Superman has always been the poster boy for truth, justice and the American way. If you ask anyone about him, its probably one of the first thing someone would say about him. Its woven into the characters DNA. If done correctly, the character could very well explore these themes in any given medium. He's primed to speak on current world topics and deal with them right in his own stories. One of the most iconic examples of that, is an Alex Ross painting. Superman is looking at a mural of 9/11 firefighters and police officers saying "these are the real heroes"
Superman IV: The Quest for Peace is not as iconic as that Alex Ross painting. Peace feels like two films smashed together in one that collide in the film's final act. Peace tells the story of Superman's attempt at ending nuclear war. It's a film complete with it's own villain, which is made exclusively for the film, Nuclear Man. This social commentary is a bold move for Superman adventure and honestly I applaud it for that. That might be the only redeeming thing about it.
The film suffers from business most of all. Clark Kent, the Daily Planet reporter, has his own arc. Superman has his own arc. Lex Luthor is resurrected to even has his own arc with his nephew for some reason. Unlike Batman & Robin these arcs never quite have time to breathe.
The Daily Planet is under new owners. For some reason, the film feels it necessary to give this attention. A story line that is filled with a boss who is hot for Clark & what happens when your job is under new management. It doesn't add anything to the final product, it seems steers in the direction. It seems to build up for something that could have been handled in a scene or two.
Though I will say the Lex Luthor & Superman fighting nuclear war arcs do pay off nicely in the end. They just seem to be rushed by the films climax. Leaving us careless towards characters. Luthor and his sidekick in Jon Cryer seem pointless to say the least. They are set up for the climax but other than that, they are about equal to the Daily Planet arc.
Overall, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, is a bold entry into the Superman mythos. It's effort to voice current politics, in the time of release, makes for respectful viewing. Its business is matched only by its respectability. Launching multiple arcs towards a rushed climactic ending, is a insult to the Christopher Reeves films. Peace has the makings of a great Superman film but it flew a bit too close to the sun.
FINAL SCORE: 1.5/5
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