Superman III (1983)

18 March 2023
Superman III, directed by Richard Lester and released in 1983, is the third installment in the Superman film series starring Christopher Reeve as the iconic superhero. Unfortunately, while the first two films in the series were widely acclaimed, Superman III falls short of expectations and fails to deliver the same level of excitement and entertainment.

The film's plot revolves around a businessman named Ross Webster, played by Robert Vaughn, who hires computer genius Gus Gorman, played by Richard Pryor, to help him take over the world's oil supply. Meanwhile, Superman must contend with a darker version of himself, created by exposure to synthetic Kryptonite.

One of the biggest problems with Superman III is the uneven tone. The film starts off with a slapstick comedy scene involving a computer mishap at a factory, which feels out of place in a superhero movie. While there are some funny moments throughout the film, they often detract from the serious themes and action scenes, leaving the audience unsure of how to feel.

Another issue with the film is the weak storyline. The plot feels disjointed, and the main villain, Ross Webster, lacks the gravitas of previous villains like Lex Luthor. Robert Vaughn's performance is flat, and his character's motivations are never fully explained, making it hard to care about his plan to take over the world.

Richard Pryor's Gus Gorman, while a talented comedian, feels out of place in the film. His character is a distraction from the main plot, and the scenes involving him often feel like they belong in a different movie altogether.

Christopher Reeve's performance as Superman is still strong, but he is given little to work with in terms of character development or compelling storylines. Margot Kidder's Lois Lane is also largely absent from the film, further diminishing the emotional stakes.

Overall, Superman III is a disappointing entry in the Superman film series. While it has some enjoyable moments, the weak storyline, uneven tone, and distracting subplots make it a forgettable addition to the franchise. Fans of the series may want to watch it for completion's sake, but casual viewers should probably skip it in favor of the superior first two films in the series.

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Here are some pieces of trivia about the film Superman III:

  1. Christopher Reeve, who played Superman, was unhappy with the film's direction and felt that it veered too far into comedy. In an interview, he said, "Superman was never intended to be a goofball."
  2. Richard Pryor was initially hesitant to take on the role of Gus Gorman because he did not want to play a villain. The filmmakers reworked the character to be more of a bumbling sidekick than a true antagonist.
  3. Margot Kidder, who played Lois Lane in the first two Superman films, was written out of Superman III due to script rewrites and budget concerns. Her absence is noticeable, and many fans were disappointed that she did not appear in the film.
  4. An early version of the script included a cameo by Marlon Brando as Jor-El, Superman's father. However, due to a dispute with the producers over his salary, Brando's scenes were cut from the final film.
  5. Superman III marked the final film appearance of actress Phyllis Thaxter, who played Martha Kent, Superman's adoptive mother. Thaxter had previously appeared in the first Superman film in 1978.
  6. The film's budget was significantly lower than that of the previous two films in the series. This led to some cost-saving measures, such as using cardboard cutouts instead of real helicopters in the film's opening scene.
  7. The synthetic Kryptonite that turns Superman evil was originally going to be red, but the filmmakers changed it to blue in order to avoid confusion with Marvel Comics' Red Kryptonite, which had a different effect on Superman.
  8. The special effects in Superman III were created by a team led by Richard Edlund, who had previously worked on the Star Wars and Indiana Jones films.
  9. The film's tagline, "If the world's most powerful computer can control even one on earth is safe," was a nod to the growing fear of computer technology in the 1980s.
  10. Despite its mixed reception, Superman III was a financial success, grossing over $80 million at the box office.


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About the author Jimmy Jangles

My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

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