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A very underreted solid decent third Superman sequel and that not a bad one
ivo-cobra87 October 2016
Superman III (1983) is very extremely underrated bashed hated film and I am going to defend this film today! It is one of my personal favorite Superman movies of all time. Yes you read the title I love Superman III it is my childhood movie, I grew up watching this film and it was the first film I saw as a kid. Since I saw half of the second film Richard Lester version. Christopher Reeve will always be Clark Kent Superman for me no one else can replace him I don't care what anyone says.

I kept wining to my parents that I want to see Superman movie and in the video store a lady video store owner gave me Superman III on VHS when I was a kid and it was the only movie she had. Superman III is MILES way better than crappy lame Zack Snyder's Man of Steel and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice I hate those movies. I find this film enjoyable, well-done, and extremely underrated. The effects & technology are extremely dated (especially the computers), but this is still a decent, well-done film.

Plot: Synthetic kryptonite laced with tobacco tar splits Superman in two: good Clark Kent and bad Man of Steel.

Thing's I love in this movie, why I gave the most highest rating in this film and why I am defending it:

Christopher Reeve is and always will be the only SUPERMAN! No one could play Clark Kent/Superman like Christopher Reeve, If anyone could be Superman, It is Christopher Reeve!

The opening sequence with the "fools of Metropolis" was amusing, in a slap-stick way; this intentionally reminded me of some of the old slap-stick routines from years before (Laurel & Hardy; Three Stooges; etc.). And, sure, a lot of Superman III was comedic, but a lot of this was just in line with the Gus Gorman (Richard Pryor) character.

Superman/Clark going back to Smallville for his high school reunion & running into Lana Lang (Annette O'Toole), etc. Very cool sequence, and I liked seeing Superman return to his "roots". Also, based on the reunion you get an idea of the character's ages - i.e., the reunion said "Class of 1965" & since the film came out in 1983 (and supposedly was set in "real time), then Clark & his class-mates were all around 36 years old at that point.

This film focus more on Lana Lang, Clark's first love, Lois was Clark's eternal Love but Lana was his first love. Annette O'Toole was perfectly as Lana Lang after long 18 years Annette was cast as Martha Kent in Smallville.

In Superman: The Movie Lana Lang was played by actress Diane Sherry and she only had a cameo scene and than she disappeared from the rest of the film. Here we find out more about Clark and Lana's love! I saw Clark and Lois in the first two films but now we see more Clark and Lana's love story.

Superman save's Ricky (Paul Kaethler) Lana's son in the corn filed from the tractor that scene was really serious, the kid could have been seriously crushed, it that could have happened in real life.

This film was filmed and released in year of 1983 the year that I was born. This was my first Superman movie and it is my childhood film, I love it to death and I will always cherished.

The whole sequence where Superman was exposed to the "Red Kryptonite" (though they didn't call it that in the episode) and became dark/somewhat evil. They did a great job of transforming Superman/Clark to look dirty/unshaven/burned out (even his costume was darker!), and not only disinterested in helping others - but also being somewhat malicious as well. I especially liked the battle that Superman had with his good & bad selves in the junkyard; I'm guessing this battle may have been metaphorical. It was also interesting on another level, because we saw what would happen if Superman had been evil instead of good. That scene was also used in Smallville Season 2 Episode 4: Red Clark was exposed to Red kryptonite and he evil.

Richard Pryor as the scam artist Gus Gorman was good and hilarious the same time - obviously, because of his inclusion many fans probably dismissed the film as a comedy; however, his presence brought a light-heartiness to the film that was reminiscent of the comedic Ned Beatty character from Superman I & II.

Christopher Reeve was perfect as Clark Kent/Superman he acted brilliant his character, he is the only Superman and superhero for me.

This is Richard Lester original version film and he didn't had to re shot scenes from Richard Donner.

The rest of the actors did a solid job and I really didn't had any problems with them.

Robert Vaughn was a great villain I am glad the franchise had a new villain in all films Lex Luthor was five time the villain in all Superman franchise movies.

Ross Webster was a great villain and the scene where Vera (Annie Ross) becomes a robot and she becomes evil really scares me.

Brad Wilson played by Gavan O'Herlihy: Lana's former boyfriend, the character from the first film also returns in the first film he was played by Brad Flock.

Superman III is a 1983 British superhero film directed by Richard Lester, based on the DC Comics character Superman. It is the third film in the Superman film series and the last Superman film to be produced by Alexander Salkind and Ilya Salkind.

I love this film to death and it is my second favorite and the last good Superman film.
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Like Office Space With a Super Hero
gavin694217 September 2006
After making two fairly decent Superman movies, things took a slightly different turn with Superman III. Gene Hackman was nowhere to be found, Lois Lane has such a small part that she's essentially not even in the continuity anymore (Clark apparently forgets all about his love of Lois when he re-meets Lana Lang). And things became really funny, or were at least supposed to be. If you consider "campy" to be funny.

Superman faces off against himself, after being exposed to a new form of kryptonite that has tobacco tar mixed in. Can the world trust a Superman who destroys oil tankers and sleeps with random women on top of the Statue of Liberty? The best part of the "Evil Superman" sequence is when we see Superman drunk, if for no other reason than the thought of Superman getting drunk (or even having the ability to become intoxicated) is a most unusual thought. Good thing Superman doesn't drive a car.

