Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Superman Week: Superman III

Superman 3 is one of the oddest films I've ever seen. It stars Christopher Reeve once again playing Superman and Richard Pryor as Gus Gorman. I say its odd as instead of it being a Superman film with Richard Pryor, it feels more like a Richard Pryor film featuring Superman.

Plot Summary: Wealthy businessman Ross Webster discovers the hidden talents of Gus Gorman, a mischievous computer genius. Ross decides to abuse his talents, in a way to help Webster with his plans for economic control. When the man of steel interferes, something must be done. When Gus' synthetic Kryptonite fails to kill Superman, it turns him in an evil incarnation of his former self.

The plot has the potential to be good, and bits of it were entertaining. My issue with the story is it focused too much on Pryor's character. It wasn't a horrible plot though and it did had its moments. Had it focused more on the corrupted Superman subplot I would have found it a great deal more entertaining. Hell the whole movie could have just focused on that and I would have enjoyed it more.

The acting was okay in this film, it wasn't outstanding but it wasn't bad. In my eyes the biggest issue with the film is the fact that Pryor seemed to take over any scene he was in. There are many scenes, such as the one in Smallville where Superman is receiving the key to the city, and Pryor's character just comes through and takes over. I suppose it does fit the character who was a loud mouth goof ball, but since its a Superman movie, shouldn't he be the focus of a scene?

I needed a drink during this movie too!

Aside from that you had Reeve once again turning in a great performance as the man of steel. He was especially good at playing the "corrupted" Superman. This was a twist which I'm sure he had fun with and it shows in the film.

Robert Vaughn plays Ross Webster, an uninspired Lex Luthor knock off

The actors playing the villains were alright, despite the fact that they were given such bland characters. The scenes they were in did provide some entertainment, but I never got the sense that they were any real threat. In a film like this having a villain that doesn't pose a threat is a major problem. Add to this the fact that Ross Webster just feels like a copy of Lex Luthor, minus the wit and charm, and you have the makings of a bad villain.

It was great to see them re-introduce the Lana Lang character to the film series. Being played by Annette O'Toole who turned in a great performance and she had some good chemistry with Reeve. She did in fact impress me more than Margot Kidder did as Lois Lane to be honest. She had more personality and was overall more interesting . It should also be noted that she returned to play Martha Kent in the Smallville series in 2001.

Superman 3 is more of a slapstick comedy than a great action adventure movie. It had too many sight gags and the inclusion of Pryor, for as great as he was as a comedian, ruined the films tone and everything that a Superman film was til that point. Add to that the inclusion of uninspired villains and you have a mixed bag of a film with a mediocre plot.

Score: 6/10


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