The "Superman" franchise comes to a disappointing close in this bargain basement caper from bucket shop merchants Cannon. The penny-pinching duo of Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus cut the budget from £25 to £12 million just before filming commenced forcing director Sidney J Furie to recycle special effects, cut corners, and shoot in Milton Keynes instead of New York.
However, even if erstwhile producer Alexander Salkind had been around to guarantee quality control it would be hard to make much of a film that is more like an advert for nuclear disarmament than a fantasy adventure.
The story, which Christopher Reeve dreamed up in an attempt to make "Superman" more socially relevant, finds the man of steel persuading the leaders of the world to surrender their nuclear missiles and detonate them in deep space.
But there is something our hero does not realise: Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman) and his gormless nephew Lenny (Jon Cryer) have planted a fiendish device inside the weapons that, when detonated, creates an indestructible android programmed to wreak havoc on Earth.
The ensuing battle between Reeve and Nuclear Man (Mark Pillow) is desperate stuff, involving the destruction of the Great Wall of China, and Superman coming to the rescue of a runaway subway train (unconvincingly shot on the London Underground). The rest is scarcely better and makes no sense, probably because over half an hour of material ended up on the cutting room floor. A sorry finale for a much-loved series.