It starts with a war between Czaria and Krypton. The war destroys both planets, however, the two sole survivors of the war escape. One a seventeen year-old in a stolen Kryptonian space-cruiser, the other a baby in an escape pod. It then shows glimpses of Superman's origin story, ending with him stopping a robbery. He sneaks away and gets his civilian clothes, as well as his glasses. He returns to the Daily Planet, where he works, before his boss notices he's missing. Later, a Czarian named Lobo, in the same stolen space-cruiser he used to survive the destruction of Czaria, lands on Earth. He is attacked by some government tanks and special agents. They attempt to shoot him down, but ultimately fail. Superman arrives, and fights Lobo. However, Lobo knocks out Superman long enough to get away.
Later, at the annual Daily Planet staff barbecue, Clark and his friend Jimmy Olsen discover a small, green meteor rock. Suddenly, Clark gets sick and passes out. He wakes up in a hospital, where Lois, his crush, Jimmy, and Perry, his boss, are they. The doctor comes in and asks them to leave. The doctor tells Clark what happened at the barbecue, when suddenly, several police sirens are heard as well as a helicopter. The doctor tells Clark to ignore the loud sounds. Clark asks the doctor if he can be alone for a minute, and as soon as the doctor leaves the room, Clark gets up, changes into his Superman costume, and flies out the window. He sees a huge fire as well as tons of wreckage and carnage. He sees Lobo, and attacks him. However, Lobo tosses Superman across the sky. Superman crashes into the Daily Planet building, and the falling debris falls on, and cripples, the millionaire Lex Luthor. Lobo arrives at the Daily Planet to finish off Superman, however, Superman gets the upper hand. Lobo pulls out his hook and chain and starts using against Superman, then gets the upper hand again. Superman and Lobo almost destroy the building while fighting, and Lobo gets away as soon as the government arrives. People begin thinking of Superman as a menace, and now Superman becomes hated by all of Metropolis.
Later on, Clark comes back to work as the Daily Planet has been rebuilt. Clark finally asks Lois on a date. Later that night, on their date, Clark and Lois talk about Superman. Clark tries to change the subject, but fails. Suddenly, Perry calls Lois and tells her to go get photos of Superman's latest rampage. This surprises Clark, who rushes over to see whats going on. He sees Lobo wreaking havoc on downtown Metropolis. He tries to tell everybody that Lobo isn't Superman, but nobody listens. Clark decides to prove it by sneaking off then saving the day as Superman, but as soon as Superman arrives, Lobo has got away. Superman finds Lobo on a rocky island far from Metropolis. Superman sneak attacks Lobo, who suddenly pulls out a large blaster. Lobo shoots at Superman, and knocks him out with a powerful blast. Superman wakes up, chained to a wall with no shirt on. He sees Lobo throw his ripped up costume into the ocean below. Superman tries to break the chains, but his powers dont work. He realizes the chain are made out of the green meteor rock that hospitalized him several months ago. Lobo explains how the rock is kryptonite, a special type of crystal from Krypton that drains Kryptonian's powers. Superman is now seemingly helpless. Lobo starts torturing him. Suddenly, the sun comes up, and gives Superman his powers back. Lobo says he was worried about the sun coming up, as the light of the sun can heal Kryptonians. Superman breaks the chain and attacks Lobo. Lobo grabs a shard of the chain and stabs Superman with it. Superman falls backwards and tumbles down the rocky mountain into the water below.
Lobo dives down after Superman, repeatedly punching him in the face. As they fall into the water, Superman pulls out the shard of kryptonite and hits Lobo with an uppercut so powerful it sends him flying out of the water. On the shore, Lobo is once again attacked by Superman. Lobo and Superman have a brutal battle, but Superman wins by smashing Lobo's head into the mountain, finally knocking him out. Lobo later wakes up locked away in a government base. Superman asks Lobo why he tried to kill him. Lobo just laughs evilly, and breaks out. Lobo steals a space-ship and launches off. Superman flies after him to stop him, but Lobo gets away before Superman can get into the space-ship. Superman decides the farther away Lobo is from Earth, the better.
In the ending credits scene, Lex Luthor gets off his wheel-chair into a bionic suit of armor. A scientist asks Luthor if it works. Luthor, in the suit, walks around in circles, and says it does. Luthor laughs, with an evil grin on his face...
- Jim Caviezel - Kal-El/Clark Kent/Superman
- Liv Tyler - Lois Lane
- Jeffrey Dean Morgan - Lobo
- Michael Cera - Jimmy Olsen
- Patrick Stewart - Lex Luthor
- J.K. Simmons - Perry White
The film received mostly good reviews. It was nominated for two DCMF Academy Awards.