Jeannot Szwarc

Director of Jaws 2 and Supergirl, and a TV guy with Smallville and others.

Supergirl (1984) -- More of a spin-off of the Superman movies than a sequel (there are some unifying elements, such as the appearance of Jimmy Olsen as played by the same actor, or hints of the John Williams score), this one plays by its own rules--or lack thereof.  Making a Supergirl movie was a good idea, but the people involved got everything wrong.  First of all, how does Superman have a cousin (and other extended family) when he was supposedly the only survivor of Krypton?  How does she know about him and his adventures on Earth?  Why does Supergirl feel the need to have a secret identity when she's on a specific, time-limited quest to save her people?  Why does the Phantom Zone (the floating pane of glass) become an actual limbo-like planet?  There are plenty of other problems too.  The super villain is actually a witch.  Worse, her side-kick is an "80s lady" who could have been your mother's hip 45-year-old best friend back in those days.  Worse still, the "love interest" is a personality-less clod who is under a spell to be in love with Supergirl... and she takes him seriously.  Some things are okay.  Peter O'Toole creates the most interesting moments, but he's not in it enough.  (His best scene: saying "squirt" like eight times in a row.)  Helen Slater does a good job and looks really cute both as Supergirl and Linda Lee (and those two characters do look different from each other, something that can't be said for Superman and Clark Kent).  I suppose their might be a campy, kitschy, queer interest in the film, but that only goes so far.  If nothing else, the movie is more interesting in its badness than the super movie to follow this one, Superman IV. D

Copyright (c) Aug 2006 by Rusty Likes Movies