I really enjoyed the entrance of Lana Lang into the film. Lana, in my opinion, was always the more appropriate match for Superman and there is no exception in this movie. She shares a history with him, is more caring than Lois and less dominant. I'm curious where the Lois/Lana thing will go in Part 4, if it goes anywhere. (I am not suggesting dominant women are bad, by the way. But the fact of the matter is anyone dating Superman is going to have to be comfortable with being second fiddle.) What sold me on this movie (and almost scored it a 7 instead of a 6) is the tie-in with "Office Space". In Office Space, Superman III is referenced for a computer program that takes fractions of a cent and puts them in a bank account. The scene in this film was great, and really made me appreciate the way Mike Judge used it many years later.

With nicotine and tar being the secret ingredients in the new kryptonite, was there some message being sent? Richard Pryor was great. He was funny and made the entire film more of a comedy with kitsch than the serious films we had seen before. Many people really didn't like the campiness, I guess, but I thought it was enjoyable for the most part (though they did go over the top just a bit). In my mind, Superman was the light story and Batman the dark story, so I'd rather see a silly Superman than a silly Batman.

The new villain to replace Lex Luthor was okay, but why bother making a new villain if he's going to be the exact same character? I would hope after fifty years of comic books, there would have been at least one other super villain they could have chosen (although the new "Superman Returns" focuses on Luthor again, so I guess creativity is minimal in the Superman world).

If you've seen parts one and two, you may as well see this. But do keep in mind that the world of Superman turns a little "bizarro" for the next two hours of film time...
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"I hope you don't expect me to save you..."
burbs8228 November 2006
Despite the overwhelming hatred for Superman III, I gotta say that I think it's an excellent film. One of the two best of the whole Superman saga, actually. The other, of course, is the original film. But Superman III is so much fun, and a great example of how it's possible for Superman to have enemies OTHER than Lex Luthor. The guy's been the main villain in, how many is it, FOUR of the now FIVE Superman films? I liked Gene Hackman's Luthor (far superior to Kevin Spacey's), but you gotta take a break at some point. No, Superman III is a refreshing change of pace, not only in that respect, but in several ways.

Most noticeable, and much to the chagrin of many people, is the slightly more comedic tone of the film, centered mainly around Richard Pryor's character, August 'Gus' Gorman. I thought Prior was great. He plays an over-the-top character in a movie series about an over-the-top character. I hear people complain all the time that they hate the comedy that Prior brought to the film because Superman is supposed to be, and these are actual quotes, "gritty" and "realistic". NO, he's not. Superman is not gritty, and he's not realistic. Never was, never will be. Richard Donner's original doesn't even come CLOSE to playing it straight. Just look at how he portrays Clark Kent. In the comic books and 1950's television series, the "mild-mannered" Clark Kent is treated with respect and professionalism. He basically co-exists amongst his peers at the Daily Planet. In "Superman: The Movie", Richard Donner has taken the character straight out of the old comics and TV series, with all the same mannerisms and morals, and placed him in a very modern 1978. This is a set-up for much of the films adequate amount of comedy relief. "Superman: The Movie" is not a comedy. Neither is "Superman III", but they both have comic relief. The Clark Kent character is slightly more serious in this one, thus, you have Gus. A funny little man, with an interesting power. A savant-like intellect that gives him complete control over any computer system.

I especially like how Clark Kent, Superman's alterego, is fleshed out more as he returns home to Smallville. This is a great follow-up to Richard Donner's brief exploration to Superman's early years in Smallville. The inclusion of Lana Lang as Clark's high school crush was great, even better in that they chose the lovely Annette O'Toole to portray the character. I LOVE Margot Kidder, but I think Lana is a very important character in Superman's backstory.

All the delving into Clark Kent's character and background leads us to one of the greatest scenes in motion picture history... Clark Kent vs. Evil Superman. I could sit here and expound on the scene's metaphoric implications all day long, but simply put, I found it jaw-dropping. Christopher Reeve was always perfect as Superman, but his best work is here in this scene. Evil Superman is a very physical representation of everything Clark/Superman has ever repressed, and obviously we're talking about a lot of repression here. It's great stuff. I still wanna cheer every time the victorious Clark Kent opens his shirt to reveal his famous insignia, which, by the way, is differentiated by Evil Superman's in that it's excessively bright, where as his was really dark and dingy looking. Having been a Superman fan since I was a kid way back in the day, that's one of those scenes I'll remember 'till the day I die. I remember it from my childhood, but it's actually more relateable for me now as an adult.

Superman III is one of the greats. If you haven't seen it yet, I only ask that you watch it with an open mind and not look for grit or realism where it has no place being. Instead, just believe a man can fly... again.
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A lot less humor needed
ODDBear16 October 2006
If you're a fan of Superman you'll find plenty to enjoy in this third installment in the series. I do, but it must be admitted that this film is much inferior to the first two.

This has Richard Lester written all over it. Superman II was Richard Donner's creation and Lester simply took over and wisely kept the tone of the film but with some added humor. This time around the humor steers the film as it's mostly a Richard Pryor vehicle. It doesn't come as much of a surprise that the film fares best when focusing on the Man of Steel, whether he's romancing an old flame in Smallville or in high flying action.

This is also the film where Superman goes bad and fights his alter ego to the death. Those scenes are the best in the film. Some set pieces are pretty good and special effects are decent. However, the finale has to be deemed utterly ridiculous when Superman battles a "sophisticated" computer!

