Starring Christopher Reeve, Richard Pryor, Jackie Cooper, Marc McClure, Annette O’Toole, Annie Ross, Pamela Stephenson, Robert Vaughn, Margot Kidder, Gavan O’Herlihy
Directed by Richard Lester
Expectations: I’m so excited.
On the general scale:
On the “B-movie for Kids” scale:
Superman III is the Superman film that I saw more than any other as a kid. Due to this odd fact, during this re-watch I saw both all the flaws AND loved pretty much every moment. It’s kind of a good thing that Richard Donner didn’t finish Superman II, because if the world went from that slice of awesome to this full-on slapstick, camped-out take on the character, I imagine heads would have exploded in theaters across the world, just on sheer grounds of lunacy. Thankfully(?), director Richard Lester stepped in and added a bunch of slapstick to his scenes in the theatrical Superman II, creating something of a hybrid film between the two directors’ tones and paving the way for this 100% Lester joint.
Having previously fought off human and Kryptonian supervillains, Superman III naturally pits the character against another human supervillain. Oh, but don’t worry because this guy, Ross Webster (Robert Vaughn), is in no way, shape or form like Lex Luthor. Not. At. All. Luthor dealt in land to facilitate his desire to financially control the world; Webster deals in computers and controlling specific industries for financial control of the world. Luthor had a pair of henchpeople; Webster had a pair of henchpeople and Richard Pryor, but one of his henchpeople had a thing for Superman. Oh wait, Ms. Teschmacher had a thing for the Man of Steel also. I could continue listing these “clear differences” in the characters, but honestly, it’s so obvious that the characters are absolutely nothing like each other that it’s kinda of pointless.