Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)



Dave’s 4-Word Review:
Better, but not really

Imagine walking up to a random person on the streets and asking them to tell you the plot of all of the classic Superman movies. What do you think they would tell you? Obviously, for the first one, they would most likely tell you that it was the origin story, it was about life in Smallville with his adoptive parents, it was about adapting to life in Metropolis before finally making his mark, and it was about Lex trying to take over the world. Easy enough. The second one is just as easy, it’s the movie with General Zod and his gang trying to take over the world. The third is where it gets iffy. Most people would say…well…that’s the one with Richard Pryor and where Superman fights himself right? That’s right, but it completely misses the plot. When asked about the fourth film, many would probably scratch their heads at the thought that the question may be a trick one. There is no trick here; there was in fact a fourth movie, but because the third did so poorly, not many people saw Superman IV: Quest for Peace unless they were a Superman fanatic. Personally, I remember liking it because I saw it as a kid once, and Superman is always great when you’re a kid.

There is two main storylines going on in the movie, as well as a couple side stories as well. The two main stories work in hand in hand. The first part is about a child that begs Superman in a letter to rid the world of nuclear weapons, and he does (after a long debate with himself). The second main story has to do with Lex escaping from prison once more, and with Superman’s DNA, creates a super-being more powerful than Superman…let’s just call him Nuke-Man. All the while, the side stories deal with a new publisher trying to make the Daily Planet money, and Clark is trying to sell the farm…I guess Martha passed away.

When I saw the third movie, I was appalled that they even called it Superman. That is still true, because for this movie, I feel as if it is more of a Superman movie, but it unfortunately falls upon the category of boring. I mean really boring. This feels more like a Superman movie because it had a stronger focus on superhero, and not a comedian, but the Supervillain that he faced was just too stupid. Let’s think. This creature was formed from Superman’s DNA, and yet somehow came to earth with Lex’s voice….why?! For hilarity? That storyline was lame, and they should have cut it out completely. My suggestion for the plot would have just been about the nuclear weapons. Keep it short, keep it simple.

Keeping it about the nuclear weapons is very important. That part showed a side of Superman that really should be seen. The side the fights against everything that’s bad, no matter what his birth parents warn him about. To show the human part of himself, so to speak. It would have been a man vs. nature movie, yes, but it would have done great for character development, for emotions, and even for the title “Quest for Peace”. He is a super man, they need not forget that.

Now, the bad things…This is a small thing, but I did notice it: the way that Lex Luthor got Superman’s DNA to begin with was at a museum that displayed his hair, as it held up 1000 pounds, yet it can be easily cut with wire cutters? I don’t think so. Again, with the “essential” clone of Superman, it shouldn’t have Lex’s voice. There was this shot that they used multiple times, and you’ll notice it when watching. Superman flying towards the camera…it’s not even video, it’s an image. They use it like twelve times throughout and it is obvious, people. I had a problem with the love triangle in this, because it was a love triangle by choice, meaning…Clark/Superman was playing the system…finally, I saved the best for last. They kept introducing fake superpowers. No joke, suddenly, Superman has telekinesis…I know there is some questions surrounding that, but it’s more commonly found not to have that. Also…with his eyes…he rebuilds the torn down wall of China. Not telekinesis…he looks up the building and almost paints on the bricks with his eyes…….I was so confused.

In all, there were things that I honestly liked about the movie. However, for the most part, I thought it was terribly boring, cheap, put together in a rush…it was just not great. Check it out if you want.

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