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Supergirl Review

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Superman's cousin Kara is sent to Earth to recover the omegahaedron, the source of power on her home planet, but finds herself assuming a disguise and then battling a witch, forces of magic and a besotted young man under a love potion.

★★★★★

Poor old Supergirl. In cinematic terms she truly ended up with the kryptonitey end of the stick. Superman flies to Earth in a majestic star; she drifts here in a disco ball. He’s employed as a big-city reporter; she a jolly-hockey-sticks schoolgirl. He battles Gene Hackman, Terence Stamp and Kevin Spacey; she gets Faye Dunaway and the woman who plays Joey’s mum in Friends. The only superiority she can reasonably claim is better hair.

The film is, of course, as dreadful and camp as Pat Butcher’s special Christmas earrings. The plot sees young Kara (Slater) lose her planet’s power source (the marvellously named Omegahedron) and fly to Earth to save it, discovering she has super powers along the way. Then it gets bogged down in rather a muddle of teen angst, romance with a man clearly too old for a schoolgirl — Super or otherwise — and a weird shadow-monster. It does itself no favours by constantly referencing her more famous cousin.

Dunaway rivals Mommie Dearest for sheer OTT campery, while Peter Cook seems a touch embarrassed as second-fiddle villain. Helen Slater is terribly sweet as Kal-El’s cousin, but constantly tilts her head and widens her eyes to convey emotion, suggesting she studied acting under a Golden Retriever. It’s only Peter O’Toole as Kara’s mentor and Jerry Goldsmith’s rather hummable score that emerge with anything approaching dignity.

This is camp and sweet but very dated and not a patch on the movies of our heroine's dark-haired cousin.

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