Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Better off avoided
I’m one of the guys that prefers to watch the Christopher Reeve’s Superman series than the newer renditions of Superman, such as Superman Returns or Man of Steel. There was just a level of symbolic mysticism and splendor that Reeve brought to the screen like no other could. He was and is, in my opinion, still the best version of a live-action Superman character that has ever been. I wasn’t too fond of the third or fourth film in the original series, but when it came down to Reeve’s performance, he was always the best thing about each film. Back in 1984, the series received a spinoff film based in the same universe called Supergirl, about Superman’s cousin, Kara. Though…it mostly goes by unnoticed. Let me tell you something, it should stay that way.
So, after Krypton blew up, a small chuck of it flew off into space, where some Kryptons survived. This is Argo City, where Kara Zor-El and her parents live. The entire city is powered by an “Omegahedron” orb, which apparently can do anything, especially with a magic wand. Clubsy Kara makes a huge dragonfly with that magic wand, brings it to life with the orb, and the stupid dragonfly flies directly out the window, sucking the orb out with it. Well, off Kara goes to collect the orb, which conveniently flies directly to Earth, into the hands of a witch who wants to take over the world…how original. Kara must tackle being a superhero and college student (for some reason) while battling a witch to save her home chunk-of-a-planet.
Sorry for the jumbled mess of a plot description. To be fair, that’s only because the story itself really is a jumbled up mess. The story of Supergirl actually stays true to the comics, but it’s not the best origin story, in my opinion. TV’s Smallville introduced her character a lot better. Now, I’m trying to figure out why she even needs a secret identity, this is an emergency situation. This has to be dealt with now. Nope, let’s get into school and study math while we wait. I understand the whole…double identity/superhero thing, but this plot had more of a…special case.
Let’s talk about her secret identity for a second. Apparently, Supergirl has secret powers no one ever knew about. I understand quick changing, but this film took it way too far. She spots girls in private school uniforms, and gets an idea. The next thing we see is Supergirl walking past trees, and each time she walks behind one, an article of clothing magically changes (clothing she didn’t have with her). To make things more exciting, her hair color also magically changes…it’s not a wig…she takes a shower in the new hair. She has the extraordinary ability to create clothing and hair color at will! You can only have so much creative freedom with a superhero movie before people are going to start asking questions.
Next, since when did a witch need the help of a powerful orb? I think the whole idea of how witches are represented in this film is the fact that they already have powers. No need for an orb. Make someone ordinary get powers instead…now that is cool. Not even to mention witches in a Superhero film is so freaking stupid. There’s a reason why the witches episode of Smallville is regarded as the worst episode ever (by many).
Half of the reason why this movie did so horribly is because they had to completely recast it. Almost everyone in the movie was recast or dropped out the last minute. One of the best parts of the movie was Marc McClure reprising his role as Jimmy Olsen. That made this film canon, adding to the failures of both Superman III and Superman IV. The other half reason why the movie is so bad is because it is unnecessarily long. How long, you ask? Supergirl is practically 2.5 hours in length. That’s ridiculous. It’s redundant. It’s incredibly boring. There is absolutely not a single reason that I can think of that validates a reason for such an absurd runtime.
Premise wise, is there anything that is actually cool about the movie? Yes. For once, we see what the inside of the Phantom Zone looks like. When compared to the inside of the Phantom Zone in Smallville, you may actually see some similarities. That’s actually neat. Other than that, the movie is downright horrible. Even Christopher Reeve was planning to make a cameo and didn’t.
Talk about a flop.