Saturday, July 01, 2006

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)

I was watching the Superman sequels from the 1980s, before seeing Superman Returns. I noticed that this one stuck out for two reasons. One is a pervasive sense of liberal do-goodery, no doubt Christopher Reeve's influence. After saving some Russians in a space-station accident, Clark Kent heads back to Smallville for some business and this is what he finds:

Later he returns to Metropolis, where the Daily Planet has been purchased by a Rupert Murdoch-esque tycoon, who wants to turn it into an exploitative rag, and finally Superman decides to rid the planet of nuclear weapons, a unilateral tactic that is met with no opposition from the armed forces of the United States or the Soviet Union, in the movie's most glaring omission.
The other striking thing about the movie is how it's pretty cheap and clumsy. Here's a shot of Superman on the surface of the moon, and I'm pretty sure those dark lines in the background are the contours of curtains trying to simulate the blackness of space.