Channel Awesome
Superman IV

NC Superman IV review by MaroBot.jpg

Date Aired
October 27th, 2009
Running Time
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Linkara is sitting on his futon dressed as The Nostalgia Critic.

Linkara (Mimicking NC): Hello, I'm The Nostalgia Critic. I remember it, so you don't have to! Did you know the Superman films have a parallel history to the Batman movies?

Footage and pictures of Superman movies are shown during Linkara's narration

Linkara: Superman: The Movie was the first attempt to portray Superman in a serious light. The tagline was: "You'll Believe a Man Can Fly!" And that's exactly what the director Richard Donner intended to do: Convincing the audience that the man they were seeing on screen could actually fly. But the price of this idea came too high for the producers so Donner was booted up the franchise during Superman II's production and replaced with Richard Lester. And Superman III, more emphasis was put on comedy and Richard Pryor was even brought in. And boy, did it suck balls! But not nearly as much as the cinematic abomination I have to review today. Welcome to Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, where we learn that wars aren't caused by differing ideologies, power-hungry dictators, or economic necessities... NO! It's all because of nuclear weapons. Just nuclear weapons and the EVIL people who profit from them.

Linkara: And BOY! Am I not looking forward to this ONE BI-

There is sudden static in the video. The REAL Nostalgic Critic is frowning and glares at Linkara without a word. Linkara is stunned.

Linkara: Oh... uh, uh. Hi... Nostalgia Critic!

NC still glares at Linkara without saying a single word.

Linkara: Oh, I, uh, bet you're wondering what I'm, what I'm doing here...

Linkara takes off his Nostalgia Critic hat but NC still glares at Linkara without saying a single word.

Linkara: (trying to take off his tie) Well, see here, the thing is that, I review comic books and, and you review movies, and...

While Linkara keeps trying to explain, NC slowly points his pistol towards Linkara.

Linkara (Voiceover): And I figure if I was gonna review a comic book movie...

NC charges his gun.

Linkara: Yeah. I'll just quit right here.

NC: OH, NO you don't! You started this dumbass review, we're gonna finish it! But first, GET OUT OF THOSE CLOTHES!

NC fires his pistol. It nearly misses Linkara.

Linkara: What the... How did you...?


Linkara (Running offscreen): I'm going, I'm going!

NC: Good. So let's go ahead and review... What are we reviewing again?

Title card of Superman IV: The Quest for Peace is shown.

NC: Ah! Fuck donkeys!

NC (Voiceover): All right. We open with the familiar credits of the Superman franchise. Except they're on a budget of two bucks.... and sucky! The film is produced by the renowned schlock factory Golan-Globus, known for outright stealing money from investors to spread around to various movie projects instead of the one they're supposed to go to. Uwe Boll would be so proud.

Linkara (Voiceover): The film begins proper with Russians... (deep, echoing voice) IN SPAAAAAAACE!!!

NC: How did you do that with your voice?

Linkara: Clean throat.

NC: Oh.

Russian cosmonauts are in a spaceship and one of them sings outside the capsule.

NC (Voiceover): Well, this is fine enough. Nothing can possibly go wrong with...

A piece of spare debris hits the ship sending the cosmonaut into space.

NC (Voiceover): Ah, See? This is what happens when you litter in space.

A commercial from Forest Service U.S. DA is shown: "Give a hoot! Don't Pollute!"

Owl: Because if you don't give a hoot, (with children standing beside him) whoooooo will?

Linkara: But fortunately Superman is around to save them. By the way, folks, get used to this shot of Superman flying at the camera. Almost every flying scene has it!

NC (Voiceover): Oh, and look! Despite the fact that they're in the vacuum of space Superman's cape is flapping around like it's in a wind tunnel.

Superman (Speaks Russian): You'll be safer singing in here.

NC: Wait a minute, did he just talk? As in...talking in space?

Linkara: Oh, yeah.

