|SUPERMAN IV: THE QUEST FOR PEACE
|Copyright 1987 Golan-Globus
| Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 4 November 2001
- Superman - Christopher Reeve! At least he learned some hand-to-hand combat skills since the second film.
- Lois Lane - Still single and still working in the same dead-end job. She is on her way to being an old spinster!
- Mr. Warfield - Irresponsible owner of a media conglomerate who bought out "The Daily Planet." The front page will no longer run stories about some guy in blue tights, instead we can read all about women who are pregnant with alien babies.
- Mr. White - Responsible editor for "The Daily Planet;" that is why his newspaper has been operating in the red for three years.
- Lacy - Warfield's daughter who develops a crush on Clark Kent, but ignore that whole side story, the writers did.
- Lenny - Duckie no! I think that he was trying to make a statement about plaid.
- Lex Luthor - Gene Hackman! Brilliant criminal mastermind or not, does anyone else believe that he somehow learned genetics while breaking up rocks in prison?
- Nuclear Man - Created by mixing Superman's DNA with the sun and he seems more like "Photosynthetic Man" if you ask me. Has his lights knocked out by our hero.
|When a large piece of space junk (ground control missed that?) collides with the orbiting Mir it looks like the Soviets will be training three more cosmonauts. But, what is this? Superman arrives, his cape mysteriously fluttering, and stops the station's orbit from decaying! Then he rescues the doomed space walker who was going to learn about reentry the hard way. Sure, the buzzword is "Glasnost," but why is America's favorite superhero assisting the evil empire? Next thing that you know, he will be helping paint Chinese tanks in Tiananmen Square.
Things are not looking so rosy on Earth though. First off, Clark is going to sell the old farm, right after he finishes hitting a few more baseballs into orbit (he saves the Russians from space junk, then adds some more). "The Daily Planet" has been the victim of a hostile takeover by Mr. Warfield's company and the new emphasis on sensationalism is not sitting well with anyone. Finally, a summit to limit the proliferation of nuclear weapons was unsuccessful and schoolchildren are being traumatized by movies teaching them how to duck and cover.
Oh yeah, Lex Luthor escaped from prison with the help of his annoying nephew. It was not very difficult; they only had to trick the two bumpkin guards watching over the work gang. The man is supposed to be a homicidal genius who does not think twice about killing millions of people! Two goons with shotguns!
A young boy writes a letter, asking the Man of Steel to rid the world of nuclear weapons, and mails it to "The Daily Planet." Previously Kal-El had been counseled not to interfere with human history, but we know how well he adheres to that edict. He agonizes over the decision before revealing his true identity to Lois and taking her flying. That seems to help, except afterwards the woman needs to have her memory wiped. Every now and then Lois figures out that Clark is Superman, then he brainwashes her again. It is cruel and she's going to end up with Alzheimer's.
Superman addresses the United Nations before gathering up all the nukes. He loads the weapons of mass destruction into a huge net and tosses them into the sun. Arms dealers the world over are wringing their hands in frustration. However, Lex Luthor sees the chance to rid himself of his nemesis once and for all, plus make some serious cash in the process. He steals a strand of Superman's hair from the Metropolis museum, then does some double helix magic. The results are placed aboard the latest ICBM being tested by the United States (apparently we are obstinate about having our fusion toys). When the Man of Steel intercepts the missile he unceremoniously chucks it into Sol, thus spawning Nuclear Man.
The idea of friendly Russians is tossed aside; Nuclear Man is a barely intelligible Eastern European monster with blonde hair and talons. He requires constant sunlight, otherwise becoming an inanimate object within moments. Clever (and not so clever) viewers will quickly realize that the evident Achilles' heel is going to be his ultimate downfall. Criminal mastermind that he is, daddy should have included a battery backup system somewhere in the designs.
Lois, Lacy, Clark, and Superman's double date is interrupted by Luthor's ultrasonic gloating. When Kal-El meets his evil twin the two immediately begin severe and silly whompage. Nuclear Man lands on the Great Wall of China and destroys a large section, then Superman rebuilds it with blue beams from his eyes! WHAT IN THE HELL? Stuff like this goes on for a little while until the sun demon resorts to scratching (like a girl). The wounds fester, causing our hero to retreat and take refuge in his dingy apartment. Lois arrives, gives Clark a pep talk, then he uses a Krypton energy crystal to heal his wounds and suddenly thinning hair. I kid you not.
