Sunday, 14 November 2010

Superman 3 "This time is going to be the best time of all!"

At least, that's what the trailer promised you.

That is probably the biggest lie I have ever been told by a trailer, ever. Have you seen any of the Superman films? I have! I've seen Superman, Superman 2 and Superman Returns. (And yes, just for sheer completeness, I will be watching Superman 4: The Quest for Peace as soon as I get my grubby little paws on it.) I'll have you know, that during each of those films, I had a highly fun experience. In fact, I had the best time of all during the original Superman film.

Even although Lex Luthor has a terrible plan and it's clear from the outset that Superman will prevail, the mix of characters and script was near perfect. While I haven't seen the original Superman 2, and have in fact seen the Richard Donner director's cut, I enjoyed that almost as much. Superman Returns just nudged ahead of numero dos, with Brandon Routh being a superb replacement for the late, great Christopher Reeve.

It's just a shame that with four films featuring Reeve, half of them are widely regarded as being fucking shockingly bad. I add half of myself to this list, with the other half waiting to see The Quest for Peace before commiting fully. I was perplexed that a film series with such highly regarded entries could be allowed to stoop this low, especially as 'the big title in space' sequences were dropped in favour of a rediculous domino effect sequence that had almost no bearing on the film whatsoever. It also failed to make sense why this film would go ahead without Gene Hackman getting a main part in the film. Hell, Margot Kidder excused herself from the majority of the film with ease, with barely any apperance to warrant her name on the poster.

Alright, to give the film some amount of praise, there were a few nice sequences in which Superman was given a good amount of time to save the day while the best superhero music ever played in the background, and for this simple task I give the Director one, single solitary star. Good job, you made Superman look super... for at least a few minutes.

Christopher Reeve should be given ample note here too, for his portrayal of Superman, Clark Kent and the mean Superman never waver from being brilliant. That's worthy of another star I'd say. But I think that'll do it.

Why in god's name is Richard Pryor in this film? Don't get me wrong, Blazing Saddles is one of my favourite comedies and he's fantastic in Stir Crazy too, but it just doesn't make sense. Whenever the film becomes more dull than you think a Superman film should be, Pryor turns up to entertain you a bit, just to keep you interested. Whenever something fucking dumb is happening, Pryor turns up to make an 'Oh no!' face. Whenever the most rediculous computer displays are on screen, you can be sure Pryor has something 'funny' to narrate along with it. It makes no sense to focus on this character, as the Webster character could clearly have done all interactions with him offscreen, the film would have been half an hour shorter and we could have at least spared that time not watching this film.

The 'Oh No!' face at work. The wind may have changed during filming...

Speaking of Webster, is it just me or is he a poor man's Lex Luthor? Of course he is! And why did they do that? Because Gene Hackman buggered off because he knew this film would be terrible, and they needed a character people would feel comfortable beleiveing as the baddy without any introduction. Check the Wikipedia page for Superman and you'll find refrence to a whole lot of baddies Supes has faced off against in comics and television; Brainiac, Darkseid, Ultraman, Solomon Grundy and Parasite were all well established villains in the comics be the time Superman 3 was even a glint in the eyes of the studios, and could easily have been the villains. Yet again, however, they picked a mediocre story for a mediocre villain, who was not in the slightest menacing.

I won't even mention the terrible 'video game' style fight sequence (Hmmm... I kinda just did...) toward the end of the film that, if handled properly, could have looked spectacular. Think about it, Superman punching away missile after missile (being Super, might I add) and just when you thought the going got a little too rough, he triumphs over adversity and becomes a hero once more. It could have been at least an entertaining finish to a bad film.

And just a few little tidbits. Lana Lang? Who gives a shit, get back with Lois you tit. Clearly, that's meant to be. The Clark Kent vs evil Superman fight? I get the metaphor guys, you don't need to fight for five minutes to hammer it into me. Oh wait, apparently you do. Bad times. Just one more thing. Compare this to Spider-Man 3. Precisely. Don't worry Raimi, it could have been so much worse.

Oh, and don't even get me started on that whole 'Kryptonite' bit. Fucking rediculous.

"What a pretty green rock, let's take it! Nothing bad can happen surely! OH FUUUCK. TOBACCO!"

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