NC: How deep are we in this movie?

Linkara: 4 minutes.


The cosmonaut says something in Russian to Superman as he leaves.

Linkara (Mocking Russian accent): In Soviet Russia, physics breaks you!

NC (Voiceover): We move on to a scene where it looks like Clark Kent is selling the family farm, because apparently his mom croaked in between move or something. I guess it's a good thing she resurrected herself in Superman Returns.

Casper: Timing!

NC (Voiceover): He goes in the barn and finds the old spaceship that brought him to Earth then pulls out a glowing green crystal.

NC: Which he also got out of the ship in the... first movie, didn't he?

Linkara: You know, if you're gonna pick up part all the plot holes we're gonna be here all day.

NC: Point taken.

Linkara: (voiceover) No, this glowing green crystal is meant to be our deus ex machina for later.

NC: Oh good! I can't wait to be pleasantly disappointed.

Various scenes from the film appear.

Linkara: (voiceover) Since apparently the writers thought the impending nuclear war wasn't a strong enough story, we have a series of subplots littered throughout this movie! Most of them go absolutely nowhere or are a result that when the film was first released, more than forty minutes were cut from it! But, based on some information that has been collected over the years, they didn't go anywhere in the first cut either. So, I guess their loss is our gain.

NC: (voiceover) The first subplot is that the Daily Planet has been taken over by an evil Rupert Murdoch stand-in...which really isn't that far off from the real Rupert Murdoch.

David Warfield: Tedious!

Perry White: Don't tell me you only read the pictures!

Lacy Warfield: What I have here are some mock copies of our new layout. (holds up a newspaper featuring a woman praying and the headline "Summit Kaputt: World on Brink?")

Clark Kent: Isn't that headline, um, irresponsible?

David Warfield: Maybe, but it'll sell a helluva lotta newspapers.

NC: Now make an unethical entertainment channel and a conservative news channel to point out what's wrong with it! (evil laughter)

Linkara: (voiceover) He appoints his daughter, Lacy, as the new publisher.

David Warfield: The Daily Planet hasn't made any money in three years!

Lacy Warfield: And the name of the game is making money.

Linkara: A mainstream news source more interested in making money above reasonable reporting? (pause) That's just unbelievable and unrealistic!

NC: (voiceover) So it turns out Lacy immediately starts falling in love for Kent...for some reason.

NC: Gotta be the glasses...oh yeah.

NC: (voiceover) But then, the President of the United States makes a chilling announcement!

President No-Name: And because the summit has failed, we have no choice but to strive to be second to none in the nuclear arms race.

NC: (voiceover) But wait, another subplot manages to sneak its way in here! An elementary school teacher tries to console her students about this about this horrible brewing crisis!

Teacher: Now, I know you're all upset by the crisis.

NC: (voiceover, as a student) No! We're upset 'cause they cancelled Power Rangers!

Linkara: (voiceover, as a student with a deeper voice) I just hit puberty and now there's no Kimberly.

Teacher: The best thing we can do is to try to think positively. Now, is there anything we can do? Doesn't anyone have a suggestion? Alright, I'll make a suggestion.

Linkara: (voiceover) I mean, isn't this just how you spent your classes back in the day? I mean, it's not like you did math or science or anything!

Teacher: Jeremy, what do you think we can do about the crisis?

Jeremy: I tell you who I'd write a letter to that would do some good.

NC: (voiceover during pause) Motherfucker!

Jeremy: Superman!

Linkara: (voicover) Yes, this is what passes for a plot point in this movie. The kid writes a letter for Superman to be delivered via Lois Lane. She shows it to Clark Kent and thus somehow sends Superman into an existential dilemma about what he should do. He even goes to the Fortress of Solitude to consult the Elders of Krypton on this.

First Elder of Krypton: The Earth is too primitive. You can create a new world.

Superman: I know I'm forbidden to interfere.

