I had heard of the awful aspects of Superman IV in vague generalizations before, but man – oh man – it was far worse than I expected. While real life events in Caitlinland have left me unable to review many movies lately, I kept putting this one off… and I wasn’t disappointed by what I got, in a sense.
The basic plot is that it’s Supes versus a character named Nuclear Man, who is created in the most obscene, ridiculous way humanly possible. Nuclear Man wears a lot of spandex and has pretty, fake nails and seems to be very intense all the time. There’s a Dynasty joke in there somewhere that I just can’t find.
More than anything, the movie looks kind of slapdash – like someone cared enough to make this one but not make it well. Christopher Reeve looks like he constantly wants to slink out of frame with embarrassment at every opportunity and really, you can’t blame him. Cheesy, stilted dialogue and hopeless, awful sets probably don’t engender much faith in an actor, especially when there’s an epic moon battle between the nuclear lord of synthetic clothing and The Great American Hero that looks like it belongs in a cheap, made for TV film.
It’s a depressing end to Reeve’s run in the franchise; it’s even sadder based on the fact that the movie is so boring you have to resist the urge to pass out from sheer inanity all the way through. It’s disappointing. Superman – both the movie and the comic book – is really something a lot of people take very seriously and while Superman is not “serious business” to some extent, it’s very disheartening to watch it casually turned into a big joke.
Thank god I’m not a huge fan of Superman…because then, I might cry.