Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
United Kingdom/USA, 1984. Artistry Limited, Investors In Industry PLC, Robert Fleming Leasing Limited, St. Michael Finance Limited. Screenplay by David Odell, based on the character created by Otto Binder, Al Plastino. Cinematography by Alan Hume. Produced by Timothy Burrill. Music by Jerry Goldsmith. Production Design by Richard Macdonald. Costume Design by Emma Porteous. Film Editing by Malcolm Cooke.
America’s favourite superhero actually comes from an entire race of superior beings, his one cousin a delightful young lady who comes to Earth when the power source for her planet, a tiny orb that spins in the palm of your hand, escapes her home and travels through the galaxy and lands in Faye Dunaway‘s lap. Dunaway is a second-rate amusement park performer who is made a powerful sorceress by this find, terrorizing the locals and enslaving handsome Hart Bochner, while our heroine (played with guileless charm but no apparent personality by Helen Slater) goes undercover as a private school student in search of her planet’s salvation. Most of it makes very little sense, even in the comic book universe, and the entire thing is hopelessly silly, more on par with Superman III than either of the previous entries in the series. Slater’s bland performance and lack of chemistry with Bochner is combined with the villain’s lack of specific motive (there’s just a vague sense of the pursuit of world dominance) for a movie that never gets beyond general ideas but, despite that, takes up a lot of time and features more than its fair share of big set-pieces. They do throw quite a few obstacles in the young woman’s path, and seeing her exercise her powers over men who would have their way with a pretty blond thing is fun, but the film’s rewards, even at their kitschiest, simply do not outdo its drawbacks.