had proved in the three previous films his ability to convincingly play the role of Superman. With this film, he not only proves his abilities but this is, in many respects, his best performance in the role. His speeches during the film are a sign of this and his chemistry with all the other actors helps also. Reeves also does his best to sell the special effects sequences it is a shame he couldn't. Reeves is the films biggest saving grace and it's a shame this would be his last time in the role.

Gene Hackman also returns in the role of Lex Luthor and with brings him that character's with, charm, and silent menace. But somehow he seems to be out of place most of the time and serves as a drawback in many of his scenes. Mark McClure, Jackie Cooper and Margot Kidder all return in their roles. But unfortunately they are all under used and their appearances might as well be cameos.

The rest of the cast does a decent job. Mark Pillow does excellent in the role of Nuclear Man, Luthor's super powered creation. Pillow does the role so well that one wonders how much better eh might have been in the special effects had been better. Mariel Hemingway is a welcomed addition to the cast as a heiress who serves as an additional love interest for Clark Kent. The only major addition that doesn't fit is Jon Cryer who could easily be the single most annoying character to ever appear in a Superman movie.

The film's real drawback is its low budget values. While this doesn't affect the majority of sets, the Fortress of Solitude set in particular looks cheap when compared to the one found in previous films. The same can also be said of the Daily Planet set. The low budget would also hurt the film in the area a budget was needed most: special effects.

The previous films, for all their flaws, at least had decent special effects and mostly convincing flying sequences and this film has neither. The special effects are sub-par by virtually any standard and despite being made nearly a decade after the first movie the effects from the first movie are still more convincing. The truly horrific nature of this films effect sequences can be seen during the climactic battles between Superman and Nuclear Man. The added addition of new powers with bad special effects doesn't help either.

The other major problem is the pacing of the film. The first 50 minutes or so is sheer entertainment that's the set up the story of both Superman riding the world of nukes and Luthor's evil plan. The set up, however, is better then the execution of the ending, which is both rushed and disjointed. The subplots of Mariel Hemingway's character and the boy who inspired Superman's quest are both left unfinished for example. Whole scenes feel incomplete and the final battle is over far too quickly to be effective.

But the film does have a saving grace in its concept. The idea of taking Superman, the ultimate hero of America, and placing him into the timely situation of Cold War disarmament is a stroke of utter brilliance. The concept of Luthor and Nuclear Man added to it also serve as an interesting addition to the story and it makes for good entertainment when viewed in this context. But this concept is ruined by the rushed feeling of the ending. But one still has to give high marks to Christopher Reeves and the screenwriters for their concept.

The films does have another saving grace: its musical score. Like the Ken Thorne scores for II and III, Alexander Courage's score makes heavy use of the John Williams themes composed for the first film and is highly effective. The Courage adaptation never fails to use the Williams music to maximum effect and it's a shame that, at Courage's own request, it has yet to see release.

Despite its flaws in special effects and editing, Superman IV has saving graces in Christopher Reeves, the rest of the cast, the music, and the timely nature of the story. While nowhere near as good as Superman The Movie or Superman II and while not as bad as Superman III, the film still serves its purpose and is your average Superman adventure.

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