VIDEO: Superman III (1983): A Work of Comic Genius

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The Porn Critic steps out of his Porn Critic persona for his very first non-porn, totally safe-for-work movie review! Superman III is widely considered one of the worst Superman films, but in actuality, it’s comedy genius. Watch the review and find out why!

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  • It makes perfect sense to view S3 as a stand-alone action comedy. This video makes me feel better about liking this film.

  • CaptainCalvinCat

    I never thought, that Porn Critic would ever review something, that is not – or just very, very little – related to his field of expertise, but *bows his head* you did it, Porn Critic, and you did it well. *applauds*

    Plus, concerning the argument, that Superman should be serious… erm – no. He should not. It should be all hi-jinks and non-realism. Allow me to quote myself:

    Okay, let me bring up one point to show, that in my humble opinion,
    those superhero-comics should never be “realistic” and Superman even
    more so.

    What happens to those criminals, who get captured? They wil be put in court, right?

    Here is what a clever, real world defence-lawyer would do, to get
    even a guy, who did horrible crimes in public and got captured by one of
    the superheroes in front of a live audience out of problems.

    He would asK: Who captured you?

    That is just one simple question and you might be ready to say: “Batman, of course”.

    Okay, the lawyer would ask, Who is Batman?
    “Well, he is the dark detective, the midnight detective, the guy who saves the day every given day.”

    Yeah – but who IS he? Does he have a record? Does he pay taxes, does
    he have a job, does he get unemployment benefits, does he have a dental

    And people would be demanding, that Batman demasks himself. Okay,
    granted, that does work, we saw that at Marvel with Iron Man. But what
    happens, if the same trial, the same questions would have been asked in
    Metropolis? What if the lawyer would ask: “Who is Superman?”

    Even if Supes would be telling them “Yeah, I am an alien from outer
    space” – never the less, in the more “realistic” world, he does not

    Okay, we – the audience – know, that Supes is Clark Kent, but even
    then, even if he would demask himself publicly and say: “Yes, Superman
    and Me are one and the same”

    right after Supes told them, that you are an Alien from outer space,
    they would be getting real paranoid: “Aliens exist, and they look like

    No, no, no – just no.

    Granted, I am willing to give man of steel a chance, but if it plays
    out as I think it plays out, I am safe to say, that I like the
    cartoon-movies and am perfectly fine with Superman 1 and Superman 2,
    even liking 3 and 4. Superman Returns was a boring movie and this one…
    well… we will see.

  • Writrzblok

    An excellent case made for what you liked about Superman 3. I can certainly see how, looking at it as a comedy, it can fulfill its duties. Having read and reviewed the comic book and watching the movie to research for it, I just didn’t like it. I found alot of the humor unfunny and obnoxious at times, and the story, while having flashes of brilliance, didn’t feel like they were set up well enough (especially the Clark/Superman fight which was my favorite part, as well). But you like it, so, that’s cool. Cheers!

  • To me, the problem with Superman III is not that it’s a comedy, it’s that most of the jokes/bits just aren’t funny. Star Trek IV is a good example of a film that was more comedic in tone than its predecessors and actually worked, because the jokes were funny. Though, I suspect Star Trek IV could have ended up the Superman III of the Star Trek franchise if they’d been able to get Eddie Murphy to do it like they wanted.

  • Thomas Stockel

    That was a pretty funny and effective defense of Superman III, a movie I always disliked. I’m not saying I’m going to go out and buy the blu ray, but I think next time I get a chance I’ll judge it on it’s own merits rather than comparing it to Superman II.

    In a way, Superman III is to Superman II what Star Trek IV was to Wrath of Khanl; both were good films but had very different tones. And no one whines and complains that The Voyage Home didn’t have enough angst and ‘splosions, do they?

    Nice job, Rick. I hope you do more reviews like this.

    p.s. Yeah, I would totally pick Annette O’Toole over Margot Kidder any day, too. I remember that Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader t.v. movie she did. Rawr!

