Superman III Reviews
Though there's plenty to be said about Christopher Reeve's acting ability, as he plays Clark Kent, Superman and a darker, uncaring version of Superman, all in the one film with vigour; this is essentially all Superman has going for it by this stage.
Richard Pryor is out of place in the DC universe, making slapstick terror and taking up nearly as much screen time as the Man of Steel himself (much to my chagrin). Robert Vaughn's Ross Webster makes for a poor Luthor substitute. Lana Lang's insertion as a love interest was completely disrespectful to the effort that had been put in with the first two films, making Superman's sacrifices and emotions all but redundant.
There's very little new material in the piece, and everything that is new, is for the worse. The end result is a cheap disappointment that should never have been made, whose only saving grace is it's titular character. which the film severely under uses in favour of boring sideline exposition and pointless, deranged silliness.
Laughable and clumsy, this sequel deserves its reception.
The picture's tone is all over the map, in the beginning almost a comedy but taking a much darker tone when Kryptonite changes Superman's demeanor in some gloomy sequences that simply do not fit in with this film or the franchise. The screenplay is all over the map as well, trying to tell too many different stories all at one time, and the casting may be the film's ultimate blunder.
Robert Vaughn is a poor man's Gene Hackman, and his character is a pale substitute for Lex Lugar but it's Richard Pryor who is the most obvious offender here. Much like the film, he's too bland and sanitized, and he brings nothing to the proceedings. He's certainly not funny at all, or even remotely villainous and it makes you wonder what purpose he was to serve. Why hire Pryor if you're not going to let him be funny. At least Margot Kidder had the common sense to spend 98% of the movie "on assignment."
The special effects are definitely lacking this time out, and it's now clear that director Richard Donner was the driving force behind the previous film's success. Substitute Richard Lester has been gift-wrapped this golden goose only to muck it up something awful. "Superman 3" is an embarrassing letdown to the fans, who surely deserved better than this mess of a movie.
(Full review coming soon)