Reeve is amazing as Superman/Clark Kent. Effortlessly switching to playing a meaner version of himself, he's simply perfect. Richard Pryor is always the same, so if you're a fan of his work you'll love him here. Everyone else is decent except those three villains; they're a little too much, especially Vaughn.

A lot less humor and more seriousness would have made the film very good.
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More comic-book than the first two.
vip_ebriega14 February 2007
My Take: It never reaches the heights of its predecessors with its sillier story and ridiculous villains.

Many consider this a weak entry in the Superman film series. Well, I thought it was at first. But when I watched it in numerous reruns, I began to like this. Christopher Reeve excellently reprises his role, alongside comedy favorite Richard Pryor, as a computer-whiz, who is hired by his boss to help fulfill his plans for world domination. Pryor may not do it right sometimes, but he's admittedly hilarious in spots. But painfully ridiculous in some.

Among the things that make it a bit unsatisfying for critics is the lack of the characters from the originals. Lois lane had to go on vacation, so Lana Lang (played well by Annette O'Toole)is Superman's/Clark Kent's love interest. Robert Vaughn plays a sinister mastermind, an okay replacement for the famous villain Lex Luther. What some viewers don't understand is that director Richard Lester wants it to be more of a comic book adventure rather than what scriptwriter Mario Puzo did in the first two.

Rating: **1/2 out of 5.
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2nd best in the Superman saga
redbirds52515 November 2003
Warning: Spoilers
SUPERMAN III rocks. Everyone always looks down on this movie, but it was a really good addition to the Superman movies.

Basic storyline *MINOR SPOILERS --Richard Pryor is Gus Gorman, a computer genius who becomes involved in a scheme where he writes a computer program to steal money from his company. (See OFFICE SPACE) He is caught and then blackmailed by the company's owner Ross Webster. (Robert Vaughn) It turns out they sort of blackmail each other -- Webster makes Gus reprogram the weather satellite to control the weather and change the course of oil tankers. He also has Gus create a recipe for Kryptonite to get Superman out of the picture. On the other hand, Gus makes Webster's company build him a supercomputer.

Meanwhile, Superman/Clark Kent is back in his hometown of Smallville where he rekindles an old flame with sweetheart Lana Lang (Annette O'Toole, who ironically plays Clark's mom on the SMALLVILLE TV series). Superman comes in contact with the "homemade" Krytptonite and all havoc breaks loose.

The most exciting sequence of SUPERMAN III has to be the Clark Kent/Superman fight in the junkyard. The final fight with Superman vs. the supercomputer (Pac-Man sounds included) is also pretty good.

SUPERMAN III is my 2nd favorite movie in the Superman series. Better than SUPERMAN I & IV, but not as good as Superman II.
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Richard Pryor and Richard Lester and two Supermans... What else could a man want?
jwpeel-131 July 2004
I love this movie, for those of you think it's really bad because it's too ridiculous, you must not read too many of the comics. The very first comics I never read were Superman comics, and that was when I hadn't even got into kindergarten, and let me tell you, they could be pretty silly but never boring.

The same could be said for this movie. First of all, I love Richard Pryor and he has a field day in this movie. Secondly, I love Robert Vaughn, and he plays a really juicy villain in this one. And then there's this great fight scene between two Supermen... but I don't want to give away everything from those of you haven't seen the film yet.

There is everything you should expect in this kind of movie. My only complaint was not enough Lois Lane (Margo Kidder) and maybe I'm nitpicking, but continuity with the other two films seems to be ignored completely. According to this entry in the series, Clark graduated from Smallville high in 1962. The problem with that is that in the first film, is clear that when Clark is in high school, it's the late 1940s by the vintage cars and trucks in the scenes. But hey, if we can believe that a man can come from another planet, fly, see through walls, burn through things with his eyes and lift trains into the air then why bitch about little things like continuity?

Not only do I have this baby on video from cable TV, but I also taped the network version just for the outtakes and edited out every single commercial. (The beautifully choreographed opening credits with the blind man, some mechanical penguins on fire and more is even longer and better in the TV version.)

So hate this one if you must, but I will take it over the second film any the day of the week. (That is, the Richard Lester version. I LOVED the Richard Donner cut which recently made it to DVD.)

I give it a 7 out of 10.
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The most underrated Superman of all time solid and decent personal favorite Superman of mine
rambofan4life3 September 2018
Superman III (1983) is criminally and the most underrated Superman film of all time. It is a good, solid, excellent sequel doesn't deserve the hate. Are you a fan of Superman III? Hell, yes I am a fan of Superman III and a big supporter of the film. It was released the year I was born 1983. I love, love, love this film to death. I enjoy and love the third entry of Superman the same as the original first Superman in the franchise. Christopher Reeve is the only Clark Kent/Superman no one else. Great Special effects, the best in the franchise. Clark Kent VS evil Superman was the best of the film and the best fight in the intier franchise.

I especially liked the battle that Superman had with his good & bad selves in the junkyard. The cyborg on the end Vera (Annie Ross) in which she was caught with weirs from the computer creped me out and scared me. I think it is much better than Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Superman Returns, Man of Steel, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League. Superman 3 is my second personal favorite film in the franchise it defines my childhood. Christopher Reeve is Superman of all time.

