Thursday, June 13, 2013

Superman Week:Superman 4: The Quest For Peace

By the time Superman 4 began production, a new studio had the rights to it. Cannon films, notorious for their low budget films had purchased the rights for the series. Without a script for a film and their only desire was to have Christopher Reeve reprise the title role. He admittedly didn't want to play the role after the treatment of the character in Superman 3, even calling it an insult to fans. As part of the deal for him to return was he would have input on the films story. How well did it turn out? lets take a look.

Plot Summary: Superman tries to save the world from nuclear destruction at the hands of Lex Luthor. In a speech to the United Nations, Superman declares he will rid the world of all nuclear weapons. Arch-villain Luthor emerges from prison obsessed with killing Superman and creates an adversary known as Nuclear Man . The two engage in a fight to the finish in various landmarks on Earth before taking their battle into outer space.

Nuclear Man....voiced by Gene Hackman...only redeeming quality of the character.

The plot, despite having a decent amount of potential, really falls flat at every turn. The main plot itself makes no sense as disarming the world of its nuclear weapons isn't something that Superman would do. In addition to that the sub plots never go anywhere, such as the takeover at the Daily Planet and a new love interest for Clark Kent. The one thing that had the most potential was Nuclear Man, but even that was screwed up.

Don't expect this story to go anywhere.

The acting, like the plot is all over the place. In some cases it hits, in other it misses. Christopher Reeve and Gene Hackman did a good job with their roles. Hackman even seemed to be having fun as Lex. The rest of the actors just didn't seem that into it or were phoning in their performances and the film suffered because of that. I'd also like to note that Jon Cryer, who I normally like, was one of the most annoying part of this film, having the most obnoxious delivery of his lines.

Get used to seeing this.....a lot

One thing I have to note, which I feel REALLY hurt the film was its low budget and production values.
Now I'm not saying low budget films can't be good, but this it seems like they cut many corners in terms of development costs that they wanted to rush the film out for as cheap as possible. The green screen scenes alone were bad, and the fact that you have to see the same image of Superman flying at you over and over again gets old fast.
This film featured some of the dullest fight scenes of the series.

Overall this film is a noble effort to continue the series, unfortunately the low budget and poor decisions hurt this films chances of ever succeeding. In the hands of a better production crew and writer and director this film might have been better. Sadly the Christopher Reeve era of Superman ended not with a bang, but a whimper.

Score: 4/10


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