NC: Not that that stopped me in the last three movies!

First Elder of Krypton: If you teach the Earth to put its faith in any one man, even yourself, you're teaching them to be betrayed.

First Elder of Krypton: Betrayed. Betrayed! Betrayed! Betrayed!

NC: (voiceover, as Elder of Krypton) Oh, did I forget to mention betrayed? Betrayed!

NC: (voiceover) But Clark Kent's continual moping about the issue doesn't end there. Because now we have a scene of Clark and Lois meeting up and ripping off the first flying scene from the original movie. And I don't mean copy it, I mean note for note the friggin' same! But before we can get to that horseshit, they walk off the edge of Clark's patio. What, you've never been?

Lois: Clark? Clark!

NC: (voiceover as Clark) Hehe, I'd just like to kill you know, Lois!

Lois: Clark, things aren't that bad! Clark, stop!

NC: And now, quite possibly the worst greenscreen effect you've ever seen in your entire life in three, two, one!

Lois: Aaaah, Clark! Clark!

NC: (voiceover) Wow, look at that background. It's like we got transported into The Flintstones!

Superman: Sometimes I don't know what I'm supposed to do.

Lois: You'll do the right thing, no matter what it is. You always have.

Linkara: (voiceover) Oh, and then they rip off the magic memory erasing kiss from the end of the second movie, too.

Linkara: Well, you've gotta give the series credit for consistency. It's as just as idiotic here as it was there.

NC: (voiceover) So Superman makes his decision and goes to the United Nations building...which is now in Metropolis. Interesting relocation. Jeremy and Superman walk into the United Nations together. So, I suppose this is as good a time as any to say "goodbye" to little Jeremy, as this is pretty much the last we'll ever see of him in this move.

Linkara: Goodbye!

NC: Goodbye!

Linkara: Goodbye, Jeremy!

NC: So long!

Linkara: Goodbye! I'm sorry you'll never act in another movie again!

NC: Enjoy your mental scars!

Superman walks towards the podium.

Linkara: Oh my God, it's this scene.

NC: What? What's the matter?

Linkara: Just watch.

Superman: For many years now I've lived among you as a visitor. As of today, I'm not a visitor any more. I can't stand idly by and watch as you stumble into the madness of possible nuclear destruction. And so I've come to a decision. Effective immediately, I'm going to rid our planet of all nuclear weapons. [The entire UN audience bursts out in applause. The Critic stares in shock at the screen, while Linkara has a disgusted look on his face]

NC: Did Superman just say he's going to rid the world of nuclear weapons by himself... whether the governments are unwilling to or not?

Linkara: Mmhmmm.

NC: And everyone's...okay with this?

Linkara: They are, Critic. Which means that it's time to play... INTERNATIONAL POLITICS! [A flashing logo of "International Politics" comes on screen with game show music, while the Critic looks around in confusion] All right Nostalgia Critic! You're Israel, you're surrounded on all sides by enemies who would happily see you wiped off the map. However, the only thing keeping them at bay is your nuclear arsenal. Now Superman comes along and says that he's going to take that arsenal away. Whaddaya do?!

NC: Uhh, um - tell him to hump my ass? [A buzzer goes off]

Linkara: Oh I'm sorry, Critic! The correct answer was "applaud wildly"!

NC: Damnit!

Linkara: Next question, and this one's for the game. [The Critic makes determined expressions] You're the Soviet Union. You're engaged in a cold war against the United States, and the fear of mutually assured destruction via nuclear weapons is the only thing keeping you and the US from engaging each other in combat with conventional weapons. Suddenly Superman comes along and says that he's going to take away all your nuclear weapons. Whaddaya do?!

NC: Oh! I know, I know! Applaud wildly! [A bell dings rapidly]

Linkara: That is correct! [Celebratory music plays as the Critic laughs excitedly] You win the grand prize, Critic! You get to continue watching this crap!

NC: Damnit!

