You are hereMagazines 1980-1989 / Superman IV
The Quest for Peace
1987. Christopher Reeve, Gene.Hackman, Mariel Hemingway, Margot Kidder; dir. Sidney]. Furie. 90m. (PC). cc Hi St $89.95. LV CX $34.98. Warner. Image: good.
Superman is 50 this year and there's a superload of merchandise being unleashed, from the 1940s Superman cartoons to the Man of Steel's fourth big-screen adventure, The Quest for Peace. The ultimate hero was created at the tail end of the Great Depression by two high school kids. A man who could leap tall buildings with a single bound and bend steel in his bare hands seemed like a nifty fellow to have around in a pinch. But where's the fun or suspense in watching an invincible man?
The many comic book, screen and TV incarnations of the Man of Steel have faced the problem in various ways, from creating kryptonite, the deadly green rock that takes away Superman's powers, or other . super-beings equal to the red-and-blue costumed hero.
That's the ploy in Superman IV, probably the best of the series. Like the earlier TV adventures, this one makes more with less: what it lacks in spectacular stunts it makes up for in wit and an interesting plot. There are also nifty fights in which Superman is almost bested by Nuclear Man, a monosyllabic heavy. On the downside, the special effects work is shabby and the background details careless. Performances are fine, though Reeve's Superman is such a humorless stick, you have to agree with villain Lex Luthor (Hackman) when he observes, "You're such a workaholic, Superman."
VIDEO MAGAZINE, 1988