Superman IV: The Quest for Peace is one of the worst DC superhero movies ever made. Which is an unfortunate end to Christopher Reeve’s series of Superman movies. Every problem made with Superman III is somehow even worse. So I also avoided seeing Superman IV growing up. The Quest for Peace refers to Superman randomly deciding to remove all of Earth’s nuclear weapons. Everything else is either an overly 80’s exercise commercial or a cheesy metaphor for nuclear war. Maybe because the director Sidney J. Furie never directed anything notable. The film had half the budget of the originals and it shows. From the awful green screens to the constantly reused flying shots.
Despite the entire original cast being present, none of them look like they want to be there. Reeve is sadly phoning it in and Margot Kidder looks like she’s struggling in every scene. Their storyline recycles the romantic flight and Superman once again wipes Lois Lane’s mind with a kiss. Jimmy Olsen and Perry White are still there, but Mariel Hemingway steal’s Lois’ spotlight as White’s daughter Lacy. Not in the comics! Just like the equally terrible completely made up central supervillain. Gene Hackman returns as Lex Luthor, but he’s overshadowed by his also made up son Duckie (I mean Lenny). Ironically Jon Cryer would later become one of the best iterations of Lex Luthor.
Anyway, Luthor’s new plan is to steal Superman’s hair, attach it to a rocket, and somehow create a clone of the Man of Steel. Only this golden monstrosity is named Nuclear Man. He’s got a glorious mullet, scratchy claws, and the voice of Lex for some reason. Their fight is one of the worst superhero fights ever put to screen. Where Superman once again has random ridiculous superpowers that were never in the comics. Like rebuilding the Great Wall of China with his eyes or lowering people with his mind. Superman IV: The Quest for Peace did a great disservice to Superman’s legacy. But even confined to a wheelchair, Christopher Reeve remained the best actor ever to play Superman.
Preceded by: Superman III