Superman The Movie is my number 1 favorite Superman. Christopher Reeve is Superman of all time. He is Clark Kent/Superman no one else. I enjoy this movie more I watch it on VHS tape the first time as a kid. This movie is slapstick comedy from Richard Pryor but I didn't mind him the film it is not that bad folks it never was. This was the first movie in the franchise I watched as a kid. Superman II introduced me in to world of Superman and Superheroes but this movie was this film of all 4 I watched first was Superman III. Here is why I enjoy it and I think it is an pair with the first original film:

The story follows right there in which we saw teen Clark Kent (Jeff East) from Superman the Movie in the opening sequence in Smallville we saw Lana Lang played by Diane Sherry Case and Clark's nemesis Brad Wilson played by Brad Flock this movie is set right 15 years after Clark graduate from high school and he returns to Smallville and he sees his old first love Lana Lang played now by Annette O'Toole. Brad Wilson is now played by Gavan O'Herlihy. The movie right connects this film and loyalty follows the roots from the first film. This movie is completely connection with Smallville TV series 2001 Annette O'Toole played Martha Kent in the series that is why I have enjoy this film so much.

This is the first movie in which there was no Lex Luther and it was new villain Ross Webster (Robert Vaughn) and yes he was good. His sister Vera (Annie Ross) and his girlfriend Lorelei (Pamela Stephenson) were a good villains. Lex Luthor was in all Superman films except Man of Steel and Superman III. I like that the story is fresh and doesn't copy the first two films.

Christopher Reeve is and always will be the only SUPERMAN! No one could play Clark Kent/Superman like Christopher Reeve, If anyone could be Superman, It is Christopher Reeve! Yes I am Christopher Reeve fan boy so sue me. You really believe Christopher was superman, he was so, iconic!

Annette O'Toole is the best female leading romantic lead that Superman ever had in the film. I like Margot Kidder as Lois Lane but I love Lana Lang much more that is my personal opinion.

Richard Pryor is Gus Gorman and he really did a good job portraying his character.

Superman powers in action in this movie: super hearing from comic book alive and his x-ray vision on Jimmy is the best of the film.

In the opening scene Superman saves a man in the car from drowning. Superman saves a chemical plant from fire containing vials of acid that can produce clouds of corrosive vapor when superheated. He freeze lake and he takes it too the plant and let go so that it starts raining he saves Plant and Smallville from chemical cloud. Superman save's Ricky (Paul Kaethler) Lana's son in the corn filed from the tractor that scene was really serious, the kid could have been seriously crushed, it that could have happened in real life.

I enjoy that it was a disaster film on the end in which Ross Webster and Gus Gorman builds a super computer in which it steals the electricity and power from Metropolis I love in which Gus Gorman redeems him self and saves Superman twice. I love in which Brad fights with Clark and Clark throws from the bed in the elevator funny scene.

John Williams did return with his music score for superman and it was awesome as always. Richard Lester directed perfectly this film so I disagree about him not giving 100% of the film I think his vision on Superman III was great. I would give it 10 but absence from Margot Kidder as Lois Lane was a bad idea she should have been more in the movie, but she only had two scenes in the opening sequence and in the ending sequence. That shouldn't have been in the film so it is a 9 a perfect good score.

8/10 I love this film to death and it is my second favorite and the last good Superman film. It is my personal second favorite film of all time I love it.
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It's not all that bad folks!
TalesfromTheCryptfan11 November 2006
Gus Gorman (Richard Pryor) who is a fun-loving computer genius has been hired by a mad rich computer company tycoon named Ross Webster (Robert Vaughn)to help him with his plans along with Ross's sister Vera (Annie Ross) and girlfriend Loreli (Pamela Stephenson) but Superman (Christopher Reeve)interferes with their plans as they must plot to stop Superman for good. Clark Kent revisits his old boyhood town called Smallville, where he is reunited with an old flame named Lana Lang (Annette O'Toole) at a high school reunion during his visit. Gus comes up with a scheme to make a special kryptonite with tobacco tar to make Superman evil including splitting up with his personality so that way Gus and Webster can make their supercomputer that can control the world's energy, can Superman come back to normal or will the computer take over mankind?

Enjoyable sequel but not as awesome as the first two movies, Richard Lester who did his version of "Superman II" just added some unnecessary comedy relief such as the "Three Stooges"-esquire opening sequence that didn't help or that ludicrous video game footage but there was some good special effects and memorable moments like Clark Kent vs. Superman in the junkyard sequence or the part where Vera becomes a Dot Matrix from Spaceballs-like android, although Ms. Stephenson was pretty cute.

All in all it's that bad folks, just relax, enjoy and suspend your disbelief.
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Great Superman sequel - underrated by traditionalists
mattrochman3 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This film is not worthy of the 9/10 I gave it. But I saw that the average was below 5 and I feel the need to "corrupt" the statistics. I want to increase this average so that score is a truer reflection of the quality and public's perception of this film.

Many may think that this is unfair or unreasonable. But I regard it as a reflex reaction to traditionalists who gave it '1' because it strayed from the typical superman formula, irrespective of whether it was a good film in its own right... and it was! Since they are unfairly under-rating the film, I feel justified in over-rating the film..... DEAL WITH IT! The traditionalists want the love interest Lois Lane to feature prominently, along with the naive Jimmy Olsen, the ranting Perry White and the conniving and ruthless Lex Luthor.

Well, Jimmy breaks his leg in the first 15 minutes and is (presumably) hospitalised for the rest of the film, Lois (kidder) makes a cameo appearance at the start of the film to let us know that she's going on holiday, Lex (& his numb-skull sidekick Otis) isn't even mentioned and it seems as if the Daily Planet doesn't mind if Clark Kent goes to his high school reunion and then takes the next few weeks off work. With all the plot devices removed, I was actually interested in where this movie would take me, rather than rolling my eyes before the film has even begun.

