The Quest for Peace
I've got to be honest, and as much as I hate to admit it... I kinda love this movie. Don't get me wrong, it's bad... REALLY bad. BUT it is also the first movie I have any clear memory of seeing in theaters! That's right, I was 5 years old when I saw this bad boy in theaters the very first time! I remember being so excited! I was so little we had to move seats because some guy with a REALLY big head sat down in front of me blocking my view, but I didn't let that ruin my good time. I loved the humor, I loved Lenny the idiot nephew of Lex Luthor, I thought Nuclear Man was awesome, and I felt the entire adventure was grand and exciting! The trailer would have you believe that was true:
Today, I see all the bad comedy that plagued the last two installments is alive and well. Lenny is actually quite annoying, the nuclear disarmament plot thread while well meaning is so hammy and silly that it's hard to take serious. Then you have Nuclear Man, played by Mark Pillow and Voiced by Gene Hackman. His suit is quite 80stastic and ridiculous. It probably would have looked better in the old 60's Adam West Batman TV show than in a movie, but here it is, in all its crotch hugging glory. Apparently just as strong as Superman since he's made from The Man of Steel's own DNA, he seems to be the only one that can hurt our hero. Only he has one VERY huge weakness, he needs to be in constant sunlight or he shuts down into a powerless lump of flesh. So anytime he steps into a shadow, down he goes. All Superman ever needed to do to stop this guy was open an umbrella at the right time and BOOM! the fight would be over.
A lot of people rip on Jon Cryer's Lenny as the source of a lot of the bad jokes. Sure he's kinda annoying, but no more so than Otis was in the first film and in fact I still chuckle at his lunkheadedness.
No I think the worst of the humor rests on Superman Himself. When he's not being the usual ultra dopy Clark Kent, he's caught in a stupid love triangle with Lois Lane and Lacy Warfield played by Mariel Hemingway. That thread carries onto the ridiculous point where Superman/Clark Kent is on a double date with the two women. And when he's not acting like a complete idiot, Superman is actually kind of a dick in the movie:
He drops Lois for fun
Craps on a kid's dream for world peace
And nearly kills a guy looking for a spot!
But like I said at the start, I do love this movie despite all its many, many, many faults. If anything it's a great movie to bust out with a group of friends and a couple beers precisely because it's SO BAD! And to bring home the point about how bad it really was, it killed the franchise for nearly 20 years and was sadly the last time we would ever see Christopher Reeve would don the suit he was born to wear. I idolized this movie as a child and the man that played him. When he had his riding accident and when he unfortunately passed away far too soon in 2004, it hit me pretty hard. It's never easy to learn of the death of a hero. So even if another actor picks up the mantle of the world's strongest man, Chris will always be my basis of comparison.
After this movie bombed at the box office, it wasn't until 2006 that Brian Singer was able to bring us Superman Returns. And with that dear readers, I shall see you all again tomorrow!