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Review Supergirl (1984): Did not age well!

genre: super hero, comic book adaptation, adventure

In my life, I only have watched Supergirl like three or four times. Back when I was little, I loved it. Now as an adult I question the taster of younger self. Joke. Of course, I don't. However, this does point out the difference between this film and the Superman film this is spun off. 

For whatever reason, Supergirl seems to be made for children. At least I hope this to be the case, otherwise everyone involved must have not known what they were dealing with. And unlike Superman, Kara Zor-El (played by Helen Slater) has to deal with different kind of enemies. The first goons she encounters are dirty, horny truck drivers. They don't hesitate to reveal their true and disgusting personas. At first, they think they are dealing with a crazy superman fan. Then after being exposed to some super beatings they realize Supergirl might be the real deal. Does this stop them from trying to molest her? No. So naturally, they get what they deserve. Fortunately, this experience hasn't traumatized Kara, and she is still very willing to interact with humans. 

Very soon, she comes across the main villain of the story. Selena, a witch, played by Faye Dunaway. She is not that experienced. But quite ambitious and very coldhearted and evil. She has two companions, one of them is on board with her all the way. The other, who sees himself as someone who is superior to Selena and other people, seems to be the more sensible one and doesn't blindly follow her. And this is very wise of him, since he is the only one of the bunch who is aware that Supergirl is a force not to be messed with.

Kara is very quick to adapt to Earth life and soon makes friends. One is unintentional and becomes her love interest. I wished this wasn't in the film, since it serves no purpose whatsoever. I guess they were going for the same dynamics between Lois and Clark. Only it simply doesn't work. Especially since Margot Kidder as Lois has a huge personality. This guy, Ethan (played by Hart Bochner) has zero chemistry with her. There is also no build-up to that relationship. 

Superman was supposed to make an entrance in this film. Christopher Reeve didn't want to do it. I honestly don't understand why he didn't. That easily would have elevated this film as being the first live action DC film crossover. Him not visiting his cousin is a pretty dick move if you ask me. So as a part in the Superman franchise, Supergirl is an odd one. As a standalone film, it was decent. The special effects obviously look dated, but they are better than what was presented in Superman IV. But the true saviour of the film is Helen Slater. She is very charming and immensely graceful. The way she talks, moves and behaves in general. It's not her fault that the action and spectacle is below average. It's like they couldn't be bothered to invest in big action set pieces. Although there is one big one where Supergirl gets to rescue people. It was very cool to see her fly through a water tower to extinguish a fire. 

Overall, Supergirl has not aged well. It's very messy and incredibly childish. Only Helen Slater does her best to take the comic book character seriously. But she is let down by everyone else. It is for this reason I can't recommend this one at all. Perhaps I should watch this one with my nephews. And see how they respond to it. 

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