With countries desperately trying to stockpile more things that make big booms, the arms merchants are swimming in profits. Unfortunately, Lex decides that owning the business is a better deal than making commission and conducts his own hostile takeover. This consists of Nuclear Man setting some money on fire. The warmongers turn tail and run; I've never seen such a wimpy bunch of scoundrels. Sure, the evil clone is invulnerable, but Luthor is a very mortal human. In real life the arms dealers would hire some snipers.
Round two of the battle commences with Nuclear Man stomping up to The Daily Planet and roaring a lot. Stuff melts, people run for their lives, and a fleet of police cars drives backwards; it is really confusing. Then Superman pushes his enemy into an elevator and closes the door, casting the inside into darkness. Quick as a flash he tows the elevator to the moon and leaves it on the dusty surface. Usually, once he decides on a course of action, the Man of Steel vanquishes his enemy. Not so here, he left the elevator on part of the moon where sunlight falls. The rays filter under the door (no idea why that didn't happen before, on Earth), revitalizing the photosynthetic villain! Superman is pounded and left for dead.
Nuclear Man returns to earth and the story soars to new heights of silliness as Lacy is abducted by the amorous creature. He flies with her into outer space! She does not suffer any ill affects when exposed to vacuum, but looks mighty worried. She looks even more worried when the moon suddenly obstructs the sun and her kidnapper becomes inert. Why worried? Well, for some reason when he lets go she does not drift away, instead she grabs him to prevent herself from falling! Oh, and it was Superman who changed the moon's orbit; no ill effects from that I'm sure.
I had a better idea of how to stop Nuclear Man: lure him into a store that sells window blinds.
Time to settle down and watch one of those movies that make you realize, at some point, the sequels have to stop. Not only are the special effects super awful, like Superman and Nuclear Man languidly flying over still photographs, but the single redeeming plot point of "Superman III" is ignored. Remember Clark meeting his old high school flame and her getting a job at the newspaper? They didn't even bother to explain what happened to her! Did she die of a mysterious disease? Move to Europe? Get a sex change? Instead we have the poorly developed subplot of Lacy desiring Clark, while Lois and Superman are platonic love incarnate.
By the way: nuclear weapons are bad.
|Things I Learned From This Movie:|| |
- Most subway accidents can be directly attributed to E. coli.
- Kissing causes amnesia.
- The French run a black market for nuclear weapons.
- The Cold War was all about the corporate bottom line.
- Nuclear reactions are dependent on photosynthesis.
- Exorcism does not work against lava.
- Things are looking bad when a fire truck catches on fire.
- City police officers regularly carry rocket launchers in their patrol cars.
- 4 mins - It is fortunate that their relative speeds only differed by a few miles-per-hour.
- 20 mins - So that is how he keeps his hair so neatly trimmed!
- 32 mins - The evil countries should be protesting. Russia? Cuba? China? Are you guys asleep?
- 34 mins - "Spies Like Us?"
- 59 mins - RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA!
- 67 mins - Clark really needs to put a fresh coat of paint on his door.
- 69 mins - Uh-oh... ...time to kiss her again.
- 73 mins - RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A FIRE HYDRANT!
- 86 mins - You know, they definitely got their money's worth out of this ending sequence.
- Luthor: "I promise you, Superman will have the biggest surprise of his life. I'll introduce him to his first nightmare: a nuclear man! He'll pierce his skin, he'll make him mortal, he'll become sick!"
- Luthor: "Just one thing: how did you beat him?"
Superman: "High school physics, Luthor. While I was recuperating, I had time to figure out that if your foul creature was born from the sun, that had to be his source of energy."
| ||Audio clips in wav format||SOUNDS||Starving actors speak out|| |
||Lois: "Clark is the oldest living Boy Scout, okay? He's trustworthy, he's helpful, he's loyal, he's obedient, he's..."
||Luthor: "You know what I can do with a single strand of Superman's hair?" |
Lenny: "You can make a toupee that flies!"
||Superman: "And so I've come to a decision: I'm going to do what our governments have been unwilling or unable to do. Effective immediately, I'm going to rid our planet of all nuclear weapons."
||Nuclear Man: "You are nothing. I am the father now." |
Luthor: "You have my voice!"
