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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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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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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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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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Quite simple arithmetic: Movie 4, Pryor 8, 8+4: 12 divided by 2: final rate 6!!!
elo-equipamentos26 May 2019
It was really a smart idea to bring Richard Pryor to co-starring this third awful Superman sequel, his unmatched presence supported on every lines spoke by him saves the picture of an entire flop, on early scenes a sort of the slapstick comedy give an slight idea what's coming next, meanwhile they had a right choice to rid off Lois Lane due no longer has beauty ( if had) on previous ones, introducing the younger Annette O'Toole as romantic pair, in other hand the laconic Robert Vaughn didn't was able to overcame Gene Hackman as Luthor, otherwise was happen with the dubious Lorelei on second most interesting character until now, a suppose dumb blonde actually was quite clever indeed, misleading Webster and the audience, whereas Pryor spreading his rough lines as "don't takes me to the jail, there are so many crooks, thieves and rapists", oh my god fantastic, when he shows to Webster his plans to build a powerful computer he puts on table so many rough drafts, to laugh so hard, several scenes he delivers all he can on his own words ( just supposedly ), whatever Superman does in mostly scenes weren't enough to faces Pryor in a few of them, one more picture saves by a supporting role!!!


First watch: 1986 / How many: 3 / Source: TV-DVD-Blu-Ray / Rating: 6
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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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Never underestimate the power of computers.
hitchcockthelegend10 May 2009
After being caught for a money making computer scam, Gus Gorman (Richard Pryor - wonderful) is recruited by unscrupulous multimillionaire Ross Webster (Robert Vaughn). With Gorman's computer expertise, Webster plans to take complete economic control. But first there is the considerable issue of eradicating Superman first...

Richard Lester, as everyone now knows, inherited Superman 2 from the jettisoned Richard Donner. Here we have a complete Richard Lester Superman film, and from the extended slapstick opening we are aware that this is far lighter in tone than the previous two films. Lester's credits are steeped in comedy traditions, so it's no real surprise that Superman 3 is more airy comic book than troubled caped crusader. This is something that many franchise fans are completely unforgiving about. Which is a shame, because viewed as a comic book bit of nonsense it's a rather enjoyable film, certainly it's the one with the most fun approach.

The action is very well put together, with a franchise highlight as Clark Kent (Christopher Reeve) gets to fight a clearly off kilter Superman (erm, Reeve again), and the comedy, if accepted on its own terms, is very rewarding. Annette O'Toole (adorable) takes the lead love interest role for this one, with Margo Kidder only along for cameo duties. Pamela Stephenson is on hand for some sex bomb side-kick to Vaughn work, and Annie Ross gest the annoying domineering sibling role and gets her teeth and "wires" into it.

All told, it's not a ground shaking superhero film, but it does work as entertainment if one can cast off the mythology of Superman and his fantastical complexities. To do so is not a crime against ones superhero beliefs, it's just an acceptance that this is a different approach, and that Superman 3's only real crime is not being as good as the two film's that preceded it. Hey, just think, "Quest For Peace" was around the corner... 6/10
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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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"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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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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Is this actually a Superman movie?
MaxBorg8921 July 2006
After two excellent Superman films, the franchise deteriorated. Superman IV (1987) was awful, but this third outing from 1983 isn't that great either.

The main problem lies in the fact that the director, Richard Lester, sees the movie as a comedy, and therefore tries to make it as funny as possible. Proof? He cast Richard Pryor as Gus Gorman, a dishonest worker who teams up with Robert Vaughn's Luthor copycat, Ross Webster, to dominate the world through a computer. But first they need to get rid of Superman (Christopher Reeve), who's visiting his childhood town Smallville and reuniting (under his Clark Kent identity) with old friends, particularly Lana Lang (Annette O'Toole, currently playing Supes'mom in the Smallville TV series).Their "lethal" weapon? Synthetic kryptonite which splits our hero in two, Good Superman vs. Evil Superman.