First and foremost, the film opens better than any other of th0e Reeve Supermans. First, Superman saves a man from drowning in his car (wait till you see it!) and shortly after, there is a fire at a chemical factory (and superman arrives again to save the day). I felt that this opening was rather thrilling and the film makers stuck to the traditions of classic Superman.

Then we move onto the story of Clark Kent rekindling a romance with a high school sweetheart, who is, at the same time, fending off an old alcoholic ex-boyfriend. This scenario gives rise to a number of funny scenes (the one at the bowling alley was side splitting). As per usual, Reeves played the part of the bumbling, geeky Clark Kent to perfection.

Running along side is the story of Richard Prior. He's an unemployed bum (scenes in the welfare office are hysterical) who suddenly finds that he has a knack for computers. He commits a fraud using his extensive knowledge of computers (the fraud is later repeated - with acknowledgment - in the brilliant film "Office Space") and when he is caught, he assumes that he will be fired and arrested. However, his sinister boss has something else in mind for our comic computer whiz.

However, their plans are thwarted by Superman and in response, Prior and his boss obtain kryptonite. However, the kryptonite is 'not quite right' and causes superman to become evil (rather than weaken him). In any case, superman is out of the way, which allows Prior and his boss go to work on a "super computer" that can control the world. Will Superman become good again and save the day in time?

All in all, a very enjoyable film, even though there are short comings. The performances are very good and I couldn't imagine the computer whiz's part being played by anyone other than Prior. The villain was also terrific, as was his sister and co-conspirator.

Yes - this does stray from the traditional Superman plot formulars. But it did so without dishonouring the Superman tradition if that makes sense. And besides, it's good to have a different villain than Lex Luthor and a break from the irritatingly unresolvable romance between Kent/Superman and Lois Lane.

In closing, I found it rather amusing that the traditionalists put this effort down, but when the Reeve's series returned to it's old plot formulars (Luthor, Daily Planet, Lane...) in the woeful Superman IV - The Quest For Peace, the critics, traditionalists and general audiences all gave it a giant thumbs down!

However, the film did lose a star for having this bizarre left-wing after-taste. Instead of a crazed criminal seeking world domination, the villain is a corporate boss who wants control of the coffee market and quotes Atilla the Hun. He is enraged by and destroys a small South American country that thinks it can dictate terms to the "free market."

Clark Kent's high school crush is now a "perfect single mother" - see it's perfectly OK if Hollywood says so; and the film opens with poor old lovable Richard Pryor getting booted off welfare. Ironically, the villain goes for the oil towards the end of the film. But alas, Superman saved the day by ridding the world of this capitalist threat. Almost as laughable as the politically neutral "truth, justice, and .... all that stuff" in the recent Superman Returns. Get over it.
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Not very "Super"
rparham22 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
After two successful films, the Superman franchise was unable to sustain momentum with Superman III. Superman III continues the series slide that was slightly evident in the otherwise solid Superman II from a mix of drama, action and sly self-referential humor to more slapstick oriented, silly entries. Superman III almost wants to just be a comedy, and the film's dramatic elements are fairly lacking.

As Superman III opens, Clark Kent (Christopher Reeve) is headed for a high school reunion in Smallville where he crosses paths with an old crush of his, Lana Lang (Annette O'Toole, who years later would essay the role of Martha Kent in the series Smallville), who is divorced and living in Smallville with her son Ricky (Paul Kaethler). Clark rediscovers his attraction to her and they begin what seems to be the road to a relationship. At the same time, Gus Gorman (Richard Pryor), an unemployed man who discovers he has a knack for computer programming, gets a job with Webscoe Industries and performs some hacking to inflate his paycheck. The company's head, Ross Webster (Robert Vaughan), discovers Gus' "creative accounting" but instead of firing him, decides to use his abilities to attempt to take control of the world's energy supplies. When Superman thwarts' Ross' plans, he has Gus use satellites to analyze the location of Krypton and determine the elements that make up Kryptonite, Superman's weakness, and plans to synthesize a version of it.

Gus is unable to replicate all the elements and substitutes tar was the missing item, which produces Kryptonite that doesn't kill Superman, but instead alters his personality, causing him to be come evil and selfish. With Superman no longer helping people, Ross' plans go forward and Gus makes a request: he has designed a supercomputer that he wants Ross to build for him that will allow him to control all the computers in the world.

With the presence of Richard Pryor, it is unsurprising that Superman III has a more strictly comedy directed bent, but frankly, turning the Superman series into a much more campy variety of film just doesn't work. After the first two films were able to be somewhat tongue in cheek without losing their dramatic strength, Superman III doesn't even really try to match those films. Almost everything in Superman III is played for laughs, and not even good laughs. A majority of the humor falls flat, and the whole experience proves relatively lame.

A significant loss is the virtual removal of Lois Lane (Margot Kidder) from the film. She makes a brief appearance at the very beginning of the film and the very end, but is missing from the rest. She had a disagreement with the producers over the firing of Superman director Richard Donner on Superman II and so they all but removed her from Superman III. In her place they introduced Lana Lang, and Annette O'Toole is capable in the role, but the Clark/Lana relationship doesn't have the chemistry of the Clark/Lois relationship in Superman and Superman II.

