I watched Superman I,II,III and wondered if they were better than BvS

supes9In honor of Batman v Superman, I didn’t watch it.  Instead I watched Christopher Reeve in Superman I, II and III and started to reconsider what I thought of those movies.  Actually, I’ve always thought Superman: The Movie was the best superhero movie I’ve ever seen and that really hasn’t changed, but now I think the original Iron Man, Batman (1989) and The Dark Knight are up there too as the best of all-time.  Still, I think Superman II and Superman III are underrated.  

super3Superman II has everything Superman: The Movie does not, in that it has more action, a better plot, and an improved ending.  Still, it’s hard to beat the first 30 minutes of Superman: The Movie, as Glenn Ford gives a great scene and then Superman movies to Metropolis, where he saves Lois from a downed helicopter.  The scene where Superman catches the helicopter is still my all-time favorite superhero moment.  It just makes you want to cheer and clap.   When Superman gets his powers in Superman II so he can go confront Zod, I get close to that feeling again, but Superman III doesn’t even attempt to do that.  Disappointing.

supes7After watching Superman III again, I can see that it is a comedy throughout, not a drama with comedy moments.  It’s kinda ironic how stupid it is, in comparison to Superman: The Movie.  There is one scene where Richard Pryor’s character Gus accidently ski’s off the side of a skyscraper and falls about 50 stories down onto a roof, where he flops and trips to a stop.  This really makes a mockery of my favorite scene with the helicopter, and does a disservice to Superman, in general.  I’ve actually never noticed how many stupid in-jokes and jokes Superman III tries at, but most of them are stupid.

I will say that all the concepts in Superman III are awesome.  The supes5idea of an evil Superman battling his heroic alter-ego is a good concept.  Having Superman battle somebody with computers and technology is another good idea.  But none of these ideas work.  The only way the filmmakers can make Superman look evil is by having him blow out the Olympic torch and push the leaning tower of Pisa straight, both of which are jokes, so the whole thing is a joke.  Of course, that’s no different than what they did in Spider-Man 3 to make Peter Parker look evil, so there is that.  That’s why I often think Superman III isn’t as bad as people say.

Overall, Superman III is a bad comedy, but it has its moments.  The junkyard scene is really good and the ending is decent.  The beginning is just so bad that I have a hard time watching it as often as Superman: The Movie or Superman II.  I think the absence of Richard Donner really hurts the Superman movies and don’t even get me started on Superman IV.  I think I’ll cave sometime in the near future and see Superman v Batman (2016), but that might be when it comes to DVD or something.  I just don’t want that movie to suck, I think.  I’m afraid it will.  Will it be worse than Superman III? Probably not, so that’s a good thing at least.  Maybe I’ll lower my expectations.