The greatest movie ever made..!
It's funny watching the elements come together in this complicated scam. On one hand, the set-up isn't quite as complex as it seems, but there's an easy sense of fun in every exchange.
I remember way back in fifth grade, my classmate saying he won't see Superman III because it has Richard Pryor in it and thought it will just be a comedy. Well the movie came and went. While this sequel was not as good as the previous two, Richard Pryor in my opinion, did NOT ruin it and had little to do with how it turned out.It is true that Pryor as Gus Gorman brought some comic relief for this movie, but it did not "ruin" it. All Mr. Pryor had was the script that he was provided and was limited to that. Mr. Pryor even thought the screenplay was terrible!Robert Vaughn played new villain, Ross Webster and it's hard to find a role of Vaughn to hate. But again, he was just as limited to the script.Superman getting effected by the synthetic Kryptonite was a good touch. It brought the needed conflict to a Superman story. This may have been the few qualities of this sequel as Superman always faces conflict.Unfortunately, Reeve reprising the iconic role and bringing in seasoned actors were not enough to boost the story. While again, in my opinion, this was totally watchable, you can see it didn't follow the last two films in quality.It seemed like the writers did a sleepy job of this sequel. Not only were the fans disappointed, but the players. This would be the end of the line for the producers (the Salkinds) for this iteration of Superman with no opportunity to redeem themselves. While this iteration of Superman continued for one more film, unfortunately everything went from mediocre to worse. While not the final film in the Christopher Reeve iteration, Superman III signaled the end of this era and without the quality that made it a hit five years earlier.
Maybe at its release, the movie didn't seem good: indeed, the story is so ridiculous and repetitive from the 1st movie than we can be disappointed (thus Donner was right when he wanted rewrites from this same team!)
However, today, it has become really good: first of all, I don't know any funny guy in the new generation and this late Richard Pryor at last makes me laugh! He is maybe a clone of Eddie Murphy but their wit and tongue were cool and not dirty! Next, the movie happens at the start of the computer era: now it's funny to discover the look of the elders and the naive way they were considered (change climate, drive boats, living organism). Here, the capacities are so unbelievable and geek (the computer game against Supe) that it ends funny! Next, if I missed badly Lois, at least Christopher proved one more time how he was talented and I really like the different attitudes he shows
His return to Smallville and the introduction of Lana is interesting to the myth. At last, it's a American movie that feels good: the violence is very light and all the family can watch the movie; you see American people working, meeting together to have fun so it's very different of today productions when we wonder when people earns their life and it was a world free of digital relationships! In addition, all along the movie, there is moments when the movie goes totally nuts (the beginning, the electronic jam) and thus, this simple, cheaper candid America was really enjoyable to come back today!
Despite the directorial struggles that plagued the simultaneous shooting of Superman I and II (Richard Donner being ousted in favor of Richard Lester), the films did very well financially, prompting a third effort. However, instead of the epic feel and formula of the first two films, this one falls completely flat for numerous reasons:-First, the direction of Lester. After watching this film, I am now convinced that Richard Donner really was the mastermind behind the success of the Superman film franchise, as Lester's "Superman III" is riddled with stupid humor and sight gags that do nothing to enhance the film viewing experience. Ironically enough, Donner was supposedly booted from the director's seat of Superman II due to too much farcical humor, but Lester is much worse in that department in this film.-The actors also seem to be sleep-walking through their roles, or were completely miscast in the first place. The new villain is wooden and doesn't hold a candle to Gene Hackman's Lex Luthor, while Richard Pryor's "funny" antics only make the whole film seem like a farce. Even Christopher Reeve, the centerpiece of the Superman franchise, turns in a sub-par performance both as the "heroic" and "bad" Superman. Not until the last few moments of the film does he seem to snap out of his acting doldrums and become the heroic character I remembered from the first two films.-The special effects are also a big step down from the previous efforts. At one point, the wires holding Reeve in the air can be clearly seen, while Superman's landings at times are not as smooth as they were in the earlier films. Once again, in this area "Superman III" could not recapture the greatest of the majestic special effects of the first two movies.-Finally, the two main plots in the film fall as flat as the acting, casting, and special effects. The "bad Supes" thread could have been done much more effectively (think of the good Kirk/bad Kirk in the old Star Trek: Original Series), and the same can be said for the "supercomputer" angle (Captain Kirk talking a computer into submission is much more compelling by comparison).Sadly, then, this film fails in nearly ever aspect of filmmaking. Instead of sticking with the lofty ideals and walking the fine line between heroic and cheesy that Donner did in the first two films, Lester tried to make a campier version of Superman and failed miserably. The only reason I would "recommend" this film to anyone is to show them how horribly wrong a film franchise can turn. Hard-core Supes fans will watch this film regardless of what I say, but to the casual fan I say that you can EASILY skip these two hours of boredom and not miss a beat in your Superman viewing experience.
I don't deny Superman III is a flawed movie but damned if I didn't have fun with it! Even during the opening scene I prior to the credits I already found myself relating to Richard Pryor's character of Gus Gorman and I thought this was supposed to be a bad movie? The monotony of a Benefits office and the employees who don't want to be there and that they probably don't like you as evident through their body language. Then Gus complains about his experience being employed by a fast food restaurant and how "they expect you to learn that stuff in one day". Let's just say I've had some similar real life experiences. Untimely I enjoyed his character and didn't mind him sharing the spotlight with Superman in terms of screen time.The opening credits do look like they were done on Windows Movie Maker (or whatever the 1980's equivalent was) but I won't lie if I didn't say the slapstick comedy in the opening credits doesn't amuse me. The slapstick is at least done a director who understands and knows how to do physical comedy but how do I justify the use of slapstick in a movie which likely didn't need it to be used to such a degree? I could say it ties in with the fact that Clark Kent is a bumbling fool, plus the series is light hearted and campy as a whole, so there are other movies in which the inclusion of widespread slapstick comedy could feel more out of place. Regardless, it gets a few laughs out of me. Not all of the comedy is successful in my eyes; the scene in which Gus explains Superman's exploits in Columbia is really head scratching-ly bizarre (just an odd way of progressing the plot) plus the green man and the red man in the pedestrian traffic light was going too far but I do enjoy the gags which use Superman's powers for comedic effect such as his altering of the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the blowing out of the Olympic Torch.The villain Ross Webster comes off as a lesser Lex Luthor. I still quite like Robert Vaughn's charismatic performance but I wish they could have taken the villain in a different direction rather than just being another evil business mogul. Also why does the villain's view of Superman flying through the canyon look like a video game? It doesn't make sense but is fun to watch. However I will say Vera actually turning into a cyborg was going too far. The action scenes however are fantastic, full of creative old school special effects; the highlight being Evil Superman vs. Clark Kent (a sequence which really shows of what a great actor Christopher Reeve was). Is it ironic in relation to today's needlessly dark and gritty superhero movies that Evil Superman's appearance is similar to Henry Cavill's Superman in Man of Steel, right down to the darkened colours? Forget Batman v Superman, this is where it's really at!Like Superman II, the element of the movie I found myself enjoying the most was the character relationships. I was surprised I liked Lana Lang almost as much as I do Lois Lane. Just look at the scene in which Clark and Lana are cleaning up the gym together and she tells him about her ambitions and how she wants to leave Smallville. At this point in the movie I thought to myself how can people dismiss this movie as much as they do? Yes it is flawed but when you have brilliant intimate moments like this then how can you not see it isn't without merit.