Superman III was pretty much the beginning of the end of the Superman franchise. It’s not terrible but not very good either, moving to full-on goofy humor (versus a more wholesome variety of the first film), and an awful villain.
Genre(s): Adventure, Action, Science Fiction
Warner Bros. | PG – 125 min. | May 9, 2023
Date Published: 05/07/2023 | Author: The Movieman
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.
THE MOVIE — 2¼/5
Plot Synopsis: Computer programmer Gus Gorman (RICHARD PRYOR) is hired by financial tycoon Ross Webster (ROBERT VAUGHN) to seize control of a weather satellite and annihilate Colombia’s coffee crop. When Superman (CHRISTOPHER REEVE) manages to thwart the plan, Webster commands Gorman to use the satellite to locate kryptonite, the Man of Steel’s mortal weakness. But a missing unknown element in the kryptonite — replaced by Gorman with tar — causes an unintended side effect when presented to Superman.
Quick Hit Review: The second sequel wasn’t nearly as bad as I remembered but it’s still a large drop from the previous two and the beginning of that decline was removing the classic opening credits with going over basically a sitcom-like opening where some zany things happen. I know this was Lester’s way of showing the audience that this was going to be different from what has come before, but I missed those credits… In any case, I can’t get past that Richard Pryor is in this and that Robert Vaughn is actually the big villain but that character was basically Lex Luthor without the prestige that goes with the name. As a whole, it’s much smaller in scope and outside of maybe the dark Superman vs. Clark Kent scene, this is a forgettable entry.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2½/5
Feature Commentary – The dynamic duo of Spengler and Salkind mark their third commentary for the second sequel with basically more of the same. Like their others, they talk about how the picture came to be after the successes of the first two and go into the story and other tid-bits.
The Making of Superman III (49:08) is like the other two made-for-TV documentaries/featurettes chronicling how the second sequel came to be. It features more behind-the-scenes footage and archival interviews with the cast and crew.
Deleted Scenes (19:43) – 11 scenes were rightly excised from the final film, but now you can watch them for yourself. These aren’t bad and fit right in with what’s already in the movie as they wouldn’t make it any better.
Theatrical Trailer (3:11)
VIDEO – 4¾/5
For all its faults, I will say Superman III doesn’t look half bad in 4K. Detail, like the other movies in the set, does look sharp and well defined and colors have vibrancy to them, very much in keeping with the light-hearted tone, even more so than the first two movies. I didn’t notice any apparent flaws like artifacts or aliasing while the natural grain has remained intact.
AUDIO – 4¼/5
The movie has received a new Dolby Atmos track with the previous Blu-ray having a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. This one does sound good offering clear dialogue levels. Unfortunately we don’t get the monumentous opening credit sequence, replaced instead with a comedy-like sketch of mishaps (including a bumbling blind man). Still, there is decent enough depth for the more action-like sequences along with the forgettable score by Ken Thorne.
OVERALL — 3½/5
Superman III was pretty much the beginning of the end of the Superman franchise. It’s not terrible but not very good either, moving to full-on goofy humor (versus a more wholesome variety of the first film), and an awful villain. At least Christopher Reeve still embodies the role but it’s not nearly enough to help the film.