Superman: The Movie (1980)

superman_the_movie_christopher_reeve_flying_upward

A child sent to Earth from a doomed alien planet grows to develop astonishing powers which he learns to use to help humanity.

The original Superman movie stars Christopher Reeve as the man of steel and his portrayal as a humble, affable man of the people works particularly well both as square-jawed all American hero and his good intentioned but bumbling alter ego. Gene Hackman is also very watchable as the exasperated egomaniac against whom he is pitted and John Williams’ iconic score is suitably rousing. The chemistry between Reeve and Margot Kidder does not work quite so well, she coming across as bossy and annoyingly self-involved and the “can you read my mind” date sequence is embarrassingly corny. It’s biggest shortcoming however is in its woeful lack of a sense of spectacle; the special effects are showing their age and the set pieces are little more than generic disaster movie cliches excused by a preposterous plot that stretches the willing suspension of disbelief well past breaking point.

Hackman and Reeve keep it fairly entertaining for the duration but the Superman character has always been just a too little “apple pie” for my tastes.

6/10

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