There’s about an hour in this movie that would give one
hope for the series. Too bad it’s a two hour film.

Cast, Crew, and Other Info

Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent / Superman

Richard Pryor as Gus Gorman

Annette O’Toole as Lana Lang

Robert Vaughn as Ross Webster

Margot Kidder barely makes an appearance as Lois
Lane

Directed by Richard Lester

Written by David and Leslie Newman

Complete cast and crew information available at the
Internet
Movie Datebase
.

Premise

A corporate tycoon employs a computer idiot savant, while
Clark pays a
visit back to Smallville.

High Point

Most of the Smallville stuff was pretty good. Clark Kent
was finally
more than a vessel for Superman.

Low Point

Anything that comes after the completion of Gus’
computer.

The Scores

There was a time when I thought that the junkyard battle
was truly
original. Then I watched Un Chien
Andalou
. I do
give them credit for making a full-bore shift into the
comedy genre
that the previous two films just touched on, though. I give it
3 out
of 6.

The effects were pretty varied. Some looked
great (most of
the fire and junkyard battle), while others (ballooning,
tornado
inversion) looked like visual effects on a limited budget. I
give it
4 out of 6.

The story started out with promise, but then
tanked rapidly
when Gus’ computer was built. If only they could have
come up with a
better ending, this might have been better than the second
one. I
give it 4 out of 6.

The acting from Christopher Reeve was better
than the sequel,
as he’d been given more variety to work with. Although I’m
sure
Richard Pryor was playing the part the way the filmmakers
wanted him
to, it was still irritating. Everyone else was pretty bland. I
give
it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response is getting a bit tired.
The schemes
were so ludicrous that I found it hard to suspend my
disbelief. I
give it 3 out of 6.

The production was little more than adequate.
The Salkinds
don’t strike me as the kinds of producers people would
want to work
for. They fired Richard Donner mid-sequel on number two,
replaced
John Williams after the original and hired others to retread
and
rearrange his material, and don’t seem to particularly care
about
character continuity. (Lois Lane wasn’t out of the picture
because
she and Clark weren’t in love, but rather because Margot
Kidder spoke
out about the way they treated Richard Donner the last
time around.)
They got the ball rolling with great talent, and then just
started
churning out the sequels. The result is a collection of
competant,
but not spectacular people working behind the scenes.
The production
earns 3 out of 6.

Overall, another step down in a declining
series. I give it
3 out of 6.

In total, Superman III receives 24 out of 42.