An alien orphan is sent from his dying planet to Earth, where he grows up to become his adoptive home's first and greatest superhero.An alien orphan is sent from his dying planet to Earth, where he grows up to become his adoptive home's first and greatest superhero.An alien orphan is sent from his dying planet to Earth, where he grows up to become his adoptive home's first and greatest superhero.
*** (out of 4)
One of the best comic book adaptations has Christopher Reeve playing an alien orphan who finds himself on Earth working as a nerdy reporter under the name Clark Kent but his true calling is that of Superman who finds himself going up against Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman). It's easy to see why so many comic book fans consider this one of the strongest adaptations out there. This film pretty much delivers everything from romance to adventure to action to some rather funny moments as well. A lot of credit has to go to director Richard Donner who really does a remarkable job at bringing all of this together. I think a lot of credit also has to be given to the bravery of keeping Superman pretty much hidden for well over a hour. The first forty-five minutes pretty much deals with Superman's father (Marlon Brando) and the fall of his planet, which is something else that a lot of movies wouldn't have bothered with or at least wouldn't have spent so much time on. I think the film's greatest moments are when Superman is in action. One such example is the first sequence when we see Superman for the first time. There's also the incredibly tense ending, which contains one great sequence after another but the dam is clearly the highlight. Another strong thing this film has going for it are the performances with Reeve leading the way in the title role. The actor was simply born to play this part as he perfectly nails not only to nerdy Kent but he's also believable as the superhero. Margot Kidder is also extremely fun in the role of the love interest and there's no question that Hackman brings a lot of smiles as Luthor. It's also great fun being able to see the likes of Brando, Glenn Ford and Jackie Cooper in their parts. The special effects when viewed today aren't the greatest but there are still several spots that hold up extremely well. If I had a problem with anything it's the extremely long running time, which I felt was just too long for its own good. Still, SUPERMAN was ground-breaking when it was first released and it's easy to see why as it still holds up well after all these years.
- Jun 11, 2013