Saturday, July 04, 2020

Supergirl (1984)

There were a few times in television and movies where something seemed inexplicable.  It wasn’t until years later that something came along that put things in perspective.  It always seemed odd to me that in Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Best of Both Worlds, only Captain Picard was assimilated.  Then, it came out that Patrick Stewart had thrown out the idea of not coming back for the fourth season.  Picard’s assimilation offered a way out, if necessary.  I’m not sure how true it is, but it made sense.

Supergirl was an interesting movie, but it provided me with a lot of similar questions.  It starts in Argo City.  Argo City survived the destruction of Krypton by hiding in some sort of fold in space.  It’s powered by a small orb called the Omegahedron.  It’s not a toy, but Kara Zor-El is allowed to play with it.  After a few minutes, it gets blown out into space and lands on Earth.

The man who lent it to her is sent to the Phantom Zone for all of eternity.  Kara chases after it, hoping to get it back.  If she doesn’t, the entire population of Argo City will die.  You’d think with something so important, it would be better protected.  For that matter, you’d think the city walls would be made of something stronger.  Then again, we wouldn’t have a movie.

When Kara lands on Earth, she happens to land near where the Omegahedron is, but not close enough to actually get it.  Instead, Selena finds it.  She’s a witch that’s looking for an easy way to take over the world.  She dumps the warlock Nigel and goes about plotting world domination.

Again, this Omegahedron thingy is really important.  Kara is trying to find this to save her city.  To her advantage, she’s instantly given the same powers as her cousin, Superman.  In fact, she miraculously has a Supergirl outfit on once she’s on Earth.  Rather than set out to look for the orb, she flies around and takes a look at the planet.  It’s not clear where Argo City is in relationship to Earth.  She could have been travelling for five minutes or two months.  Either way, she has no time to lose.

Once she’s done flying, she sets herself up at an all-girls boarding school.  She calls herself Linda Lee, saying she’s Clark Kent’s cousin, and is roomed with Lois Lane’s sister, Lucy.  This baffles me.  She can forge a document in seconds.  Why not set herself up with a house?  Why bother with classes and whatnot?  I get that she’s young, but there has to be another option here.  Given a choice, I’d pick the one that doesn’t involve doing homework or taking tests.

A whole bunch of stuff happens, giving Selena the chance to figure out how the orb works.  Kara makes exactly zero effort to find it until it’s too late and Selena has already taken over a small town.  Kara is banished to the Phantom Zone, herself, but escapes.  The final battle ensues and everything is put right again.

The entire movie stinks of a project that someone had to make.  It’s like an executive wanted a superhero movie with a female hero and passed it off to a team of people that didn’t think it was a good idea.  In fact, the movie looks like it may have been written more as a comedy, but was played more as a drama.

Even the writing has bare-minimum effort all over it.  Why does a city have only one power source?  You’d think they’d have a second one as a backup.  This wouldn’t even be a plot killer.  Kara could still have to retrieve it.  Do you really want it falling into the hands of someone like Selena?

Then, there’s the whole issue of witches and warlocks.  Really?  That’s the best you could come up with?  I don’t know if this idea ever showed up in the comics, but I think I would have come up with a better adversary.  You’re already doing a gender-swapped story.  Why not just have a female evil genius, much like Lex Luthor.

There’s a lot about the movie that doesn’t look right.  For a movie where a city’s population is on the line, there’s no sense of urgency.  The flying sequences are way too long.  Superman gets a cameo by way of a poster.  The only crossover is Jimmy Olsen.  I suspect that having one character cross over was a way of not sinking the Superman franchise if this movie tanked, which may have been a good idea.  If you can’t find a copy of this movie to watch, don’t worry about it.

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