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Overall Rating
2.77

Awesome: 15.22%
Worth A Look: 21.74%
Average: 18.48%
Pretty Bad: 14.13%
Total Crap30.43%

2 reviews, 80 user ratings


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Superman 3
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by David Cornelius

"One of the most underrated movies of all time. Seriously."
4 stars

First, there was “Superman,” and it was good. The came “Superman II,” and the world kneeled before Zod. So a third movie was wisely ordered up, and it’s “Superman III” that many feel brought about the end of a good thing. I say no, that honor goes to “Superman IV: The Quest For Peace,” for “Superman III,” despite its total goofiness, is still a hit.

The story follows mild-mannered Clark Kent (Christopher Reeve, who else?) as he returns to Smallville for a high school reunion. He runs into Lana Lang (Annette O’Toole), and the opportunity for romance is about to present itself. Of course, some major bad guys have to stand in the way, so we get Robert Vaughn as a millionaire hiring computer whiz Richard Pryor to sabotage a weather satellite into working for his favor. Toss in a giant evil supercomputer and some fake Kryptonite, and you’re set for some sheer silly fun.

I admit, there’s a lot of stuff here that might come off as, well, stupid. The climactic battle with the supercomputer is complete nonsense, and that whole storyline doesn’t really click with the rest of the film. Richard Pryor’s appearance also put some folks off, with his comic relief being too ridiculous (as if an evil supercomputer is serious business).

But there are a few truly great Superman moments hiding here, moments that often get overlooked when discussing the high points of the franchise. For starters, we get a pointless yet very cool scene in which Supes puts out an industrial fire by freezing a lake. Then there’s the reunion scene, which has a surprising amount of heart; Reeve proves again why his take on Supes isn’t when he’s the hero, but how he plays uber-nerd Kent. (Another bit on the old Kent farm hits the point home.) And the opening bits featuring Pryor actually are funny stuff, with a sneaky scheme so cool it got a mention in “Office Space.”

The best segment of the film, however, is the accidental side effects of Pryor’s fake Kryptonite: it turns Supes evil. His evil deeds are corny stuff, such as blowing out the Olympic torch and straightening the Pisa tower (I’ll agree to the lameness of these scenes, yet I laugh anyway). But it still works. Because finally, the big guy’s split in two, with good Clark Kent facing off against evil Superman in a powerhouse of a fight, and man, what a great scene, with Reeve chewing every last bit of scenery he can find.

Perhaps the sneakiest moment in the entire “Superman” series comes at the beginning of “Superman III.” Unlike the other films, which use grand openings to announce themselves as “event” pictures, Supes III starts very small - in a Metropolis unemployment office. If you’re not paying attention, you might miss the mentions of the fictional city, forcing you to figure out which Richard Pryor movie this is. Only after a few minutes of light comedy do the opening credits begin. It’s a great change, and while it may lack the punch of that gigantic John Williams score, it sets the pace for what will be a different kind of Superman flick.

No, this is not the best Superman movie. (It’s not even the second; obviously, it’s the third best.) But for all its flaws, “Superman III” still entertains me with every viewing. Any chance to see Richard Pryor in an oversized cowboy hat or Clark Kent finally get to be the big man in Smallville is aces in my book. It’s a great addition to the legacy that is the Man of Steel.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=989&reviewer=392
originally posted: 06/18/05 10:15:34
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User Comments

