EDITORIAL: Ranking The SUPERMAN Films From Worst To Best

EDITORIAL: Ranking The SUPERMAN Films From Worst To Best

EDITORIAL: Ranking The SUPERMAN Films From Worst To Best

I've been meaning to do this for a while, but I needed time to think it through. Now I'm going to go through all six Superman films from my least favorite, to the one that stands out the most. Which will be number one? Hit the jump to find out..

Superman is one of the most recognizable superheroes around. Not only having a huge impact in comic books, but through television, animation and on film. He really didn't put his mark down until the 1978 film Superman flown into theaters. That's the topic today, all the films and where they rank, of course the opinions expressed are my own, but feel free to drop yours down below!
 

Superman IV: The Quest For Peace

Ahh so where do I begin? Wow.. This film is simply awful. With the Salkinds having nothing to do with this project, things went way downhill. Bland story, tacky visuals, lame villain (Nuclear Man, seriously?!!) everything that made the first two films great went out of sync. If I don't recall Reeve saying at the premiere that he was "ashamed" to be in this atrocious film. And I don't blame him, despite this, Christopher Reeve still found a way to shine as this franchise fell flat on its face. Oh, and how can I forget Superman and his telekinetic powers? Pretty neat huh? (Roles eyes). 

Superman III

Now this is where things get a little wonky. Superman III isn't as bad but still has some odd features. With the addition of Richard Pryor I knew this would be hammed up with the humor, just not as off putting. In the time of Superman being exposed to Red Kryptonite, he ends up being a big bumbling drunk, putting off his heroic duties for lust and giving the citizens of Metropolis dirty looks. Now the fight scene between Evil Superman and Clark in the junkyard is cool, but it isn't enough to flesh out how the more darker elements and humor are so out of place. Having Lana Lang (Annette O'Toole) is fine, I just wish the focus was on Clark, Lana and his adventures as Superman without being weighed down by the goofiness and all the other subplots.
 

Superman Returns

This is nowhere near as pathetic as Superman IV, so thankfully this ignores the two previous films. But here's my issue, instead of taking a fresh take on the hero, it pays homage to the Donner films, bringing in recycled elements to the story, dialogue etc., not to mention weird elements like Supes having a kid, and being a stalking creep. To what Brandon Routh was given, his job was to pretty much emulate what Christopher Reeve did, which is unfortunate because I'm sure if he was given a better script in which this wasn't required, he'd be able to make the role his own. I'm glad to see Routh get another stab at playing a DC hero in this upcoming season of the CW's Arrow as Ray Palmer/The Atom. This film overall is dull, and it drags on for 2hrs and 34mins to my experience in the theater, leaving me with a headache and feeling let down.

Superman II/Richard Donner Cut

I would talk about both the original and directors cut version of this film separately, but that'll take too long. I prefer the Richard Donner cut because it's simply the better version, to me at least. Unfortunate that Donner couldn't stay on to make the entire film. But even though that's the case, the scenes that Richard Lester filmed worked, even in the original 1980 released film. The humor actually works here, and I do see where Donner was coming from as he stated he wasn't a fan of it, as it does seem out of place at times. But it's paced better here, than in Superman III. Overall the Donner cut is the best way to experience a sequel done right. 

Superman: The Movie


 

Now this is where the peak of comic book films began. With unknown actor Christopher Reeve stepping into the red boots, it was sort of unclear what he'd bring to the role. And we've all heard this over a dozen of times, but he truly believed a man could fly. He had the look, charisma and everything else down to a tee. Throughout all four films (yes even the mediocre ones) he truly captured who Superman was, and still until this day looked at as the definitive Man of Steel. With a compelling story, and not to mention the iconic theme from John Williams, leaves to be one of my favorite films growing up.

Man of Steel

Before you start getting out your pitchforks and calling me an asshole, hear me out. I'm in no way, shape or form calling Superman: The Movie bad, it's pure nostalgia of course and overall a fun flick. But Man of Steel for me wasn't necessarily a Superman film. What Zack Snyder was able to do was reinvent the titular character. I really like the idea that Earth doesn't automatically welcome him in, he's an estranged alien from the planet Krypton, an outcast where he is completely misunderstood. Being preferred to as strictly Kal-El, gives me the notion that he's just starting out, inexperienced and just learning who he is. He's not called Superman until the closing moments of the film, even then I still look at him as Kal, finding his way into modern day Metropolis. And also with Lois already knowing that he's Clark is a genius addition I think, there's no "You're Superman?!" Type antics going forward. Henry Cavill is exceptional in the role, and I can't say enough about how much he looks just like his comic book counterpart. With that said, this film makes it to the top of the list, not only because it's a reinvision, but it feels different and something I'm not used too, and that's a plus for me. I'm looking forward to this re established universe moving forward with Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice. This is a controversial choice obviously, but that doesn't mean I discount the first two original films.

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