Supergirl qualifies as one of the most bizarre comic book adaptations ever to hit the silver screen. Bereft of logic or sensible plotting, but featuring a strong cast and slick special effects, the film follows Superman's ... more »cousin Kara (played by Helen Slater in her film debut) as she leaves Krypton to venture to Earth to retrieve the "Omegahedron," a life-force globe vital to her people's survival. She tracks down the device, unaware that it's fallen into the hands of aspiring black magician Selena (Faye Dunaway), which leads to an inevitable showdown. All of the strong characters in Supergirl are women, making for a nice change of pace from traditional superhero machismo. However, none of the players seem to notice that many things are left unexplained, including how the naive Kara knows so much about Earth while having never been there, how a novice sorceress can attain power so quickly from something she does not understand, and how hardly anyone notices Supergirl flying around their city! (And hey, where's Superman?) Taken as a campy 1980s comic book relic rather than a serious adaptation, Supergirl is fun because of its engaging special effects and sets, tongue-in-cheek humor, and Dunaway's truly inspired performance. Look for Marc McClure reprising his Superman role of Jimmy Olsen, while Mia Farrow and Peter O'Toole have small supporting roles as Kara's mother and mentor, respectively. The director's cut DVD features 24 minutes of newly restored footage that has never been seen before, which should enthrall Supergirl aficionados, although the additional material doesn't make the story any more logical. --Bryan Reesman« less
"I know this movie is known far and wide as a flop, a disaster, an altogether awful movie. But I don't think it's really as bad as everyone says it is. "Supergirl" has some great actors. Helen Slater, and Faye Dunaway to name a couple. They're not at their best, but they give an overall good performance. Also, the musical score by Jerry Goldsmith is great. Especially the Supergirl theme. The special effects are, contrary to others opinions, actually some of the best I've seen in a Superhero movie. The flying sequences are great. The story, however, could use some work. Overall, though, Supergirl is an enjoyable movie for fans of Superman or Supergirl. It's entertaining and worth watching."
A flawed classic and guilty pleasure
Kevin G. Barkes | South Park, PA USA | 08/01/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Almost done in by a campy villainess subplot, Supergirl survives thanks to superb pre-cgi special effects (Chris Reeve praised it as the best flying he'd seen in any of the films), a solid Jerry Goldsmith score, and Helen Slater's, well, *goodness*, in the title role.I had the advantage of first seeing the film with my own then-seven-year-old blonde superheroine, and my daughter's expression of sheer delight as Kara skimmed over the lake and flew with the wild horses reminded me of the thrill I felt 30 years before when I watched George Reeves hurl himself out of the stockroom window and into the endlessly repetitive stock footage skies of Metropolis.This is one of those films where you filter out the silly story and watch the pretty pictures.Make certain to get the international widescreen edition. The film was butchered in its original American theatrical release."
It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Supergirl!
Amaranth | Northern California | 05/13/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Supergirl" thrilled me when it opened back in 1984. Along with Wonder Woman and She-Ra, Supergirl was part of an era of female superheroines. "Supergirl" is a true camp classic. It marked Helen Slater's debut (and subsequent departure) from the silver screen. Faye Dunaway could've shouted,"No more kryptonite wire hangers!" but she's close enough. "Supergirl",along with "Puma Man",is one of the cheesiest superhero movies ever made.
"Supergirl" opens on the heroine's homeworld,with her mother Mia Farrow&her mentor Zaltar (Peter O'Toole,hammy as ever) They need the Omegahedron to restore their world. Supergirl,a.k.a. Kara,is sent to Earth. Her cousin Superman is mentioned, but never makes an appearance,since the late Christopher Reeve wanted nothing to do with this movie. Kara confronts thugs, goes to a boarding school. In the meantime, the evil sorceress Selena (Dunaway) is in control of an amusement park. She has a female companion (Brenda Vaccaro) Lest one think these two dowdy ladies are carrying on a super-Sapphic romance, Selena lusts for a hunky carpenter/gardener. And yet she wants world domination??? Somehow the Hunky Guy is in the middle of all of it. There are numerous cheesy battles. At one point, Supergirl is hurled into the Phantom Zone with Zaltar. Somehow,good triumphs in the end. But not good taste.
"Supergirl" is gloriously campy fun. Take flight!"
A great film
Amaranth | 07/30/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Enough comparing this movie to the Superman films. It was produced by the same people (Alexander and Ilya Salkind), but the similarites only go that far. If you consider Supergirl by itself, it is a great movie. The story isn't the best it could've been, but it's altogether very enjoyable. Helen Slater is very convincing as Supergirl. She plays the character exactly the way Supergirl should be done. The special effects are great, especially the flight scenes. And of course, Jerry Goldsmith's score is incredible! If you're not a film critic and just want a movie you can enjoy, Supergirl is for you."
A film worth seeing, thanks to Helen Slater.
Amaranth | 05/17/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"You'll believe a girl can fly. SUPERGIRL was the only film made based on the DC Comics character--and based on the wonderful performance by Helen Slater, there should have been many more. Slater is, quite simply, the best-ever casting of a comic book character brought to either the film or television medium. Not only does she look exactly like the Supergirl of the comics, she brings an innocence, dignity, and strength to the role that makes the Girl of Steel seem believable and three-dimensional. If only she had been supported by a powerful director along the lines of Richard Donner (the first SUPERMAN film) or been given a stronger script to work with, we would have been treated to many more SUPERGIRL films. Alas, we had to settle for Jeannot Szwarc (JAWS 2, SOMEWHERE IN TIME), whose direction was far too laid-back for a film supposed to be based on a comic-book. Moreover, David Odell's script doesn't test Supergirl's powers or personality very much--you'd think that someone with Supergirl's abilities should face a greater challenge than a washed-up witch, and should have a better romantic interest than a grubby gardener. And yet, despite these problems, Slater and the rest of the acting crew find a way to make it work. Faye Dunaway, playing the evil sorceress Selena, drags the film down in places with some heavy over-acting, but she is very good in the film's climax, when she and Supergirl finally square off. Peter O'Toole manages to find the right notes as Zaltar, Supergirl's mentor from her home, Argo City. Also present are Maureen Teefy (as Lucy Lane, Lois Lane's brother), Brenda Vaccaro (Bianca, Selena's assistant, who gets the film's best lines and really runs with the part), Peter Cook (Nigel, Selena's partner in crime, who also gets his share of funny lines, and whose comic timing is near-perfect), and Marc McClure (as Jimmy Olsen, making McClure the only actor to appear in all the various incarnations of the SUPERMAN/SUPERGIRL film series). But it's Helen Slater who holds it all together with a performance that is exciting, touching, and--dare I say it--super."