Superman III

Movie review by Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media
Superman III Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 8+

Outdated superhero movie may interest older kids.

PG 1983 125 minutes

Parents say

age 11+

Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 9+

Based on 19 reviews

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Community Reviews

age 2+

Criminally underated movie

Such a cruel and pedestrian review. The movie did create a careable and interesting character in Richard Pryor. His lines funny provided the comic relief missed by otis, his role as going from unemployable to reinventung himself as a genius programmer was inspiring and honestly relatable, his turn around at the end showing the epitome of what Superman as a person strives to prove: that bad guys and everyday citizens can have a change of heart and go good once shown there are positive alternatives to evil. At Kal El's core he believes in achieving peace through providing inspiration for change instead of using brute force methods to dominate his foes into submission. That may seem "silly" to the less initiated but is a vital reoccurring theme throughout the series. This concept manifested twice. First going from would be petty street crook to white collar computer worker. Second rebuking the evil intentions of his handlers and actually rooting for superman to beat the machine and aligning himself with the ideals that Supes strives to exemplify. Maybe these concepts were too complex or simply went over the critics obtuse notions of what should make Superman "super" in the first place. The movie is true to the style without employing the hocum associated with gimmicks or pandering to the latest trends or fashions. The movie is solid and a critical part of the four part saga. Dismissing it on petty arbitrary reasons has led to its lack of proper reception and has biased audiences for decades. Maybe they didnt want a movie featuring a black man portrayed as turning his life around and bettering himself legally during the time of the crack epidemic. Maybe better reception of the movie would have started a trend of inspiring black kids to aim higher given better examples instead of crime and slave movies. It always felt like a ripoff this movie, which provides positive benefits to blacks, is always excluded, looked down on, and when mentioned referred to as silly. It becomes vogue to critize the works of any black actors and the bias seems to be more political and racial rather than anything cinematic. The duality of man is explored with Supes turning evil and then going bad to good which is used to foreshadow Pryors changing of sides. Lana is introduced providing much needed context for who she is and how she is not related to Lois even though they share the same last name. The concepts of the supercomputer seems to have been inspired by the comic book villian brainiac and reinvented to fit the theme of when it was written. The Lana affair, while brief, shows that Lois is his true love not her. Again this is duality. It was not supposed to overshadow his romance with Lois. He does more than practical jokes while poisoned by krytonite. He has sex with a prostitute. He goes full bad guy showing that for all his seemingly perfect attributes that he is indeed capable of flaws proving that he is as human as the rest of us. This is not comic whismy but captures deeper expressions of the human condition and what it means to be plaugued and tormented when going through dark episodes in ones life. Duality just as his Clark/Superman duality. I care about Richard Pryor's dilemma and you should too because his is one that is very relatable and falls under the troupe of "turn about heel". This is a desirable element to put in a story and they pulled it off in expert fashion. I care about Roberts satellite's as do fans of the movie 007 Golden Eye because it was the plot of the enitre movie. Much more realistic and believable given the state of technology we have now and even then with Reagan's STI initiative. What would be silly and comical is the thing he praises: flying backwards to time travel which breaks the known laws of quantum mechanics. Simple Einstein field equations will tell you the science for that scene is dodgy. You would either have to suspend an impractical amount of disbelief or simply be extremely iliterate mathematically to handwave the bad science involved fiction or not. I can not make a time machine and reverse earthquakes. I can build a satellite and launch weapons from it conventional or energy based (EMP, raditation, future tech etc.). Pryor as a wicked villian is NOT welcome here. I am tired of the racist practice of only assigning roles to blacks where it serves little more than demonizing the race and always protraying them as subhuman scoundrels. Apperantly Ebert is of the mind that the only roles that should be offered to blacks are the stereotypical criminal or first person killed. That is are huge problem in cinema and this is where his opinion goes from crass and unenlightened to downright oppresive and racially discriminatory. Miss Tessmocker was allowed to go from villian to free superman without beration. Otis was allowed to be a a lovable henchman without being forced to be given especially wicked traits. Allowing white villains the leisure of being seen as mere victims under the masterminds evil plots while excluding the only black henchman the same treatment is overt bias based on race. Its disgusting. I was proud to be black when he rooted for the right side. Aside from the initial theft his only crime was being conned into serving evil. Killing superman was not what he signed up for. All the henchmen do not mind theft but killing is where they draw the line. This is a double standard. Thorught the film I sympathised from him being blackmailed into serving their schemes for fear of being sent back to prison. He made a mistake but should not be forced to commit higher crimes because of it. As a Black teen I was proud when he showed his true colors and stood up to those getting the better of him even though it meant facing the punishment for his earlier deed. This was an important point to show one for Supermans ability to rehabilitate criminals as per his code and two to show the charater development he underwent before coming full circle proving that he had greater depth as a person and was not just some mindless ghoul bent on terror and destruction like the true villians above him. It forced people to acknowledge who the people truly given to wickness were. Pryors acting was exeplarary but all too often blacks do not receive the accolades they deserve for their efforts. They are paid less, given inferior roles, and not respected critically for the performances they command. His theft in this movie is considered a classic and a running byphrase. It was referred to by name in movie when used as the plot of Office Space. He played a role in a movie that is important historically and cinematically. Warner Bros. needs to put this and the Quest for Peace on their streaming services so the entire saga can be viewed correctly instead of offering partial sagas scattered among different vendors for the explicit purpose of greedy double charging. TMZ needs to quit mocking this classic simply because they wish to join the hate band wagon driven by someone whose only talent is giving hack job reviews to present the pretentious air of sophistication. Roger Ebert reminds me of the twilight zone episode where the restaurant critic wrote foregone harsh reviews just to maintain his reputation of being hard to impress without merit nor even evaluating the subject at hand. Gene Siskal seemed more human and relatable in his reviews and had a heart whereas Ebert was just a bully whose arguments seem unfounded inconsistent and at times contridictory. His puzzling review reeks of unfair bias and maybe influenced by being handled a envelope of cash to write a hack piece on one of the less formulaic movies in the series.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 10+

A movie that makes little sense in this computer age, but ideas remain good for characters.

The movie was not great, but still a good one for he kids to learn from. SPOILERS We blamed the odd behavior on the not correct Kryptonite having a not correct effect. This was a great opportunity to elaborate on the leaning tower of Pisa, and the Olympic torch. We use movies for the kids to expand their knowledge of the world, when attaching it to a movie the facts seem to stick better. Good versus evil, silliness abound, it was a solid movie, just wished they skipped the cursing; most are easily over looked but when the old football players sees Clark and his old love the camera focuses on him and the SON OF A B..... word.

Movie Details

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