The action begins with Superman foiling the attempts of terrorists to blow up the Eiffel Tower with a hydrogen bomb.
Flying to Paris faster than the Concorde, he saves twenty hostages as well as Lois, who is climbing up the tower in heels and a lavender fashion ensemble muttering “Pulitzer Prize, Pulitzer Prize” to keep from freaking out before the Man of Steel plucks her to safety.
Later, while he’s retrieving a drowning child from Niagara Falls and lowering his
defences to Lois’s female charms, Superman’s alien enemies from Krypton are moving closer to earth, stopping on the moon to murder some American and Soviet astronauts along the way.
Sneering at the Declaration of Independence and demolishing Mount Rushmore and replacing the faces with their own images en route, the villains are clearly a threat to mankind.
Superman is the only other living creature who can fight them with their own Olympian power, but where is he, now that we need him?
He’s in bed with Lois! Discovering the magic of post-coital bliss, junk food, rock music and probably Quaaludes (sex with Superman, Lois learns, is a psychedelic experience – she floats, as though stoned).
Stripped of his powers by the love of a woman, Superman is disgraced when he can’t even protect her against a bully – Are you ready for Superman being beaten up in a roadside diner by a redneck hillbilly truck driver?
Meanwhile, a further threat is posed by the prison escape of earthly villain Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman) in a hot-air balloon.
Superman’s new sissy status is just what he’s been waiting for and he’s willing to join the sadists from outer space in return for a small favour – like being named “King of Australia.”
There’s only one thing to do: Superman must denounce Lois, give up women, get back into those blue long johns (no more need for phone booths since his cover is blown anyway) and clean up the world.
The movie’s most inventive sequence is the showdown in the middle of Times Square where Superman retrieves his powers long enough to pucker his cheeks and blow up a hurricane, freeze a flaming oil truck with his breath, hurl Terence Stamp through the Coca-Cola sign and use the Empire State Building’s radio mast as a jousting lance.
None of this makes any sense, of course.
Two more Superman instalments followed, without success.