Nostalgically Pleasing But Still Dated Classic
Indyfreak - wrote on 11/24/14
Richard Donner's epic-sized treatment of the big blue boy scout has aged surprisingly well since 1978 though it still has some flaws that reveal its age in some instances.
Produced when no one ever believed a comic book movie would be a hit let alone successful (Que Nelson's laugh) Donner does a bang-up good job while Christopher Reeve embodies all the charm, kindness, and all-around decency that people would expect from his iconic character. The supporting cast is what makes it watchable after all these years with the likes of Margot Kidder, Jackie Cooper, Glenn Ford, Gene Hackman, and Marlon f**king Brando giving great performances as classic characters like Lois Lane, Perry White, Jonathan Kent, Lex Luthor, and Jor-El.
My one complaint is that the bulk of the conflict stems from Lex Luthor's plan despite it being even dumber than the one from Superman Returns. I still liked Hackman as Luthor and perhaps that was on purpose by the script sometimes poking fun at the genre but still, it's pretty stupid as far as evil schemes go even for a comic book villain. I'm also surprised that the movie's effects have not aged as well as movies from the same period like Star Wars or Close Encounters of the Third Kind despite it having a WAY bigger budget. Don't believe me? Check IMDB.
It's probably for the best that the movie instead focuses on Superman himself. Most of the screenplay seems to be almost like a biopic of the character, complete with a sizable origin story set on Krypton. As a result, we get a fully fleshed out protagonist who we are readily willing to root for once the action begins. And 36 years later, that's still not such a bad thing after all.