It had been years since I'd last seen "Superman IV" and in that time I had almost forgotten what a friggin' GOD AWFUL abomination it is. However, my superhero-obsessed six year old recently dug my age-old VHS copy out of the back of the cabinet and asked me to put it on. After only a few minutes, I remembered why I'd avoided a repeat viewing for so many years... it was literally painful to watch!! Script...lacking! Special effects...SUCKING...acting...laughable...Jon Cryer... annoying... Christopher Reeve (R.I.P.)'s career... ending... gasp... (choke). For me, the only highlight was a brief but well-framed shot of the lovely Mariel Hemingway's very impressive legs.
On the other hand my son laughed like hell when Nuclear Man blew up the Great Wall of China and ripped the Statue of Liberty from its base. Now he's probably gonna want to watch this movie again and again over the next couple of weeks, and I can only blame myself. Damn it.
A great character... a terrible movie...
Blake Petit | Ama, Louisiana United States | 12/10/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)
"It's been many years since I saw the incredibly bad "Superman IV: The Quest For Peace." Years since I was tormented by the vision of Nuclear Man, by the lousy dialouge, amazed by the idea that anyone could find Mariel Hemmingway attractive enough to destroy a city over. Still, since I got the DVD boxed set, I wanted to get my money's worth, and that meant watching S:IV. And was it as bad as I remember?Oh god, it was worse. From the bad science (Superman pushes the moon from its orbit to create an eclipse, yet tides are unnaffected? And there's no sunrise on the moon, either! The dark side is always dark and the light side is always light!) to the extra powers (rebuilding the great wall vision, anyone?) to the bad plotting (Superman finds a power plant with an OPEN REACTOR to chuck Nuclear Man into?) to the inconsistent characterization (Superman brings back Lois' memories from Superman II long enough to unburden his soul, then wipes `em out again -- hardly behavior benefiting Earth's Greatest Hero), it was just a bad movie. Why Gene Hackman agreed to come back for this is beyond me.This is not to say that everything about the movie was bad. There were, in fact, two scenes that I really liked, which save it from a failing grade. The very first scene is Clark back at the old Kent farm, refusing to sell it to some developer, holding out for a "real farmer," very in character, very sweet. And the final scene, where it is not Superman that saves the day but Perry White, was also good -- a great moment of heroism for a character really underused in the Superman movies. Sadly, neither of these scenes are good enough to counteract the mountains of badness inbetween, which is why the film doesn't fail, but is still way the hell below average."
A Half-hearted Attempt At Another Superman Film
Monty Moonlight | TX | 10/06/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Superman has stopped robbers, robots, and terrorists, done battle with a trio of his own kind, defeated Lex Luthor twice, and even taken on himself in adventures past, but none of those heroic deeds has prepared him for his most intimidating foe, the Nuclear Arms Race! The year is 1987, and a failed world summit has the entire planet in a grip of fear, when a concerned teacher encourages her students to offer solutions to the terrifying predicament. Write your congressman? That'll never work. Write Superman? Now there's an idea! When a young boy's tear-jerking letter to Superman arrives at the Daily Planet in care of Lois Lane, new publisher (and daughter of the Planet's new owner) Lacy Warfield immediately sees it as a chance to increase the paper's waning sales! Soon, the whole world knows of the boy's request that Superman disarm the planet and make it safe from annihilation once again, and the whole world waits in eager anticipation for Superman's reply. The poor man of steel has enough trouble though, just balancing Lacy's advances on his alter-ego, Clark Kent, against his unclear relationship with co-worker Lois Lane. Superman contemplates the problem intensely, nonetheless, and eventually comes to that unavoidable decision: Superman will rid the world of nuclear arms! With the U.N. behind him all the way, Superman rounds up all the nuclear weapons on the planet, swings them around and around in a giant net, and hurls them into our life-giving sun! The world can breathe easy once again. Little does Superman know that his arch enemy, Lex Luthor, has escaped from prison with the help of his dimwitted nephew Lenny. With the cooperation of nuclear weapons dealers from around the world, Lex has planted a special little surprise for Superman amidst the weapons he has hurled into the son: a special recipe for creating an anti-Superman! A Nuclear Man!