Linkara: Yes, folks, in this film, if you believe the impression that the presence of nuclear weapons has actually prevented war rather than escalated it, this isn't your movie! So, we get this montage of both the United States and the Soviet Union launching their nuclear missiles into space, where Superman can catch them and hurl them into the sun.

NC: So, if they're willing to get rid of their nukes, why they do they need Superman in the first place?

Linkara: Good PR.

NC: Oh.

NC: (voiceover) But while that's going on, sub-plot number five says Lex Luthor just broke out of prison! Good God, his prison has more holes in it than Swiss cheese!

Linkara: (voiceover) Oh, but let's ignore him for a second! We got a real star in this movie, Critic. Why it's Jon Cryer, who played the unforgettable role of Ducky from Pretty in Pink.

NC: So, appearing in this is a step down in his career.

Linkara: Oh yeah.

NC: That's pretty bad.

NC: (voiceover) He plays Luthor's nephew, Lenny Luthor! weak laughter

Linkara: (voiceover) This character is harmless enough, but of course, he has to talk!

Various scenes of Lenny Luthor are played.

Lenny Luthor: The Dude of Steel! Yeah, you're just an experiment, freako! What? Oh no!

NC stares at the camera.

NC: How long is this movie again?

Linkara: Hour and a half.

NC shoots himself.

NC: (voiceover) So, Lex Luthor, being Lex Luthor, has only one thing on his mind!

Lex and Lenny: Destroy Superman!

NC: (voiceover) Yes, because that hobby has worked so well in the past! Couldn't he just take up knitting?

Linkara: (voiceover) So, he steals a strand of Superman's hair from a museum.

Tour Guide: Here you can see a thousand pound load easily suspended by his single hair.

Lex Luthor: That hair is an example of Superman's genetic material. With my genius and enough nuclear power to mutate the genes, I can create a being who's more powerful than him.

Linkara: (voiceover) Yes, much like the comics that spawned this piece of crap, nuclear power does whatever the hell the writer wants it to do! It should also be pointed out that although a single strand of Superman's hair is strong enough to lift a thousand pounds, it can apparently be cut with a simple hedge-clipper.

NC: (voiceover) So, Lex assembles a terrifying team of minor characters, who will serve no purpose in the movie, to discuss his evil plan.

Lex Luthor: I, Lex Luthor, the greatest criminal mind of the modern era, have discovered a way to destroy Superman. Behold, my unscrupulous friends!

Fat Evil Guy: Shut those blinds, the sun is hurting my eyes!

NC: (voiceover, as evil guy) God, this partly cloudy weather is harmful to my transparent evilness!

Lex Luthor: You know what the sun is? It's nothing more than a huge nuclear bomb.

NC: Uh, yeah, it's a tad more complicated than that. There's a lot of certain...

Linkara: Nuclear bomb!

NC: Kay!

Linkara: (voiceover) So his plan is to take the genetic material, which looks like a quart of silly putty, into the sun aboard one of the missiles and that will somehow create a being that's more powerful than Superman. He even throws in a few fabric samples to become clothes. Yes, they say that the computer onboard will somehow weave an outfit out of those little squares or something!

Superman: Well, it looks like you've broken the laws of nature too.

NC: (voiceover) So Superman tosses the missile into the sun and the evil Nuclear Man is born! No, literally, he's born. Fetus and everything. Surprised the sun didn't just push it out of its vagina.

Linkara: (voiceover) And of course, he's sporting silver painted Lee press-on nails, because when you think of Superman's greatest enemy, you think "Lee press-on nails."

Linkara: (pretending to do his nails) Oh my God, sister, did you get into a fight with Superman with those things?

NC: (voiceover) So, yeah, our evil Nuclear Man is basically Fabio with a mullet and laryngitis.

Nuclear Man: Destroy Superman now!

