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Overall Rating

Awesome: 7.32%
Worth A Look: 4.88%
Just Average: 9.76%
Pretty Crappy: 14.63%

3 reviews, 64 user ratings

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Superman IV: The Quest For Peace
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by David Cornelius

"Once again, Golan-Globus gets involved and ruins everything."
1 stars

If you’re wondering how the “Superman” movie franchise could have gone so horribly, tragically wrong as to give us “Superman IV: The Quest For Peace,” all you really need to know is that after the underrated “Superman III” left theaters, the rights for the series were soon bought out by none other than Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus. You remember those guys, the company responsible for Cannon Films. The guys who made “Delta Force,” “Firewalker,” “Detective School Dropouts,” and “Alien From L.A.,” just to name a few.

Once they got their grubby hands on Supes, all bets were off. The Golan-Globus name was like a curse, and the drop in quality would remain the steepest until “Blues Brothers 2000” rolled around a decade later. The special effects budget seemed to be a mere fraction of the original’s, right down to the opening credits, which look like a pale, cartoony imitation of the now-classic “flying names” montage of the earlier films. The screenplay is laughable, the action pathetic, and somehow, everyone forgot how to act. (Hell, even the poster sucks, with Christopher Reeve’s head wildly out of proportion to his body.)

Speaking of Reeve, he gets credit for cowriting the story (along with screenwriters Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal, who both went on to pen “Mercury Rising” and “Mighty Joe Young,” you’re welcome), and he’s to blame for the loopy premise in which Supes takes it upon himself to rid the planet of nuclear missiles. You see, some kid thinks the best way to end the Cold War (these were The Reagan Years, after all) was to ask Superman to disarm everybody, and the Man of Steel, breaking his vow to stay out of such political matters, is eager to oblige.

I don’t know why Superman would only concentrate on nukes and not other forms of weapons, and I don’t know why getting rid of nukes would be the single thing that would end all conflict on the planet, and I don’t know why, when Supes addresses the United Nations, everyone cheers when he announces his plan. Aren’t these the same governments that refused to disarm the day before? My brain hurts.

Fortunately, we have criminal mastermind Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman), who’s recently busted out of prison with the help of his moronic nephew Lenny (Jon Cryer, in his single greatest career embarrassment). Lenny’s job is to be an idiot; his dialogue consists of two alternating phrases: “Like, oh, wow” and “It’s the Dude of Steel!” If, by the end of this film, you do not want to punch Lenny in the nuts, there may be something wrong with you.

Anyway, Lex steals a strand of Superman’s hair and uses its DNA to create a solar-powered supervillain named Nuclear Man (Mark Pillow). Nuclear Man has Luthor’s voice and obeys Luthor’s commands, but he also wants to punch a lot of stuff, and that makes him dangerous. He also looks like he’s always trying to squeeze a fart that just won’t come out, which makes him look slightly less dangerous.

Somehow, the existence of Nuclear Man will make it easier for Luthor to become an arms dealer, although I may have been in the bathroom for the scene that explains all this. (Seeing as I’ve seen this film at least twenty times, that must always be the right scene for a potty break.) But the Luthor-as-missile-seller plot isn’t nearly as fun as the Nuclear Man one, so I turn my attention elsewhere.

There’s a subplot involving the Daily Planet being bought out by a tabloid magnate (Sam Wanamaker), who turns the paper into a sleaze rag. The new boss has a daughter, Lacy (Mariel Hemingway, acting here with all the talent of beef jerky), who takes a liking to Clark Kent. This is the set-up for a wacky double date between Lacy and Clark and Lois Lane (Margot Kidder, as always) and Superman. Can Supes juggle two women at once? Fear not: the result is a scene worthy of Greg Brady. Or maybe Jack Tripper.

And yet we want more Nuclear Man, and so we get him trying to kidnap Lacy, making this ominous threat, the best piece of dialogue in the whole film: “Where is the woman? If you do not tell me, I will hurt people!” Nukey doesn’t elaborate, so we leave wondering if he was planning a major purple nurple, a nasty wedgie, or just a mean-spirited insult.

The story just keeps chugging along, wrapping up with a fight on an old “Star Trek” set that I think was supposed to be the moon. Styrofoam rocks are hurled, punches are thrown, viewers are lulled into a nice, deep sleep. At one point in the film, Lex calls his nephew “the Dutch Elm Disease of my family tree.” The description is equally fitting this movie, a sad final chapter in an otherwise brilliant movie franchise. That this movie is how the “Superman” movie legacy ended would be a depressing thought if the movie weren’t so endlessly hilarious.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=980&reviewer=392
originally posted: 06/17/05 20:22:34
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User Comments

