Howdy people of the north, south, east and west, and welcome to Day #19 of Month of Superhero Film Reviews 2! During this month I’ll be reviewing of some of the best, average and worst comic book adapted films. After reviewing Superman 4 yesterday I bet you thought I was done with that era of Superman films right? WRONG! Today I’m going to be talking about the infamous Supergirl.
So Supergirl, yeah. To be honest I never had any intention of watching this ever, I even tried to consider other films for this month of superhero film reviews, however my curiosity got the better of me, plus with that new Supergirl TV show dropping later on this year I wanted to see what the first live-action adaptation was like (even if I know I won’t like it).
The story can be summed up as the following:
“After losing a powerful orb, Kara, Superman’s cousin, comes to Earth to retrieve it and instead finds herself up against a wicked witch.”
The story is a bit meh for my liking. There’s a lot of wtf moments in this film especially in the first 20 minutes or so. So much stuff happens without an explanation which leads to a lot of head scratching and story progression that feels random and not planned out. Now I’m not saying that everything needs to be spelled out for me in a film, but sometimes a little information can help set the ground rules for what can and can’t be done in said world, if anything goes then there is no consistency or restraint and things can happen without consequences or basic logic. This film also drives home the fact that this a female-driven adventure with the girls school, female villains and men hitting on the main girl only to get beaten up later, however the execution is pretty generic and silly. After a while I just switched my brain off and went with the story which by the half way point just got boring and confusing, and the way the film ends was so unsatisfactory.
Now let’s talk about the cast. Helen Slater as Kara Zor-El/Linda Lee/Supergirl was fine, but I wasn’t keen on how schizophrenic she seemed in her abilities and knowledge, at one point she’s just discovering her powers but next thing you know she knows immediately that she has eye lasers and can blow strong winds from her mouth, one minute she’s not interested in a man and then later on after a few minutes with him she like him or she’s super smart at maths but doesn’t know the basic’s of human conversation even though it wasn’t much different from her own. Now I understand that she’s an alien and Kal-L had more time to adjust to Earth, but Kara runs around like a child with no sense of restraint or reason to some of her choices which made her feel more dumb than innocent. Faye Dunaway as Selena was quite insufferable. She has a bit of a god complex and pretty much wants anyone who stands in her way defeated or dead, but the way she plans things just doesn’t have any proper strategy and when she does do something competent it seems more like chance than by choice. Brenda Vaccaro was a little more tolerable as Bianca, she was funnier and less over the top than Selena so there’s that. Together Selena and Bianca are more comical than evil and their banter is more annoying than it is funny. Peter O’Toole as Zaltar was alright but I didn’t care for his character as he seemed smart but was ultimately careless and not very strong-willed. Hart Bochner as Ethan, he was fine, but the whole “being in love while under a spell” thing made him seem really goofy. Peter Cook as Nigel was pretty fun and Maureen Teefy as Lucy Lane was also quite good, I liked her spunky attitude and kind nature. And finally Marc McClure was just pointless as Jimmy Olsen, his existence in this film was just a means to connect the tissue between this and the Superman films, but he doesn’t add anything to the story and is as useless as Lois was in Superman 3.
Now let’s talk about the presentation. Visually the film is just about as good as the previous two films with green screen and some digital and practical effects. Overall it is fine, but it certainly looks old and I know it was the 1980’s but special effects had come a long way and some of this stuff looks like it belonged in 1970’s. As for the soundtrack, Jerry Goldsmith’s score is actually the best thing about the film having a very triumphant and magical soundtrack that definitely is in the vein of the John Williams Superman material.
And lastly how does it compare to the comics? Unfortunately I haven’t read any of Supergirl’s exploits in the comics so I can’t comment on this too much, though I know her origin story got changed and some of her powers in the film are different to how they are normally in the source material.
So to conclude Supergirl is another bad film to add to the collection of superhero film adaptations. It definitely tries to cash in the popularity of the Christopher Reeve Superman films, but doesn’t have any interesting ideas of itself own to share. The story is lazy, bizarre and has nothing fun or exciting to help its near two-hour runtime. If I were you just wait for CBS’s Supergirl show, it can’t be worst than this film.
That’s 19 reviews done, only 11 more to go. So have you seen Supergirl and if so what are your thoughts on it? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts yo! Come back tomorrow and I’ll have a new film review online, until then peace out!