Film,  Uncategorized

REVIEW: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)

Written By:         Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal

Directed By:       Sidney J Furie

I opened my
reviews of Superman III and Supergirl with a question, so it’s only fair to ask
one going into this one.  What were
they thinking?
  I’m kidding… Kind of,
but to ask this question I have to set the scene.

After
Superman III and Supergirl, the Salkinds felt that maybe the bloom was off the
rose and it was time to walk away.

Enter Cannon
Films.  For those of you that aren’t film
geeks, Cannon Films was a studio not unlike The Asylum (Makers of the Sharknado
series.)  They made small budget action
and sci-fi films such as the Chuck Norris films; Delta Force and Invasion USA.  So for them to take over the film rights and
Warner Brothers/DC to agree requires that I ask; “Why didn’t anyone see this
coming?”

For those of
you that are blessedly unfamiliar with the movie let me recap.  The movie opens in space where Superman saves
some cosmonauts before landing on the Kent Farm and removing the power core
from his lifeship before refusing to sell the farm to a real-estate developer.

Returning to
Metropolis, he Lois and Jimmy learn that the Daily Planet has been sold to a
tabloid editor (Think the editors of Gawker, only redeemable) named Warfield and given over to
his daughter.  The daughter, Lacy (Played
by Mariel Hemingway) immediately lusts after Clark and attempts to turn him
into her kind of man.

Meanwhile, a
school child writes to Superman to ask him to end the nuclear arms race.  He initially says no but after a while
regrets the decision and after consulting with the spirits of Krypton’s
council and a heart-to-heart with Lois he changes his mind and dedicates
himself to destroying Earth’s nuclear arsenal.

Enter Lex
Luthor and his nephew Lenny (Jon Cryer) with a plan to kill Superman and make Earth safe
for war.  Armed with a strand of Superman’s
hair stolen from a museum, and hitching a ride into the sun on a nuclear missile
they create an evil clone powered by the sun. 
Nuclear Man (Mark Pillow.)
 (Oh Jesus!  That Mullet! I had actually forgotten about that mullet before I watched the movie!)

They sick
Nuclear Man on Superman and he pierces Clark’s skin and robs him of his
power.  Nuclear Man then kidnaps Lacy
while Clark uses the power core for one last chance to regain his powers.  After another battle, Clark pushes the moon
into an eclipse and bests Nuclear Man and dumps him into a nuclear power
plant.  Killing him.  He takes Lex back to prison and Lenny to Boys
Town.  He returns to Metropolis and
learns that Perry White has gathered up investors and bought the Planet out
from under Warfield and protecting the paper for the future.

With
everything right in the world, Christopher Reeve flies into the sunrise one
more time.

So here we
are, the disastrous end of a beloved film Franchise.

I wish I
could describe this movie any other way but I simply can’t.

Superman IV
is terrible by every possible form of measurement and unlike the previous entry
into this franchise, Supergirl, you cannot even tell if an effort was
made.  The actors look bored, the effects
look bargain basement (even compared to other movies released in 1987.  Go take a look at Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home) and the film’s politics are just
basic liberal talking points about nuclear weapons and the Cold War delivered blandly.

This movie
was just depressing to watch.  It’s depressing
to read about too.  According to Jon
Cryer, everyone on set knew they were making a terrible movie but they were all
stuck.  Reeve explained in his
auto-biography that Cannon was more concerned with saving money than the film
they were making, and ironically enough ran out of money anyway. 

Also, like
Supergirl before it this movie can’t even muster enough energy to be fun
bad.  On our sister site, Not Yet Rated,
I ranked the Superman movies from best to worst and to be frank the only reason
I included Steel on the list was so
I didn’t have to declare this the worst Superman film. I own it because it’s in a box-set, but it would get more use as a coaster.  I actually pity this movie.

Come back
later today for John’s review of Superman
Returns
as our 25 Days of Batman v Superman moves on.

Just another guy on the internet.

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