Superman III (1983)
This movie almost makes you hate the character of Superman. It's that bad.
Richard Pryor as Gus Gorman mugs and mumbles and quivers his way through the whole movie. It’s an embarrassing performance; one that makes you just cringe. His scenes might make a four year old laugh, provided that four year old hadn’t been exposed to, well, much of anything. (I also think the George Lucas of ROTJ and the Prequel Trilogy would find Pryor’s scenes funny. His one criticism would be they should add some poo jokes.)
The characters of Lois, Jimmy and Perry White are all hollow versions of themselves, with nothing to do (the "Jingo Game" - I mean really). Even the Daily Planet, which bustled with life and energy in Superman I is oddly silent. Robert Vaughn does his usual Robert Vaughn impression (watch the BBC series Hustle to see Vaughn in top form). Pam Stephenson is no Valerie Perrine. Annette O’Toole is a ray of sunshine as Lana Lang. It was nice to see her continue her Superman association when she was cast in the TV series Smallville.
Christopher Reeve is still good as Superman and Clark, and does his darnedest to make this movie fly, but even he couldn’t succeed. There's just too much dead weight around him. It’s too bad his last big budget turn as Superman was this dreck (Superman IV was made by the Cannon Group, famous for low budget crap like Missing in Action I thru XXXIV.)
That long ass opening sequence, with its Rube Goldberg quality, is totally out of place here – the humor is all very obvious, silly and, frankly, childish (which sums up the whole movie). I was half expecting Inspector Clouseau to pop up.
More than British director Richard Lester, I blame producers Alexander (who looks like one of the Guardians of Oa*) and Ilya Salkind – this is the Superman movie they always wanted to make - they no longer had to battle American director Richard Donner, who kept swatting down their wrong-headed ideas - and it sucks.
* Google it.