10/08/13 Steve M Reeves' best performance as Clark. Not as bad as you've heard. Evil Superman is fun. 3 stars
7/21/13 Gurd Singh It has Great scenes, Pryor is funny, Reeve is at his best. 5 stars
6/18/13 mark rickert i agree! i love this movie. The fight between clark and Supes is a classic scene! 4 stars
6/14/13 PAUL SHORTT CHEAP, SHALLOW SEQUEL 1 stars
12/11/12 Andrea I loved this movie. 5 stars
9/28/12 Marcus Just seen this for this time in ages. I have always liked this film, it's a lot of fun! 4 stars
8/13/11 Terence A. Martell Fact: It is Comedy. Fact: Pryor Great Comic Guest Star. Problem: unbalanced editing. 4 stars
7/18/11 bill rankin i was a great extra in the reunion scene 4 stars
7/11/11 art vera webster looked like the bride of frankenstein,in that one scene! 3 stars
7/06/10 art ross webster and gus makes you forget about luthor and otis,LORELAI BURRIES miss teshmaker! 4 stars
6/21/10 Sarah They should have stopped here. The scrapyard scene is the best scene ever! 5 stars
12/29/09 art THEY SHOULD HAVED STOPPED AFTER PART TWO! 1 stars
5/06/09 Apex what really scares me is that some people actualy like this, the end is near people. 1 stars
3/11/09 Jamie Thunder Fun movie in the truest sense of the word, with Reeve at his peak as Superman, magical! 4 stars
7/07/08 art SUPERJUNK 1 stars
6/09/08 Arcane Cripes. A whole load fo cow-shit. Counterpart to the Batman Forever movie. Damn. 1 stars
3/02/08 Pamela White not as good as the others 4 stars
10/01/07 Andrew Kercher Not as good as 2, more awkward, goofy. Downhill from here til Smallville & Superman Returns 3 stars
2/03/07 Vip Ebriega Welcome entry in the superhero genre. Make sure you stopher, part 4 is a stinker. 3 stars
12/22/06 David Pollastrini not great, not terrible 3 stars
12/07/06 Gary On par with Jaws 4. SHAMELESS DIOHRREOQ 1 stars
12/03/06 David It was utter crap. 1 stars
8/25/06 David Cohen Alot of people take Superman very seriously, it is a shame the director could not 1 stars
7/25/06 Doubledown1138 It's not that bad - check it out again 4 stars
7/19/06 Michael Better than Superman Returns 4 stars
7/11/06 Dez WHo made this CRAP of a movie?? 1 stars
6/25/06 George Another example of what the hell people can think they can do to make a great film 2 stars
6/13/06 Armin Tanzarian Strangely endearing in retrospect. 4 stars
6/05/06 drydock54321 Pryor just didn't belong here 2 stars
5/05/06 dionwr You will believe a franchise can tank 2 stars
5/05/06 Uri Lessing Mad magazine" It's a bird, it's a plane, it's Richard Pryor on skis." 2 stars
5/03/06 MP Bartley Brilliant fight in scrapyard...otherwise a stinker. 2 stars
5/02/06 Ryan_A Oh, Dave. You make me sad. Love Pryor, but eegah. 1 stars
5/02/06 PaulBryant With Mr. Arthur on this one. 1 stars
5/02/06 David Cornelius Ahem. Review above. 4 stars
5/02/06 William Goss Haven't seen it, and perhaps it's for the best. 3 stars
5/02/06 Alex Paquin I keep on getting this one confused with the others, so let's say average 3 stars
5/02/06 EricDSnider Oh, it's fine. Sort of. 3 stars
5/02/06 HBS-SH I'm cracking skulls! 2 stars
1/10/06 JM Synth Does everything wrong the 1st 2 got right, but easily likeable and Pryor is fun 3 stars
12/29/05 tony Ummmmmmm no. This is pure garbage 1 stars
11/10/05 BarronFuckoff What the FUCK where you guys watching?!?! This is PURE FUCKING SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
8/30/05 ES Liked it, the Super/Kent fight still entertains today & Pryor was fun as the computer nerd 4 stars
6/23/05 Eric Rollins Annette O'Toole & red kryptonite make this very watchable. 3 stars
6/22/05 Carolyn Rathburn boy does that half a cent add up. Enjoyed it, better than two 5 stars
5/11/05 Indrid Cold Very bizarre in plot and tone, almost devoid of any comic-book action. 2 stars
1/20/05 Laurian Diaconescu Don't compare it to the frist two treasures. Just enjoy it. It has its moments. 4 stars
10/27/04 RANDY ALAN loved superman 3! why not a superman comedy in addition to "serious" super movies? 5 stars
9/04/04 T.B. This one is Dumb 2 stars
7/29/04 American Slasher Goddess The movie that ruined the series. 1 stars
7/11/04 David Fowler Pryor in a Superman movie?!?! Lester should be ashamed! Still hasn't finished sucking. Sad. 1 stars
12/07/03 john the opening promises a good movie but it goes absolutely nowhere 2 stars
3/22/03 Jack Sommersby Pretty damn idiotic, but it has some good moments and entertains well enough. 3 stars
10/15/02 Charles Tatum A real loser, until part four 1 stars
9/04/02 Tar Mac Richard Lester fucked up this series the way Joel Shoemaker fucked up Batman 1 stars
8/16/02 Shaun eh, Superman VS Superman 3 stars
7/31/02 KMG IT WAS COOL TO SEE A BAD SUPERMAN 3 stars
2/27/02 jubb loved it 5 stars
10/31/01 Andrew Carden Extremly Well Made Adventure With Alot Of Great Humor. 5 stars
9/09/01 Butterbean Pryor did his best, but that didn't save this rediculous movie. See Superman II instead! 2 stars
8/07/01 Mr. Hat Richard Pryor's okay, but the rest is total crap. 2 stars
5/22/01 Monster W. Kung Not nearly as bad as they say. 3 stars
5/08/01 David Alexander McDonald Arrrrrgh. There are some good moments, but the bad sections are so bad they overwhelm all. 1 stars
1/02/01 Terry Wrong to cut out Louis Lane, inferior to first 2, but watchable. 3 stars
9/17/00 total a complete mess. The divine Richard Pryor is wasted. Skip it. 1 stars
6/05/00 Super PENIS SHITTY 1 stars
4/10/00 punkass Noone I know can remember this one, although I have a vague memory of Pryor skiing 2 stars
3/16/00 Sammy Well Made 5 stars
3/15/00 Jeremy All the Superman films were excellent and this film was no exception 5 stars
3/12/00 August Gorman Superman versus Evil Superman What more could you want!!! 5 stars
3/11/00 Don Humour and Action with a Twist An Excellent Movie. 5 stars
3/09/00 Kal El Not as good as 4 but none the less excellent 5 stars
2/29/00 Jack Donald Sheer family entertainment at its best 5 stars
1/16/00 Godroth Best Superman, combines comedy and action perfectly. Very entertaining, recommended. 5 stars
12/19/99 adrian kiaser average film,dissapointing Superman entry! 3 stars
8/21/99 SaMhaiaN This is the best Superman of all! Maybe not as heartfelt as first 2,but series neededchange 4 stars
8/11/99 Japtalian How did Pryor get sucked into so many piece of shit movies 2 stars
6/22/99 Hubbard Underrated. True, not enough effort but inane comedy (e.g. drinking scene) make up for it. 3 stars
10/24/98 Kwyjibo I'd forgotten how utterly awful this one was. Reeves almost deserves the chair. 1 stars
10/01/98 Johny A real piece of dung 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  24-Jun-1983 (PG)
  DVD: 28-Nov-2006

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