Superman III also suffers from lackluster villains. Ross Webster is a rather bland adversary, with Robert Vaughan attempting to channel Gene Hackman but coming up a bit short. His performance isn't terrible, but it's not great either. Gus Gorman isn't a villain, per se, more of a misguided soul, so the film somewhat vacillates between making him a bad guy and thus sucks any possible menace from him. That plus he is portrayed by Richard Pryor, who is a capable comedian, but has absolutely no ability to play a villain. He's just too nice a guy.

About the only places Superman III still hits are with the still solid performance of Christopher Reeve as Superman, who manages to mostly escape unscathed, and the film's visual effects are still up to par. Otherwise, Superman III under whelms on almost every level. Not so Super, indeed.
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Fun but overly comedic sequel (spoilers)
alainenglish23 May 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Arriving nearly three years after "Superman II", "Superman III" was completed without any of the infighting or backstage fuss that had hampered the release of its predecessor. There have been some signficant changes. Lois Lane (Margot Kidder) features very little in the movie and Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman) doesn't feature at all. The storyline formula is virtually the same is the first two, but the film contains far too much of the sort of slapstick comedy that underscored, and nearly undermined, the previous efforts.

The film opens with a ridiculous slapstick credits sequence that finishes with Superman (Christopher Reeve) rescuing a man who nearly drowns in his own car. Elsewhere, unemployed no-hoper Gus Gorman (Richard Pryor) signs up to train as a computer programmer and finds himself to be something of a genius at it. Before too long, he comes to the attentions of magnate Ross Webster (Robert Vaughn) who intends to use Gorman's talents to help him amass a fortune from coffee and oil. Unfortunately, Superman scuppers their plans, prompting Webster and Gorman to try and put him out of action...

The usual superheroics ensure. Superman comes to the aid of a burning chemical plant, an imperilled coffee crop, before a final showdown with a deadly Supercomputer. Away from all the flying around, in his secret identity of Clark Kent, Superman reacquaints himself with an old high school flame Lana Lang (an appealing Annette O'Toole), and her young son Ricky (Paul Kaethler).

In an interesting twist, the villains acquire some Kryptonite, the only substance to which Superman is vulnerable. Exposed to it, our hero turns into a drunken lout before splitting himself into two personas, one good and one evil, who duel it out for dominance in a fantastic, scrapyard-bound fistfight.

"Superman III" works best when it's being played straight, especially in the gentler moments between Clark and Lana Lang. However too much of the film depends on unfunny, overplayed comedy. The main culprit in this is Richard Pryor, as far too many scenes function as setups for his strained and over-the-top standup routines.

Robert Vaughn gives a good performance as Webster, but (like Lex Luthor before him) is neither sufficiently threatening or imposing as the main villain. Annie Ross and Pamela Stephenson, as his sister and mistress respectively, are ineffectual and unappealing sidekicks.

Keeping his head through all of this is Christopher Reeve as the eponymous superhero. He really enjoys going bad in this film, and otherwise maintains a consistent and credible performance.

An enjoyable flick, but for the excessive "comedy". The series would eventually be killed off with the anodyne "Superman IV: The Quest For Peace".
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Clark Kent vs. Superman!
iluvkelly0075 April 2007
Superman III isn't as good as Superman I or II, but there is still an epic inside waiting to get out. It's better than Superman Returns, and far better than Superman IV. So why does it get such a bad rap? The answer is Richard Pryor, a weird robot, slapstick comedy, and the absence of Gene Hackman. I wouldn't be bothered by Pryor's acting if he was actually funny! But there are still some elements that make this movie great. Like the bad Superman fighting against the good Clark Kent, Clark going back home to Smallville, Clark's relationship with Lana, Superman saving people from a fire, the best special effects in the series, and a fight against a supercomputer that can read Superman's weaknesses. Fans of the comic also don't like this movie because it doesn't really use the source material for villains. But if you look hard enough you will find that they are just different interpretations. Ross Webster is the Corporate Lex Luthor, not the underground criminal Gene Hackman portrayed, Evil Superman is a form of Bizarro, and the supercomputer is like Braniac.
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A classic example of "so bad it's great".
thecolclough14 November 2008
If you're a connoisseur of bad film-making, then this is a must-have for your collection.

To be fair, it has a few good bits - most of them being Reeve's scenes - but it spends a lot of time being plain silly, and throwing together a yarn which looks far-fetched even by comic-book-movie standards. The daftness of the plot and shallowness of many of the characters, combined with a significant number of poorly-executed effects shots, produces an end result so awful that you can spend two very enjoyable hours just laughing at how bad it is.

Superman: the Movie begins on an epic note, and maintains a degree of gravitas throughout - but this second sequel starts off with a ridiculous piece of slapstick mayhem, and never really tries to be serious at all. Many films try to get their audience emotionally invested in what's happening during the finale, whereas this one, if anything, saves the daftest for last.

Superman III also suffers from the fact that many of the main characters from the first two films are either absent, or reduced to minor parts, and most of the story focuses on people who weren't there in the previous instalments, which makes this feel less like a continuation of the existing story, and more like a completely separate entity which just happens to feature the same actor as Superman.

I gave it 1 star for its few decent bits of acting and characterisation (yes, there are one or two), 1 for some half-decent set designs, and 1 for being amusing. It loses the other 7 for throwing away most of what it inherited from its two predecessors, and reducing the series to a cheap, cheesy comedy.