1/22/19 morris campbell trash pure trash the worst superman movie ever 1 stars
7/16/15 Robert Baum Terse and right on target 1 stars
6/08/13 Neil I ask you god what have we done to deserve this? 1 stars
12/10/12 Andrea I suppose when you see 'Cannon films' on a poster, you should expect the worst! 1 stars
7/05/10 Mark Hughes Wow 1 strand of his hair can hold something that heavy...but 1 snip of a scissors...gone!!! 1 stars
6/20/10 Sarah Almost as bad as Jaws 4, but not quite! 1 stars
1/02/10 art ROSS WEBSTER from SUPERMAN 3 MAKES LEx luthor look like a CHOIRBOY! 1 stars
7/18/09 scott heatherley Unintentionally hilarious. 4 stars
7/25/08 The Dork Knight in retrospect, Superman Returns makes this one look good 3 stars
10/01/07 Andrew Kercher Hackman's return a plus, but nerdy nephew & Nuke Man? Give me a break, til Superman Returns 3 stars
2/03/07 Vip Ebriega Cannon films ruined a great hero. 2 stars
12/25/06 johnnyfog Nuclear Man's outfit looked like male lingere 1 stars
12/02/06 David Even worse than the god-awful third 1 stars
11/24/06 Melissa Tokarczyk Not the best from Superman. 2 stars
8/24/06 David Cohen Reeve pushes a ham fisted moral agenda and tries to make it okay by wearing a super suit 1 stars
7/18/06 W Crank one out every night watching this movie. 5 stars
7/10/06 Dez 100% crap. Not even worth 1 STAR!! 1 stars
6/26/06 Criddic2 Bad effects, messy script ruin series 2 stars
6/05/06 drydock54321 what's happened to the writing? 2 bad ones in a row. 2 stars
4/29/06 stallone stephen i like superman character,its such a nice film,nobody matches to Christopher Reeve. 5 stars
1/11/06 JM Synth It's sincertity finished the series w/ a little dignity after enjoyable but comedy heavy 3 3 stars
12/28/05 tony Can't they see that the third one sucked, so why a fourth? 1 stars
11/09/05 BarronFuckoff Sure, it's boring and stupid with bad FX, but...it's still better than SUPERMAN III. 2 stars
8/30/05 ES Series has too much religion for a comic book made for kids, this movie was ok 4 stars
7/11/05 Andrew soon followed by Superman 5: the need to explain what the hell we were thinking. 1 stars
6/23/05 azpinoy The worst of the Superman series 1 stars
6/22/05 Eric Rollins Villain had potential, so sad, so very sad. 2 stars
5/10/05 Indrid Cold Sure there's a lot fo 80s cheesiness, but why do people say it's a such a disaster? 3 stars
2/05/05 Jeff Anderson IT'S A CRAPPY CANNON FILM, WHAT DID YOU EXPECT! The production values TRULY, TRULY SUCKED!! 1 stars
1/19/05 Laurian Diaconescu The first two Superman movies carry this one on their backs. It has its moments though. 3 stars
12/09/04 Sugarfoot What An Embarrassment! 1 stars
9/03/04 T.B. This the worst sequel ever made! 1 stars
7/28/04 American Slasher Goddess Even worse then Part 3. 1 stars
7/11/04 David Fowler Shitty, stupid, and cheap. Still better than SIII. BTW it's Reeve & Siegfried. No s, No z 2 stars
12/24/03 Kron PERFECT FILM 5 stars
12/24/03 ES The best of the series 5 stars
12/06/03 john Chris Reeve is a great Superman but he movie is terrible 1 stars
3/21/03 Jack Sommersby So palpably awful it's a wee bit fun on a trashy level. 2 stars
1/21/03 Matt Thiel Superman 3 feels like a movie. This shit does not. Hacked down from 134 to 90 mintues. 1 stars
10/31/02 Charles Tatum Why does Reeve think so little of his audience? 1 stars
8/15/02 Shaun to tell you the truth, I dont know what to think of this movie. But I was never bored, 3 stars
7/19/02 Shams Huque I make myself believe the first two films are completely separate to this one... 2 stars
1/27/02 kjjjj thismovie bites on ice !!!!! 1 stars
10/30/01 Andrew Carden There Were Actually A Few Cool Scenes, but Only Get It At The Rental Store for 99 cents. 3 stars
7/03/01 Zuma Movie equivalent of a car wreck ... don't wanna look but can't help it. Make it go away! 1 stars
6/26/01 Not as bad as everyone thinks...... Not as bad as everyone thinks. Has a pretty good story and great musical score! 4 stars
5/21/01 Monster W. Kung An insult to the viewer's intelligence. The scene with the moon is pure, unadultered shit. 1 stars
5/03/01 Erick WOW. The comments on here in support of this film show the obvious lack of taste. Crap! 1 stars
4/10/01 Rennie Give me a break, it wasn't THAT bad. 2 stars
9/17/00 total th eonly good thing about this is the message. absolute cheese. 1 stars
4/23/00 Nadine Eugene Nice casting 4 stars
2/27/00 leon best superman movie of all time 5 stars
1/25/00 Bob Barker Superman & Batman both should have stopped after two movies. Wow. 1 stars
1/08/00 John Markham WOW! was this a bad movie or what? A real sewer dweller. 1 stars
6/23/99 Muff Diver I should have known what I was getting when it only cost me 58 cents to rent this. 2 stars
4/09/99 Keith Calder I found this movie entertainingly bad. Like a guide on how to kill a franchise 80s style. 3 stars
4/02/99 Scott I didn't think they could stoop lower then III. I've been proved wrong. 1 stars
11/26/98 Mr.Pink One of the worst movies ever!!!!!! 1 stars
10/23/98 Kwyjibo Not a positive word to say about this bollocks. 1 stars
9/15/98 Negative Creep Christ is this film bad Batman 4 at least was made well, this crap is marred by bad editing 1 stars
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  24-Jul-1987 (PG)
  DVD: 28-Nov-2006



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