Classic Film Review: Supergirl (1984)

Marvel vs. DC:

Supergirl, 1984

Directed by: Jeannot Szwarc

Starring: Faye Dunaway, Helen Slater, Hart Bochner, Peter Cook, Mia Farrow, Marc McClure, Brenda Vaccaro, Peter O’Toole

 

If you want my advice: do not watch Supergirl.

Supergirl stars Helen Slater as the titular character (and as Kara Zor-El/Linda Lee) as she is tasked with saving her home planet from extinction by chasing down the Omegahedron, which powers their home city, as it was accidentally fired and landed coincidentally in the lap of a woman who wants nothing less than world domination. Upon landing on earth, though, she decides to adopt the Linda Lee personality and go to school and meet boys and generally have a nice old time, despite the fact her home planet can only survive a few days without this Omegahedron.

Marvel are often credited with the creation of extended universes, now copied by DC and Universal Studios, among others, but while Marvel may have shown it can be successful, they didn’t invent it. DC in the 1980’s tried their very own universe by incorporating this Supergirl movie into the Christopher Reeve Superman universe. They didn’t do it very well.

The visuals are absolutely terrible (I don’t know what their budget was but it couldn’t have been more than the cost of a sandwich and a packet of crisps), with the flying scenes in particular, which were never the strongest visually in the Superman films, absolutely dreadful. The writing is also really lazy, as the film doesn’t care to have an ordinary woman possessed by the power of the Omegahedron, instead they give it to a would-be witch Hell-bent on world domination, who borderline instantly masters its power, and creates labs and monsters and attacking winds and love spells and clones of herself and a whole host of other poorly executed stuff. The Supergirl TV show has shown that there is love for this character when her story can be told right, but this execution is horrendous. When she first lands on earth, dressed in her space-clothes, she lands in the water and upon jumping out of it she’s immediately wearing a Supergirl costume. Where did that come from? Does everyone on Krypton, or wherever Supergirl is from as I’m pretty sure Krypton blew up in Superman thus them sending him to earth, have these costumes in blue and red with a giant ‘S’ on the front?

It took me three tries to finish this film because it’s so bad, from its visuals to its storytelling to its acting (which rightfully earned this film two Razzie nominations) and its lazy, lazy way of progressing the plot. Supergirl is at one point trapped in the phantom zone (because the human who sent her there knew of its existence) but just climbs a few rocks and she’s out. The phantom zone. An inescapable dungeon and she just leaves. There’s two rapists at the start who try to attack Kara as she lands on earth, a silly love-potion that goes wrong and causes someone to fall in love with Linda but after he kisses Linda and Supergirl he instantly knows they’re the same person and ridiculous comedic elements added for no reason. It’s a poor, poor film. How it got released is beyond me and I’m so thankful that Christopher Reeve decided to stay away from this atrocity to film.

Do not watch it.

 

Plot: *             Acting: *                     Writing: *                   Presentation: *

Overall Rating: *

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