Superman III (1983)
Ilya and Alexander Salkind wanted to lighten the mood and give the third installment of the Superman movies a comic touch. The way to do that was hiring Richard Pryor in the role of Gus Gorman – a good-guy who gets mixed up with bad-guy Ross Webster (Robert Vaughn) and his scheme to kill Superman. And the film kicks off in exactly that playful, amusing manner which the Salkinds were probably after, with a delightful and perfectly choreographed intro to set the tone. Unfortunately, it's mostly downhill from there, save a few interesting plot threads. Pryor's overdone character gets far too much screen-time and relevance, and the whole group of villains and their scheme is not worthy of the legacy of the two first films and Christopher Reeve's dedication in the title role. Superman III really only ever gets interesting when Superman is given a chunk of kryptonite and must fight some unexpected inner demons. There's also a nice subplot involving Annette O'Toole as his high-school friend Lana Lang, but these fine segments ultimately only serve to highlight the silliness of the final battle between Superman and the aforementioned moronic villains. The film is only watchable for Reeve's performance. The series would reach a new low with Superman IV a few years later.