Linkara: (voiceover) But enough of the supervillain, it's time for some comedy! Lacey and Clarke are working out together. Um, wasn't there an impending nuclear war just on the horizon? Come to think of it, why was the war about to happen?

NC: Because the summit failed!

Linkara: Summits fail all the time! That doesn't guarantee war.

NC: (holds out his pistol and talks with a Texan accent) We don't take kindly to logic in these here parts, boy! Now get back to watching Clark Kent act like an idiot!

NC: (Voiceover) But wait! We also have to have some goofy antics as Lacey makes a date with Clark at the same time that Lois is having an interview with Superman. I get a feeling hi-jinks will ensue!

[The oh-so goofy antics are played to "The Entertainer". NC does a jig.]

Linkara: We cut to Lex Luthor where he's...what the hell? He's dancing with a woman in Victorian dress...and then she just leaves without anyone mentioning her again.

[NC cues the "BIG-LIPPED ALLIGATOR MOMENT!" Linkara stares in confusion.]

NC: Huh? Oh...that's a...I don't know. The Nostalgia Chick thought it up.

NC: (v/o) So, Nuclear Man shows up, who is oddly enough voiced by Gene Hackman.

Lex Luthor: You have my voice.

Nuclear Man: No, you have MY voice.

NC: Which means...nothing?

Linkara: Yeah.

NC: Yeah.

NC: (v/o) So, Nuclear Man walks into the apartment and I guess his batteries die.

Energizer Advert: Still going. Nothing outlasts the Energizer Battery.

Linkara: (v/o) No, it turns out Nuclear Man is powered by the sun.

NC: (v/o) He's a solar...powered nuclear menace. Well, at least he's a green villain. And in case anyone's wondering, yes, there are about a hundred scenes when he's clearly not in direct sunlight, and yet he's fine.

NC: Ugh, don't you just hate inconsistency?

Linkara: Yeah.

NC: (his hat is now sideways) Yeah.

Linkara: (v/o) Well, we're not done ripping off the rest of the movies, so Lex Luthor contacts Superman, somehow knowing where he is, and threatens him into a confrontation. After some banter between the two, Superman is introduced to Nuclear Man.

Lex Luthor: To a nice guy, who's about to finish last.

[Nuclear Man roars, though it sounds more like a belch]

NC: Did Nuclear Man just belch? I mean, what was that?

[Linkara laughs]

NC: What? What are you laughing at?

Linkara: See, I just had this wonderful image in my head of Gene Hackman in a recording studio having to do like thirty takes of that.

NC: (thinks for a moment, then laughs) Oh yeah, that is pretty funny.

NC: (v/o) After more drawn out dialogue, we finally have the two starting to fight. And boy, is it a letdown! They don't really punch each other. They just struggle for a while in front of some really awkward blue screen effects.

[Superman and Nuclear Man fight to "King's Theme" from Super Mario Bros. 3]

NC: (v/o) So they fly all over the world to fight. They fly over Italy where Nuclear Man unleashes a volcano upon the citizens, but Superman plugs it up.

[Superman dumps a giant boulder into the volcano, blocking the Pryvoiles...oops, wrong series]

Superman: (in Italian) It was nothing. Have a nice day. Arrivederci.

NC and Linkara: (v/o, in mock Italian accents) Ehhh, gratzi! Gratzi! Meatball-a! Thanks-a, strange underwear wearing man! That's-a good-a spaghetti!

NC: (v/o) They then travel to China, where Nuclear Man blows up the Great Wall! But fortunately, Superman is there to...go all Gumby on our asses.

NC: Does Superman have wall-repairing ability?

Linkara: Not in any comic I've read.

NC: (v/o) To finish off, Nuclear Man takes the Statue of Liberty and tries to drop it into the city.

Linkara: (v/o) But, luckily, Superman catches the statue, somehow carrying it by its finger without it breaking off. Physics? What's that?! However, when he tries to return the statue, it leaves him open to an attack by Nuclear Man, who just kind of scratches him once.

