Superman IV: The Quest for Peace - 1987
Superman IV is Christopher Reeves final performance. Dawning the red cap in arguably the best film of the entire franchise. This movie was produced by The Cannon Group Inc., same company that brought us Breakin’, Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo, Over the Top and many more. Ok, let me clarify something, when I say “many more”, I mean in just the span of 3 years (1986-88), they produced a total of ninety-nine films. So, you know that Superman was in the right hands.
Ok, enough intros let us begin with this masterpiece. A masterpiece that every single superhero movie made since has tried to emulate. How did they decide to start the movie? You may be asking yourself out-loud almost screaming at the screen, as you keep reading all the words I wrote to stall and stall. Well calm down and I’ll tell you, with two minutes and forty seconds of opening credits. Wow, you may say again out-loud and now everybody in the café is staring at you. Sit-down and relax because they aren’t just any old opening credit, they are flying credits, because you know… Superman.
We pick right back-up with good-old Supes saving Russian astronauts as they’re hit with space debris. This scene clearly influenced Alfonso Cuarón when he was writing Gravity. Back on earth, Smallville to be exact, we learn that Clark Kent is selling his family’s farm (SAD!). The writers of this film knew that fans were clamoring to know, why did Superman never go Pro during his baseball-career? Simple answer he couldn’t hit a curveball and that’s now canon (get it) thanks to this film. After getting struck-out, he picks-up the ball and bats it out into space, I mean anybody can do that playing alone.
Ok, let’s talk about Lex Luthor’s intelligence that is truly terrifying. He has multiple sequences in where he demonstrates that he is the best criminal mastermind put to film. List of his master plans in this movie alone include:
1. Utilizing a remote-controlled car to escape prison. With the help of his nephew Lenny, he tricks the prison guards in getting inside the car and driving it off a cliff. He simply just walks right out after the guards have been taken care off. My god I got chills writing that out.
2. Steals Superman’s hair from the Superman museum (the one that is holding up 1,000 pounds in a case display). How does he steal that hair? I mean the brilliance is incredible, he pulls out wire cutters and breaks the glass case… and takes the hair. How does he come up with this?
3. Creating the ultimate nemesis of Superman, Nuclear Man. Ok, try to keep up because this is the most complicated plan of the entire movie. Using the hair he took from the museum and mixing it with his DNA (I think…) he creates something. That something he puts it in the head of a nuclear missile and shoots it at the sun. Then the sun cooks it and creates Nuclear Man, costume and all… I think one of his powers is to create his costume. I mean I would’ve never thought to use the Sun as an oven for my creations.
Tell me this isn’t works of a criminal mastermind, I dare you.
This movie also expands on the powers of Superman adding to the already vast list provided in the comics. The new powers included are:
1. Perfectly cooking a duck in the oven, by just staring at it through a wall. You never know when this will come in handing but it never hurts to have it in your back pocket. Sure.
2. Staring at destroyed objects and being able to repair them to perfection. Cool.
3. Kissing Lois and erasing her memories. Ok
4. Giving Lois the ability of flight, almost like Tinkerbell from Peter Pan. Maybe there is a better joke in there but the video below is way funnier than anything I can write.
The time has finally come, the battle for Earth has begun, Nuclear Man vs Superman. Producing worldwide destruction of small-scale models. The Great Wall of China, volcanos in Italy and the Statue of Liberty, all are destroyed. After a long and weird battle, Nuclear Man finally gets the best of Superman as he scratches him on the back of the neck and kicks him into outer-space. Have you ever been scratch on the back of the neck? Dude, it hurts… like a lot. This entire sequence most have cost hundreds of dollars, maybe a thousand give or take.
Superman is dying and quickly turning old due to the scratch on the back of his neck. But using the magical crystal he found in the barn he is instantly cured (don’t worry about it). He fights once again Nuclear Man, this time he out thinks him by locking him in an elevator. I mean how else would you have stopped a nuclear-powered man. Superman grabs the elevator and takes him to the Moon.
But no elevator can hold him for too long and we get a battle between Superman and Nuclear Man on top of the Moon. This is the best fight scene of Superman on a moon against a villain ever put to screen. Don’t you dare tell me otherwise.
Then the bum-rushed to tie up all the loose ends left and the movie ends. I mean I skipped over a lot of things like the Daily Planet becoming a tabloid paper, Clark doing aerobics, the weird talking crystal from Krypton, woman can breath in outer-space, Superman pushing the Moon to form an Eclipse and the entire plot of Superman destroying all of the world’s nuclear weapons (because a kid suggested it). But the one thing I can’t skip over is… You know what the video below will tell you all you need to know.
This movie is amazing and I honestly enjoyed myself way too much watching it. The scene above is why I love movies and I hope you do too.
Superman IV: Quest for peace is currently streaming on Netflix, catch him before he flies away.
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