Christopher Reeve's heart may have been fully into the idea of "Superman IV: The Quest For Peace," unfortunately, the movie itself comes off as an incredibly half-hearted attempt at a real Superman film. I won't go into the effects issues. Apparently, the budget wasn't quite as high for film number four. Also, I tend to be very forgiving of Superman films for having "fantastic science." Clearly, spinning the Earth in reverse would do more harm than good, and certainly would not turn back time, yet we all love the original Superman movie! I just look at events like these in Superman films as an homage to the early days of Superman, when people actually might have believed something like that would have worked. I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see such crazy feats performed in Superman cartoons and comics when I was a kid, so it doesn't bother me so much to see them done in Superman films. Additional, god-like Superman powers in Superman movies I am less comfortable with, however, I seem to recall these turning up throughout the previous films as well. No, these are only small aspects of what makes "Superman IV" a failed, though still watchable, attempt at giving the franchise one more go. This film is just poor quality; simple as that. The story is rushed, flat, and uninteresting. The film takes for granted the fact that we know most of the characters, the new ones are exceedingly two-dimensional, and the story (what little there is of one) just doesn't go anywhere. Superman does battle with this dangerous but dense Frankenstein and the audience learns you can't hug your children with nuclear arms. Nothing special, and nothing much to rave about once the movie is over, unlike the other Superman films (yes, I like Superman 3!). Sure, the lesson is important, but did anyone go into this film thinking nuclear weapons were a great thing? And, after all, the ending doesn't really resolve anything in that direction. All you really get with "Superman IV" is another Superman battles super-villain story, this time badly executed (yes, possibly due in part to the excessive editing I have heard so much about). There are some good moments here and there, such as the Smallville scene, Clark pulling a Jack Tripper as he tries to have a date with Lois and Lacy at the same time, and other fun bits. We do get Gene Hackman back as Lex, though he's sadly wasted in this Superman film that doesn't even have the cinematic "look" of the previous three. I'm sure he still helps the film considerably. I also didn't mind the addition of Jon Cryer as his idiot nephew. I found the Lenny character to be quite funny against the elder Luthor, even if there were moments when his Valley dialect did cause eyes to roll. Still, over all, "Superman IV: The Quest For Peace" is watchable at best, and only for the Superman fan that doesn't require every Superman film to be...well...super. Once again, as with the other Superman sequels, the DVD is practically bare bones. We are given little more than a theatrical trailer and some cast filmographies. Cross your fingers, all you folks who are crying out for an uncut version. If Warner's Batman releases can be used as any sort of guideline, perhaps next year's "Superman Returns" will be heralded by Special Edition releases of all the Christopher Reeve Superman films!"
My favorite Superman movie
Jack Landrum | TX | 10/13/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After hearing the news of Christopher Reeve passing I popped my copy of Superman IV in to the machine and hit play. I love this movie flaws and all. The idea of Superman dealing with the Cold War is a great one and the cast is excellent. The problem is in the editing and cheap FX. I agree with the reviewers who would like to see the missing 35 minutes inserted into the film again. The owners of this film should put the footage back and somebody should fix up the FX and put out a special edition box set of the Superman movies. I'd even sit through Superman 3 again if it was in such a box set with quality extras. Superman IV needs to recieve the quality treatment it never got. It's one of Reeve's best turns as the Man of Steel (although he was always great in the role). Put IV together right this time and improve the FX a little and release it on DVD somebody!"
Good film but I want to see the uncut version
Blake Petit | 03/17/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The movie originally ran for 134 min. to a test audience in Southern California.Due to a lack of improvement,it was butchered down to a mere 89 min.Scenes were cut like Superman destroying a Nuclearman prototype and Superman responding to Jeremy s letter. This rare 134 min. version was once on the now defunct TV channel SFM Holiday Network in 1989.This version will tie up some loose ends and fill the plot holes.Hopefully,it will be re-release on VHS and DVD."
This Movie Was Horrible! One Of The Worst Ever Made!
C. Butler | Sebring, FL | 02/21/2000
(1 out of 5 stars)
"In fact, it deserves to be ridiculed on "Mystery Science Theater 3000". Of course, Superman and anyone who possesses his powers could go into outer space and do other extraordinary things, but 13 years after having first seen it, I still can't believe that Nuclear man was able to take the (human)Mariel Hemingway character into outer space with him. Not only did she not incinerate while escaping Earth's atmosphere, but she was able to breathe in outer space as well.Guys, this movie was horrid. In fact, it makes the previous effort with Richard Pryor seem like great entertainment, and that's a shame as the first 2 films, particularly the second, were excellent. Many scenes (such as the ones involving the subway and Russian cosmonauts) have nothing to do with the film's plot, while others just don't make any sense. The film is full of movie flubs (just one example:when Superman is chasing Nuclear Man across the planet, it is daytime in America and China at the same time).This cartoonish movie can only appeal to the 7 and younger crowd. A disgraceful finale to what was once a great movie series. In fact, I seriously question the writing ability and education of the men who wrote it.Where's General Zod when you need him?"