[Nuclear Man scratches Superman on the back of the neck]

NC: (v/o, as an effeminate Superman) Oooh, I got nail-polish on my neck! Powers...fading!

Linkara: (v/o) This somehow makes Superman sick, and age rapidly. However, he thankfully has that glowing deus ex machina crystal from earlier. We have no idea what the hell it is or why it was never mentioned before now, but it heals least, I think it does, we never see it heal him, so we can have another drawn out fight with Nuclear Man.

NC: (v/o) Yaay, because we haven't seen enough of THAT yet! So, Nuclear Man somehow falls in love with Lacey...don't ask, you shouldn't care. And flies off into the city to kidnap her.

NC: (after Nuclear Man belches again) Yeah, because it was so cool the first time you did it!

Nuclear Man: Where is the woman?

Superman: Give it up, you'll never find her.

Linkara: Look out! He's going nuclear! [NC glares at him] Oh what? Like the humor in this is really that much better!

Superman: Stop it! Don't do it! The people!

NC: Don't make me yell at you some more!

Linkara: (v/o) So, Nuclear Man blows up some product placement, makes the film reverse, and Superman just stands there until he caves in and tells him where Lacey is. He tricks him into an elevator, then flies him up and drops him off on the moon.

NC: (v/o) However, a sliver of light goes into the elevator, recharging him. After Superman fixes the most unconvincing flag ever, they have an irritatingly long slow-motion fight.

[The fight goes on, with The Blue Danube eventually playing over it. Linkara is reading a comic, NC is bored, and then Linkara plays his Nintendo DS.]

Linkara: (v/o) Nuclear Man finally gets a hold of Lacey and flies her through space, where she's of course PERFECTLY ABLE TO BREATHE!

NC: (v/o) WHAT?!


Linkara: It's okay, Critic. It's okay. It's gonna be alright.

NC: (crying) No, it's not! This movie's still playing!

Linkara: (v/o) But Superman MOVES THE FRIGGIN' MOON OUT OF ORBIT to block the sun from Nuclear Man! (as Superman) Sorry for the tidal waves and gravitational stress, peoples of the Earth! I have to stop a super-villain!

NC: (v/o) After getting Lacey to safety, you know, from SPACE, Superman takes Nuclear Man and drops him into a nuclear power plant, which I guess defeats him, but shouldn't that technically make him more powerful?

Linkara: (v/o) Solar-powered Nuclear Man, remember!

NC: (v/o) So, Lacey tells her dad to stuff it, the Daily Planet is brought back, Luthor is put back in jail, Jeremy is nowhere to be seen, and the whole nuclear war thing just sort of resolves itself. Superman makes some bullshit speech to the world about finding their own path and how he couldn't free them from war, which doesn't really make sense considering we saw people clearly lining up to give up their nuclear weapons!

Superman: And there will be peace. There will be peace when the people of the world...want it so badly...that their governments will have no choice but to give it to them.


NC: I see! We just didn't want peace hard enough!

Linkara: Of course! It all makes sense! Peace doesn't come about through economic interdependence or the spread of similar ideals! It's just wanting it!

NC: Heh, heh, heh, yeah.

[Linkara and NC stare at each other.]


Linkara: This movie SUCKS!

NC: (v/o, to clips from the film) Its morals are bullshit, its plot is half-thrown together, and physics take a backseat to mediocre special effects that you're more likely to see in one of Linkara's videos!

Linkara: Hey!

NC: Get over it, you comic geek! Your special effects suck.

Linkara: Bat-Credit-Card.

NC: A BAT CREDIT CARD?!! I'LL KILL YOU!!! I'LL KILL YOU ALL!!! (goes crazy and shoots things)

Linkara: He's the Nostalgia Critic. He remembers it so you don't have to!

NC: ...Bat-Credit-Card, Jes-us! (fires his pistol)