1984’s Supergirl is considered one of the worst superhero movies, but it may have inspired a major plot line in Pacific Rim.
Super girl is considered one of the worst superhero movies of all time, but it shares some surprising similarities with the blockbuster hit Pacific Rim. Overall, these movies couldn’t be more different. One uses the most advanced technology to bring giant robots to the big screen, while the other is a forgotten Richard Donner spinoff. Superman, but they share a common element. They both use hidden underwater interdimensional portals as key plot devices.
Directed by Guillermo del Toro, Pacific Rim was the first successful attempt at adapting the Japanese genre Kaiju for Western audiences. Del Toro’s imagination and artistic talents provided audiences with the gripping story of an alien invasion that could only be stopped by brave scientists and soldiers willing to risk their lives to save humanity. Super girl, on the other hand, was a low budget spinoff company trying to capitalize on Superman, just as interest in the franchise began to wane.
Super girl tells the story of Superman’s cousin, Kara Zor-El. She lives with her parents in Argo, a city built on an asteroid where survivors of the destruction of Krypton live. The city is powered by a powerful device called the Omegahedron. At the start of the film, Kara meets Zaltar, the founder of the city, who shows her how the omegahedron, which looks like a small spinning sphere, can be used to animate objects. But when Kara uses the Omegaedron to move a three-dimensional sculpture of a dragonfly, the insect flies through the city’s protective shield, opening a void that sucks the Omegaedron into space.
Knowing that the city won’t survive long without its power source, Kara jumps into a ship known as the Binary Chute. The spaceship takes Kara from inner space where Argo exists, into outer space, where she follows the Omegaedron to Earth. Her colorful journey, described by Zaltar as a Warp, ends when Kara exits the ship, emerging from under a lake in the United States dressed in her full superhero outfit.
At a time Super girl and Pacific Rim, aliens arrive on Earth not through conventional space travel, but by opening a portal hidden underwater. In Pacific Rim, the Breach, located in the Mariana Trench, remains hidden from humanity, at least until their alien creators decide the time has come to begin the invasion. The deep location also makes the portal virtually inaccessible to humans. In the case of Super girl, the lake allows Kara’s ship to remain hidden during her adventure.
Another similarity between the two portals is the way they change the traveler. In Pacific Rim, the Breach is kept open by nuclear power, which also powers the Kaijus and prepares them for their battles. In Super girl, Zaltar explains to Kara’s terrified parents that while she will be safe on her journey, the Warp’s gravitational radiation will change her forever. The movie doesn’t specify what Zaltar is referring to, but it could talk about Kara emerging as mentally older and more mature (she looks almost childish in Argo), or how she will acquire abilities similar to her cousin, Superman.
After its release, Super girl has been criticized for its slow pace, poor playing, and unconvincing special effects. Audiences reacted accordingly and the film failed at the box office. Problems aside, however, the director managed to come up with at least a few original ideas. The concept of traveling through portals that shorten insurmountable distances, and how to cross them subjects all passers-by to a process similar to a rebirth, are all ideas that have not been reviewed for two decades. Pacific Rim The first successful Western attempt to bring the Kaiju genre to the big screen may be remembered, but it wasn’t the first to come up with the idea of portals to other worlds hidden under bodies of water.
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