This film can be enjoyed if you don't expect too much of it - it's best watched with your brain completely disengaged.
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Superman vs St. Louis Assassin -part 3
StLouisAssassin10 July 2006
this film is not at all as bad as some people would have you to believe it is.

Once again the acting is superb (the acting was great in all 4 of these movies-even when the scripts aren't) I have a good time with this film every time I see it.

It is the only Superman movie that doesn't open with John Williams awesome soundtrack. It's also the only one of the 4 movies where Superman fails to go to the fortress of solitude. It is also the only one without Lex Luther. yes it was a departure from the first 2 films. this movie had far more comic relief in it. Richard Pryor done an outstanding job in this movie.

yes I will admit that parts 1 and 2 are much better films than part 3.

this is a good movie and curses to those who slam it. this is a fun movie.
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The first of two extremely weak sequels
KnightLander18 March 2006
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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not so Super-man
mcfly-314 July 2002
It'll keep you watching, you can say that. Either on the bad levels or the good ones (if you should find some), since most fans are so divided on this third entry. It falls somewhere under fair for me, as the effects continue to be awesome, but the story this time is tremendously lacking. Part two had three villians equally as strong as Superman, plus the romance going with Lois Lane. This one has a Lex Luthor clone (Hackman's Lex is left off-screen in jail) who also would like to rule the world, a dweeby computer genius (Pryor, as the much debated addition to the cast) and a romance you know will go nowhere with one of Reeve's lost loves. We already saw that he couldn't give things up for Lois, so why bother brining on a new girl? Though O' Toole is gorgeous, a lot more than Kidder, who is featured at the beginning of the film looking aged, then at the end with a bad tan. Rumor has it she outpriced herself which resulted in the character being shipped off to Bermuda. With her out of the picture, Reeve attends a high school reunion where he bumps into O'Toole. Meantime, Vaughn and Pryor are poised for world dominance, though Pryor is realizing the ramifications and is reluctant. But he still goes through it, concocting a kryptonite like impairment for Superman, which results in some of the film's best scenes. Reeve develops a naughty alter ego, and we get to see Superbad-man get drunk, straighten the Tower of Pisa, even get horny, among other things. There's a terrific showdown between Reeve and...well, Reeve in a junkyard where bad Supes confronts his inner goodness, Clark Kent. After this, though, the film sags to it's conclusion, as Reeve goes up against more rockets and missiles, a la part one. Despite missing the tension of part two, the film is interesting in a disjointed kind of way. The flying effects are once again top-notch, and strangely enough, are better than in the next film which came out four years later! And most have mentioned the dopey opening sequence that belonged more in a silent comedy than here, but it wasn't a horrendous mistake. I must note as a kid that when Vaughn's sister is turned into that psycho-robot it FREAKED me out! Biggest annoyance is the kid who plays Ricky, his voice is badly dubbed and incredibly nerve-racking. Also could've done without O'Herlihy's drunken antagonist. Most of the music is lifted from part two, but since I liked Ken Thorne's work, I didn't mind. I could even say (Supe fans will kill me) I would rather watch this one than the first movie. So even though the story isn't really there like in the previous films, the movie overall still FLIES (hehe).
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Fun, Cheesy humor
KentBrockman23 September 2003
Superman III was no more than just a fun goof ball of a movie. Richard Pryor brought some laughs and the story was great with Superman battling his own alter ego. It's what every fan would like to see, an equal battle of good and evil, who will win?? Not as good as the first 2 but all out fun.
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Good Sequel
movieguy8100717 January 2007
Superman III is a good sequel. I like the action and the humor. Christopher Reeve is good as Clark Kent/Superman, Annette O' Toole is good as Lana, Robert Vaghn was good as Ross Webster, and I think Richard Pryor does a good comedic performance as Gus Gorman. I think Richard Lester did a good job directing this movie. I also like the other movie he directed Superman II. I like the sets, writing, cinematography, visual effects, acting and sound. Every time I watch this movie I laugh. I wish Superman IV was as good as Superman III. I wish Christopher Reeve never died. I think this movie makes fun of itself because most sequels do. The critics were wrong on this movie. I read some where that this was a Box Office hit.
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Never underestimate the power of computers! Superman 3
palexandersquires5 April 2005
The above comment, is what Ross Webster says, I know the power of this very computer that I do these reviews on. But the computer won't do anything I tell it. unlike that big computer on the film. also can you get Gus to tell me how to get all the half cents into my wages account as well. I also liked that drunk caretaker at that Webscoe Centere when Gus got him drunk! I also like it when Gus says "Baby it's daddy" to the big computer in that cave. I thought that the fight that those two Superman's had in the scrap yard was a lesson to everyone, that is. Good will triumph over evil in the end! this film also shows us just how dependent we are on oil! and coffee to get us going in the mornings, and for this world to function. I wish that Clark Kent would get some better glasses, maybe he should visit Specsaves!! I am glad we have superman on this planet, I sleep much safer in my bed, knowing that he is out there. I also wish that Lex Luther was banged up in the clink.
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One of the better comicbook movies around
Cool things about Superman III:

1. Reeve gives his best Superman performance; no messing about, kick ass and take names heroics. I love it. 2. The junkyard fight scene, the best superhero movie fight sequence ever, outside the Matrix trilogy. 3. When Clark becomes Superman again after that fight scene; the way he stands up, realises who he is and then rips his shirt open to reveal the clean, fresh, heroic S symbol is awesome, and is one of the most stirring and effective Superman moments ever. 4. Best special effects of the series. 5. Richard Pryor IS funny, even though he is clearly in the wrong flick. 6. That nasty Zelda-from-Terrahawks cyborg monster that woman gets turned into at the end - SCARY! 7. Lana Lang is so much better than Lois Lane, you can actually see why Clark would go for her. 8. The way Superman outwits the computer at the climax rather than just using his power to defeat it.