Now, this movie has its good moments: the two Supermen fighting each other is an awesome sequence, and Reeve (who finally received top billing in the credits) is as good as ever. However, the rest is a mess: Lois Lane is quickly sidelined (due to an argument between actress Margot Kidder and the movie's producers), and 90% of the script is based on utterly silly set-pieces involving Richard Pryor, who could have been a good villain hadn't his dialogue been so dire. Vaughn, on the other hand, does a good job, but it's kind of obvious he can't successfully replace Gene Hackman as a power-obsessed millionaire.

All in all, Superman III is watchable (once or twice), but it's absolutely not what a Superman film should be like. It sort of looks like a Supes version of the '60s Batman show (the one with Adam West), and that's not an entirely good thing.

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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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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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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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One of those movies ahead of their time
DrTuvok5 May 2020
Stop beating up on this movie. Richard Pryor is hilarious and it's a movie about an Ubermensch in tights, how can you take this seriously? Just look at it as Richard Pryor's Superman spoof because he's the real star here.
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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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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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Just gets better
bevo-1367830 March 2020
I like the bit where he flicks peanuts so hard that it smashes the glass
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Third fun adventure with physical comedy and predictable comic-strip action
ma-cortes12 May 2020
A fun and thrilling follow-up in which Superman : Christopher Reeve falls temporarily in distress when is poisoned by synthetic kryptonite containing nicotine tar. As villainous Ross Rob Webster : Robert Vaughn attempts to defeat Superman via the expertise of bumbling computer wizz Gus Gorman : Richard Pryor and the judicious use of an artificial mineral, it results in some impresive and amusing scenes in which Superman battles his doppleganger. Along the way Superman carries out some botchers as blowing up the olympic torch, breaks a petrol ship resulting in polluting the ocean with oil and straightens up the Tower of Pisa, among others . However, absence of Lois Lane : Margot Kidder as main role , exception for some brief final scenes, instead the big guy takes up with former flame Lana Lang : Annette O'Toole.

The most refreshing and by some the best of the three Superman main entries. The film is fast-moving, enjoyable and amusing, apart from the expendable romantic interludes when Superman falls again for an old flame, being an agreeable piece of first-class entertainment . Funny and clever screenplay by David Newman with a promising satiric start that is uneven developed through the movie, though providing a good sprinkly of funny lines. The film contains thrills, abundant special effects, and noisy action that boasts both a wickest sense of humour and a joyous zing. Here Superman explores his darkest aspect after undertaking a deep tranformation into sleaze side. Fine cast with Christopher Reeve who is pretty good and excels in the between good and bad Superman. As well as Richard Pryor as a true showman playing a crooked computer genius, at his best. Fx are well up to the mark, though including a dated matte painting, at times. As there are enough over-the-top traditional as well as modern digital effects to satisfy the most avid Science Fiction and Fantasy fans. Along with two main starring : Christopher Reeve, Richar Pryor there are other charming secondaries delivering sympathetic interpretations, such as : Robert Vaughn, Pamela Stephenson, Annette O'Toole, Annie Ross, Jackie Cooper, Marc McClure, Gavan O'Herlihy, Graham Stark, and many others.

Sparkling technicolor cinematography by Robert Paynter lends the top-dressing to the proceedings. And, of course, nice soundtrack by Ken Thorne based on the great and prolific composer John Williams, including the classic leitmotif. The picture was inventive and professionally directed by Richard Lester giving a witty approach, outstanding an intelligent dual characterization on Superman . Lester is a good filmmaker working from the Sixties and with penchant for comedy, as he directed the following ones : Petulia, A hard day's night, Help, A funny thing happened on the way to the Forum, The Ritz, The mouse on the moon, Royal Flash, Finders keepers, The bed sitting room, Juggernaut, Butch and Sundance the early days, Three musketeers, Four musketeers, The return of musketeers.

