Film and Plot Synopsis
Gus Gorman is a half-witted computer programming natural. For him a keyboard is a weapon – and Superman faces the microelectronic menace of his life. To make matters worse, Superman becomes his own worst enemy after exposure to synthetic Kryptonite. Christopher Reeve reprises his most beloved role, deepening his character’s human side as Clark Kent reunites with old flame Lana Lang at a Smallville High class reunion.
‘Superman III’ Movie Summary
Meanwhile, Clark Kent (Christopher Reeve) convinces his editor at the Daily Planet, Perry White (Jackie Cooper) to let him write a story about his return to his high school reunion in Smallville. Fellow reporter Lois Lane (Margot Kidder) heads off on a trip to Bermuda, so White sends photographer Jimmy Olsen (Marc McClure) with Clark. They take a bus to the reunion and along the way, they are stopped for a fire at a chemical plant. Clark turns into Superman to fight the fire while Jimmy tries to get closer to the fire for photos. Superman is able to put out the fire before the chemicals turn volatile, and saves Jimmy after he falls off a ladder and breaks his leg. Once at the reunion, Clark reunites with his high school crush Lana Lang (Annette O’Toole), who has recently divorced and is being pursued by Brad Wilson (Gavan O’Herlihy), the former big man on campus at Smallville High.
Back in Metropolis, Webster is infuriated by Colombia’s coffee industry’s refusal to do business with him and orders Gus to command the American weather satellite named Vulcan to create a tornado to destroy Columbia’s coffee bean crop. Webster’s plan goes off without a hitch until Superman shows up saves the day. Webster sees the Man of Steel as an obstacle to all his plans so he orders Gus to find a way to kill him. Webster tells Gus to use his computer knowledge to analyze and create a piece of Kryptonite, the only substance that can kill Superman. Gus is able to scan a piece of Kryptonite in space, but when the computer cannot identify one of the elements of Kryptonite, Gus replaces the substance with tar.
Superman arrives in Smallville for the birthday of Ricky, Lana’s son. However, the town wishes to throw him a celebration to thank him for putting out the chemical fire and saving Ricky from a tractor accident. Gus arrives at the celebration disguised as an Army general and presents Superman with the synthetic Kryptonite as a gift. The Kryptonite does not kill Superman, but it does alter his personality. Superman becomes selfish and neglects his responsibility as a hero. Eventually, he begins committing petty acts such as straightening the Leaning Tower of Pisa and blowing out the Olympic Flame.
After handling Superman for Webster, Gus asks the millionaire to build him a supercomputer unlike any that have ever been built before. Webster agrees with the condition that Gus create an oil embargo by sending all the oil tankers to the middle of the Atlantic Ocean until further notice. Gus does as he is told, but one lone tanker refuses the order. Webster has Lorelei seduce and have sex with Superman to get him to punch a hole in the rogue tanker, spilling its contents into the ocean. Their plan successful, Webster, Vera, and Gus head to the construction of Gus’ supercomputer in thier secret lair in the Grand Canyon.
Superman continues to spiral into a drunken haze. On one occasion, Superman encounters Lana and her son Ricky in Metropolis after the Smallville residents decide to move to the big city. Ricky tries to talk to the Man of Steel, but Superman flies away as the boy continues to ask him what is wrong. Superman suffers a mental breakdown and begins to fight himself in a junkyard. Clark Kent, the moral side, and the dark Superman, the immoral side, fight each other to nearly a standstill; however, Clark is able to finally destroy the evil version of himself and resumes his identity as the moral Man of Steel. Superman repairs the damage on the tanker in the ocean, blowing all the oil back into the ship before welding the hole with his heat vision.
Superman than flies to the Grand Canyon to take down Webster. Webster, Vera, and Lorelei start Gus’ super computer and launch rockets and an MX missile at Superman, knocking him out of the sky. Gus arrives and questions Webster’s attempt to kill Superman. Superman is able to get into the cavern holding Gus’ computer. However, Vera turns on a Kryptonite ray that brings the Man of Steel to his knees. Gus flips sides and removes a screw that allowed power to the computer, turning off the Kryptonite ray.
However, the computer finds an alternative power source and reactivates itself. It resumes the Kryptonite ray on Superman until Gus takes an axe to the machine and shuts it down. The computer uses a ray and sends Gus flying across the chamber. Webster, Vera, and Lorelei try to flee from the machine, but Vera is pulled into the computer and made into a cyborg. She attacks her brother and Lorelei with beams of energy that hold them in place on the chamber walls.
Superman flies away and returns with a canister of acid from the chemical factory which he places by the supercomputer. The heat from the computer heats up the acid, making it volatile. The acid explodes destroying the supercomputer. Superman flies away with Gus leaving the others to be picked up by the authorities. Superman drops Gus off in a West Virginia coal mine where Superman makes a diamond for Lana and recommends Gus for a job.
Superman returns to Metropolis and visits Lana as Clark. He gives her the diamond and states that it is from Superman to replace the one she pawned. Brad shows up and misunderstands Clark’s intentions and tries to attack him, but ends up on a food cart in an elevator. Back at the Daily Planet, Lois has returned from her vacation with a front page story. She meets Perry’s new secretary, Lana Lang, and eyes her with a little jealousy as Clark tells her that he has lunch plans with his high school friend. Superman returns to Italy and restores the Leaning Tower of Pisa to its original state and then flies into space.
Additional Film Information
- Superman III official website
- Peruse IMDb’s article on Superman III
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