Here's the ultimate cool thing: when most actors play evil versions of their characters, they just play them as 2D bad guys. But Reeve makes the evil Superman a convincingly bitter, currupted version of the Man of Steel, who realises how great he used to be and hates himself and everybody else for his fall from grace. He's a disgraced hero, a fallen angel. Ironically, he's the best villain of teh Superman series. The whole good/evil Superman thing is awesome and for me makes Superman III a very good film. I'll take Superman III over Spider-Man, Daredevil and Batman Forever.
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supercygnus29 November 2006
In truth, although I personally enjoyed Superman III and I scored it an "8", it probably lies somewhere closer to 7.5. What has become the major criticism has been a focus not on what the film was, but what it could have been. This is truly unfair to the finished product as SUPERMAN III did have a lot to offer and remains quite entertaining today. Please read on as I qualify a statement that may be viewed a blasphemous among many fans.

First let's get something straight. The film was not a "bomb". It made less than the first 2, however part II made less than part I, and yet is considered a strong film whatever cut of it you see. Part III made less, but was still very successful. Second, part III is attacked for 2 reasons. The first is of course the lack of DONNER and his influences (director Richard Donner of the first film and part of the second). Yes, it is indeed sad that we will never know how far he could taken the series had he not been so unceremoniously canned; however that is something we cannot change or know and Part III is it's own animal and should be judged thusly. True, it does suffer some major drawbacks. There is real lack of spark without Lois around and the humor is very overpowering in many spots (the opening for example is entertaining, but completely off tone for the franchise). It does however benefit from a wonderful Lana Lang (the still very beautiful and active Superman actress in the current Smallville series, Annette O'Toole), a fun and unpredictable battle with a supercomputer, the ever reliable Reeve as Superman once again, and a scene which should be considered one of the greatest scenes in ANY superhero film, good Supes vs. Bad. That scene alone warrants a viewing.

The second complaint is with co-star Richard Pryor. Anyone who has seen BATMAN and Nicholson's dominance of screen time, or even the first SUPERMAN must acknowledge that SUPERMAN III is not the only film to focus at least as much on the villain (if not more so) as they do the hero. It is sometimes distracting the extent they focus on Pryor in the film, but he also brings both a lightly villainous but also strong sense of humanity to a part that could have simply have been just a forgettable henchman. There was a distinct overuse of his character, but he by no means sinks the film.

It should also be pointed out that the first 2 films (I rank, as do many others as some of the best Superhero films ever made) also had their flaws both in continuity (if Krypton had been destroyed thousands of years earlier, how then does the education in the crystals on the way to Earth reference 20th Century information for example) and logic (so it's just mere coincidence that tossing a nuclear bomb/missile into the vastness of space would just happen to explode a phantom zone prison floating around from Kyrpton?) and even Donner's work was occasionally improved by the choices made by Lester (his contributions to the franchise are a real injustice on their own as he is also an immensely talented filmmaker). Of course the third is no where near the shear wonder of parts 1 and 2, but it does stand well on it's own as a side adventure outside the first two films' mythology and despite it's shortcomings features some truly memorable effects, action and of course legendary Christopher Reeve playing not just dual, but a trio of roles. Worth a watch for sure.
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This movie is about Richard Pryor, not Superman.
theshadow9082 July 2006
In Superman III, a computer genius named Gus Gorman teams up with the evil president of a big company to take Superman down using the latest computer technology. Superman ends up being exposed to synthetic kryptonite, and instead of getting hurt, he turns evil. Now the good in him must fight away the bad and destroy the evil supercomputer once and for all. Due to its lazy plot and acting, this just isn't the same as Superman's first 2 adventures.

The first two Superman movies had a certain style to them that made them epic. Now, with a new director, that style is completely lost. Everything that made the first movie so good is taken away. Lex Luthor is gone, and Lois Lane's role has been shrunk down to supporting cameo. The new love interest in this film is Lana Lang, Clark's childhood sweetheart. Whereas the first movie was a great mix of action, drama, and humour, this movie is mostly humour, and a little action, because this movie is mainly meant to show off Richard Pryor's comedy skills. The plot in general is a little weak, and the villain in this is no Lex Luthor.

The acting is especially weak. Christopher Reeve doesn't do such a great job as the man of steel in this entry. It seems he's getting bored. Of course, Richard Pryor completely ruins the mood of the movie with his over the top acting.

Overall, this movie is a joke, not really meant to be anything otherwise, and I suggest people just ignore parts III and IV and skip right on to Superman Returns.

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The Best Picture of (1983)
b_luv__5729 July 2002
This is my favorite Superman movie right here. I love this one a whole lot. I love Richard Pryor a whole lot. He was very funny in that one. I love the scene when Superman split in to two. Like good Clark Kent and bad Superman. Then, they end up fighting. And, good Clark Kent wins against bad Superman. The best part with Richard Pryor, was when he flew with Superman at the near end of the movie. That was my favorite rated PG movie of all rated PG movies, my favorite Warner Bros movie of all Warner Bros movies, and my best picture of (1983).
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