    • The_Stig

      Except Star Trek IV was good. Superman III totally sucked….except for the fight scene in the junkyard and the scene where the supercomputer assimilates Vera, that was pretty badass but all they did was make me pine for Bizarro and Brainiac respectively. The comedy parts were so awful, not even Richard Pryor, arguably the greatest comedian who ever lived, could save them.

  • Jerry Nava

    You have made me want to see this movie again, for that I thank you xD

    • Cristiona

      That’s kind of where I am. I didn’t care for it the first time I saw it, but I’m willing to give it another chance now.

  • TheScottCSmith

    I enjoyed Superman 3 when it came out, and I haven’t seen it since then — well, not the whole thing, just bits and pieces from my Superman 3 DVD. I’m going to have to give it another go.

  • Jack Shen

    Thank you Dick, I love Superman 3 too.

  • Animikean

    I was going to comment here that the best scene and the most frightening scene in a Superman movie were in this movie, but you do in this review. Glad to know I wasn’t the only one to think so!

  • Muthsarah

    That’s deep, Dick. I haven’t seen this movie since I was a child, but, dammit, now I hafta check it out again. I thought it was terrible back when I was a kid, a total joke, in all the worst ways, but now I wonder if it was never meant to be approached in that reverent way I guess we kids felt about Supes. Then again, post-90s irony is too easy a cop-out….can the movie be enjoyed on the level intended? As cheese, but “straight” cheese?

  • danbreunig

    So is Good Clark and Evil Superman reflected in Good Porny (Dick Bush, the straightforward reviewer) and evil Porny (Porn Critic, who really criticizes porn)?

    I remember seeing this on TV as a kid but only parts of it and not all the way through, and I was too young for thinking “this is or isn’t on par with S1 and S2”. I just thought it’s Superman–and with funny parts, so great! I really need to rewatch all four Reeve films in their entirety again just to see how much my perspective about their quality may have shifted. Otherwise I thought Richard Pryor is a/the saving grace to the film. Makeshift kryptonite is a motherfucker, Jack.

    • The_Stig

      Pryor tries. He really, REALLY tries and some of the bits actually kind of work but the bits that work are outnumbered 3 to 1 by the bits that don’t. I’m fine with the shift in tone to comedy, but not when it’s BAD comedy, and it’s REALLY bad if arguably the funniest man who ever lived can’t save it.

  • edem

    Clever point of view. Superman III, as a comedy with Richard Prior, raher than a superman film.

    Richard Prior was a great comedian.

  • If you were to compare the older Superman movies with James Bond films, Superman 1 & 2 were like the Sean Connery versions while Superman 3 was like the later Roger Moore version.

    • plasma

      If that horse$hit is true, why did Moore last SEVEN MOVIES in the role, while the Superman series lasted only 2 more entries?

      • That’s because while Moore’s Bond was Lighter and Softer, it was still quite enjoyable to watch, it least I know I liked watching them.

  • edharris1178

    Interesting take on the film, I remember digging it when I was a kid but haven;t seen it in a long time.

  • Nine Breaker

    Hey. At least it wasn’t as bad as Supergirl! (Bad dum tish)

    Maybe because I inexplicably found Richard Pryor’s comedic roles hilarious as a young kid in the 80’s (I still have my VHS copies of The Toy and Brewster’s Millions), or the fact I can still vividly remember seeing Robert Vaghn’s sister being made into a robot (creeped me out then, and still does) but I kinda like this movie. Hell, even part 4 didn’t bother me as much as most people.

    But seriously, Supergirl was boring and unfunny

  • bbally

    The thing is there is a good movie somewhere in Superman III especially the Smallville scenes with Clark and Lana played by Annette O’Toole who would later play Marth Kent in Smallville (turns out she’s a big Superman fan herself, which is cool), both she and Reeve had a pretty good chemistry together and to be honest I personally found Robert Vaugh’s Ross Webster to be a better Lex Luthor than the actual Lex in the Reeve films.