Superman III (1983)

Superman III

TOMATOMETER

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: When not overusing sight gags, slapstick, and Richard Pryor, Superman III resorts to plot points rehashed from the previous Superman flicks.


Movie Info

The Man of Steel (Christopher Reeve) takes on a megalomaniacal businessman (Robert Vaughn) who is using a dopey hacker (Richard Pryor) to help him take on the world in this third entry in the big-budget, special effects-laden series. This one places more emphasis on humor than adventure.

Rating: PG
Genre: Action & Adventure, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By: David Newman, Leslie Newman
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 1, 2001
Runtime:
WARNER BROTHERS PICTURES

Cast


as Superman/Clark Kent

as Gus Gorman

as Ross Webster

as Lana Lang

as Lois Lane

as Vera Webster

as Lorelei Ambrosia

as Jimmy Olsen

as Unemployment Clerk

as Penguin Man

as Man in Cap

as Bank Robber

as Delivery Man

as Miss Henderson

as Dr. McClean

as Minnie Bannister

as Man at Cash Point

as Husband

as Newsreader

as Street Sweeper

as Olympic Runner

as Tanker Captain

as Commuter

as Miner

as Perry White

as Blind Man

as Dignified Gent

as Data School Instruct...

as Wages Man

as State Policeman

as Fire Chief

as Mr. Simpson

as Mr. Stokis

as Mrs. Stokis

as White-Coated Scienti...

as Pisa Vendor
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Superman III

All Critics (43) | Top Critics (4)

Putting its emphasis on broad comedy at the expense of ingenious plotting and technical wizardry, it has virtually none of the mythic or cosmic sensibility that marked its predecessors.

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Variety
Top Critic

Enjoyable, nevertheless.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

It's a cinematic comic book, shallow, silly, filled with stunts and action, without much human interest.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Anyone who has been following the Superman saga will find this installment enjoyable enough, but some of the magic is missing.

Full Review… | August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

Superman is thrown in to the mix somewhere. But he's merely an after thought, and a supporting player in his own film.

Full Review… | June 12, 2013
Cinema Crazed

A noticeable drop in quality from the first two, but it's still decent enough that you don't have to be embarrassed for liking it. That comes soon enough...

Full Review… | June 10, 2013
Lyles' Movie Files

Audience Reviews for Superman III

½

Richard Donner steps out and in comes Richard Lester (A Hard Day's Night), who proceeds to strip the franchise away of any dignity it once had. Donner's close-to-the-chest serious tone is abandoned in favor a cheesy campy one, accompanied by lame sight gags and un-funny slapstick. Having Richard Pryor's scenes (who is playing a PG-version of himself) consist of half the film's runtime is just too much because most of the time he just bumbles like an idiot. Rarely has a comedic genius been so utterly misrepresented.

Due to working with a lower budget, the story comes off as a Superman TV episode rather than an epic story like the previous two Donner flicks. The subplot with Clark and Lana Lang could have been interesting but it is rushed and brushed to the wayside to set-up a future Superman love-triangle between Lois and Lana (which is never followed-up upon). The villains are lame (especially there computer scheme that's laughable even for the time) but there is a morbid enjoyment to be had watching Reeve play a corrupted Man of Steel, which he perfectly nails. The 'Army of Darkness'-style fight between Good Supes and Evil Supes yields some impressive special effects. Despite a few decent moments trickled throughout, they are all crushed under a crappy and tedious narrative that feels confused about whether it is catering to kids or adults.

Donner one time made audiences believe a man CAN fly. With 'Superman III', Lester proved to audiences that a man can also fall from grace.

Christopher Heim
Christopher Heim

Super Reviewer

Dumber, with a less-interesting story and a stupid villain, "Superman 3" is definitely not the return that fans were hoping for. It kind of breaks the back of the series in a way, especially during the first act, where the fact of it being a Superman film is thrown out the window. This time, the film focusses on Richard Pryor's character who is an accountant, stealing money from his firm, but when he get's involved with an evil genius, his plans turn completely around, as he is faced to confront and destroy Superman with them. The most interesting portion of the film is when Superman must face his alternate self, because it is really the soul of the film and the turn-around point which makes the film watchable. I did not hate this film, it does have it's fun moments, but it's just not a good movie. The direction is sloppy, which is odd, because Lester's directing for the second was so great, and the writing here is much more bland. I expected much more from the third film in a series, but oh well, it'll be hard to top the first two anyways. I definitely do not recommend this one!

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

½

*1/2

Wow, if you want to see how far comic book adaptation movies have come, just watch this. This is the 3rd Superman movie and it is a real stinker(not as bad as four, but it's bad). Here, Superman basically goes against a rich guy who wants to rule the world by using Richard Pryor(yeah, that Richard Rryor) to create a giant computer. Pryor tries to be funny here, and he is the best thing about the movie, but man he has no place in a Superman movie. Could you imagine Chris Rock as the lead villain in "Iron Man"? Me either. At one point he creates a form of kryptonite that turns Superman bad. By bad I mean his outfit is now maroon, he has stuble and he's a dick. Instead of doing anything real bad, he does things like blow the torch out at the Olympics. This movie was lame as lame can get, and I'm sure it was lame when it came out in the theaters. It doesn't hold up at all, and runs at right around 2 hours, which is way too long. Watch if your a die hard Pryor fan(even though you still won't like it), otherwise just skip this one altogether.

Everett Johnson
Everett Johnson

Super Reviewer

Superman III Quotes

– Submitted by Nathan J (3 years ago)

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