Nuclear: "No, you have my voice."
Luthor: "Just remember, I made you."
|Theme Song|| Listen to a clip from the soundtrack. |
| ||Click for a larger image||IMAGES||Scenes from the movie|| |
| ||Watch a scene||VIDEO||MPEG video files|| |
|Nuclear Man suddenly developed a hatred for walls in this clip. He bails before Superman arrives, but the hero still has to save one clumsy tourist and repair the damage. Can anyone tell me what sort of principle those blue "rebuild the stone wall" beams operate on? Imagination maybe?
| ||Leave a comment||EXTRAS||Buy the movie|| |
Reply #17. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Mark
I liked it. Ultimate cheesy movie but funny to watch. Its kinda hard to dislike a film youve been watching since you were young and findin it on video made me wanna buy it and laugh at all the cheesy scenes including the fact that Nuclear Mans voice is dubbed "If You Do Not Tell Me I Will Hurt People!" and the fight on the moon and the tornado bit. Class! Out of 4 i give it a 3 (good)
Reply #18. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by AlphaWoolf
I'm not going to try to defend this silly entry in the Superman series. After the first great film, all the sequels sucked, some more, some less. Out of the three sequels, this I find to be the most entertaining. No. 2 p**sed all over the Superman mythos, No. 3 was a bizarre Richard Pryor vehicle, but this movie, No. 4 just says "to hell with everything, let's have some fun". At the very least, this movie gives us a battle between super characters that the second movie only hinted at. Good popcorn movie.
Reply #19. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Nuclear Man Groupie
I'm just wondering of it would freak too many people out of I said the only reason I watched ths movie was because I am infatuated with Nuclear Man. Other than that, it's just a movie full of cheesy, MST3K budget FX and a storyline that needed more refinement.
Reply #20. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:03 PM by Government Cheese
When I look for one truism in cinema, a movie like this decides to take a firm hold of my nads and rip them clean from their prune cradle. Gene Hackmen movies are supposed to be good dam it. Not that Gene Hackmen is dynamic or charming in any way but there’s something about his movies that seem to touch me.
While Superman III (oh sorry meant IV, getting my crap all mixed up) did touch me, it was a vile hepatitis C infested touch. The kind that leaves purple sores on the psyche that pop up around once a month (What you guys don’t think about Superman IV at least once a month, ah well, guess it’s a comic collector thing).
This movie came out in my early adolescence when my imagination had yet to be repressed by the fairer sex and the pursuit of another bottle of Drakkar Noir to entice the little phillies. Even with a full-on…imagination, I knew this movie was a bastardization of….movies.
Reply #21. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Jim
Okay, the woman being able to breath in outer space was bad enough, but why hasn't anyone focused on this bit in them movie? Superman throws a ton of nuclear weapons directly into the sun. INTO THE SUN. Now I might not be a scientist, but in my book throwing explosives (or nucleary weaponry) into the sun is a bad idea. What the hell was he thinking?!
Reply #22. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by MegaRed
It's funny..Out of all 4 Superman movies, this is my favorite one.
You can imagine, I get alot of wierd looks when I mention that.
Reply #23. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Jeff Weskamp
This film was one of four big-budget fiascos that sank Cannon Films. Menahem Goram and Yoram Globus released four movies in the summer of 1987 (known as Cannon's Summer of Blood): Superman IV, Lifeforce, Masters of the Universe, and Over the Top. Each film failed to even earn back its production cost. The Summer of Blood was the deathblow for Cannon, which decalred bankruptcy in 1989.
The fatal error in this film for me was how Luther cloned Superman. In a museum, a one-ton steel ball is hanging from a single strand of Superman's hair. So, Luther and his nephew CUT the hair with a PAIR OF SCISSORS! Unless Luthor had a pair of kryptonite scissors, they couldn't have gotten that DNA sample to create Nuclear Man. That kinda ruined the rest of the film for me.
I read that Cannon edited out about 50 minutes of footage after the pre-release showing. That's why the middle of the film is so chaotic and hard to follow.
Reply #24. Posted on June 26, 2004, 08:34:31 AM by night heron
This is the type of movie you wish they never made this was when they got into the antinucular blather days in hollywood and it just makes you wich for some kyopinite just to put a end to it all the first two however were good
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