This high-flying series about Superman produced by Alexander, Yla Salkind are as follows : Superman 1978 by Richard Donner with Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, Gene Hackman, Ned Beatty, Jackie Cooper, Trevor Howard, Marlon Brando, Terence Stamp, Maria Schell, Marc McClure . Superman 2 , 1980, by Richard Lester with Reeve, Kidder, Terence Stamp, Sarah Douglas. Superman, the quest for peace 1987 by Sidney J Fury with Reeve, Sam Wanamaker, John Cryer , Gene Hackman, Margot Kidder, Marc Pillow. And in similar style Supergirl 1984 by Jeannot Szwarc with Helen Slater, Faye Dunaway, Peter Cook, Mia Farrow.
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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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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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The most underrated movie of all time.
brandon-tyler-328-439027 February 2017
Superman III is best watched on a Saturday night, with fizzy and sweets. It's such an entertaining flick that includes action, comedy, suspense, love and excellent stunts. Richard Pryor is great as the unlucky Gus Gorman, a man that can't quite find the right job. He soon becomes involved with the villains as his computer skills become abused for the evil plans of Mr.Webster. There are many interesting plots in Superman III, such as Superman's fall from grace and the relationship between Clark Kent and Lana Lang. Ken Thorne gives the film some style and Gorgio Moroder produces some decent synth songs that feature throughout the adventure. The special effects are well realised and the best of the series by a country mile. The junkyard fight is also a memorable sequence which ranks as my favourite moment from the Superman films. Superman III shouldn't be a 4.9; it's too good for that.
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Superman is about as confused as the audience
TBJCSKCNRRQTreviews12 August 2006
Christoper Reeves' biography page contains a quote explaining that Richard Lester, who re-(and, some would say, mis-)directed most of Donner's footage in the second movie and did all of this, was "always looking for a gag". This film proves that beyond any doubt. Following a hard-to-read title sequence over a scene of slapstick that would have had(and quite possibly did have) Benny Hill shaking his head and averting his eyes(featuring none other than Bob Todd, who often appeared with Hill), the entire film is a long line of attempted jokes. I say attempted because Lester has little respect for or understanding of comedy(nor the character of mythology of Superman, as has been firmly established); any joke needs proper setup for the punchline to have any effect, and no joke should be *immediately* followed by another, with no room to laugh in-between. This is similar to a recent and unfortunate development in the genre of action films, where a director who doesn't understand the need for the slow-down in-between the major action sequences, to allow the audience to breathe, to take in what they've just seen. Now, without these much-needed breaks in-between, the film basically becomes one very long sketch. Had this been a TV-special with a fraction of the running time and the title "Silly Superman", perhaps it would have been tolerable. I don't care much for Pryor. Maybe fans of him will enjoy his performance. The acting is all overplayed... even in the case of newly added Annette O'Toole, who's definitely displayed her talent on Smallville. Clark continues to be a fish-out-of-water and more there for comic relief than anything else. The dialog and various actions of the characters are rarely too credible, and most of the film is marred by the overly comic-book-like tone. The humor has taken what must be the last leap downwards, not only reaching the very bottom but going through it. While the conflict seen at one point in the film, between the good-natured Clark Kent and the now-evil Superman could have proved to be interesting, it isn't used for anything, and ends up simply being an action scene. Near the very end of the film, the quality of the writing takes a solid dive... and yes, I, too, was surprised that it could manage to go any lower. Wasting the potential of an excellent science fiction idea put forth many, many years back and using it just to throw more adversity into our hero's path, the plot twist is unexpected and without any grounds in logic or any remainder of proper storytelling. As if the writer had no actual ideas left, and just threw in whatever sprung to mind. Then again, the film itself seems like one big case of that. The pacing is consistently off. The cinematography retains its comic-book look and feel. The special effects are of slightly lesser quality than the former efforts... easier to tell, less convincing. Margot Kidder, who portrays Lois Lane, confronted the producers of the film to complain about the firing of Donner on the second film... with the result that her part was cut down to an absolute minimum(though so unusually(for this film, and the other by Lester) well-explained that you wouldn't notice it unless you thought hard). To me, that seems like a juvenile act, and an abuse of power(though I will admit, I can't say for sure that I missed the character in this... Lana Lang certainly provided an interesting new development, if one of the only good things in this at all). All in all... this is probably a good place to skip this attempt at making a film series out of the character. This is not a good film at all... and from what I've heard, it only gets worse in the next one. I recommend this to those fans who *must* see every piece of film regarding the hero... and I urge you to save some episodes of Smallville, or perhaps the Singer film(soon to be plural) for after, to see a better representation as well as a more skilled execution of him. 5/10
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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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