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Movie Review

All is quiet in deep space on the medical rescue vessel Nightingale until a garbled distress call beckons the crew toward a distant moon. In one swift blast of light the Nightingale hops across light years of space to save the day. Of course it's a trap. Crewmembers quickly realize they are being sucked into a giant star and certain death. To complicate things the man they came to rescue (Karl Larson) begins taking over the ship. Supernova attempts to combine the sci-fi drama of Lost In Space (light-speed travel, a crew trapped in space) with the grinding action of The Terminator (a half man/half alien antagonist demolishes everyone who stands in his path).

Positive Elements: When Captain Marley is injured Doctor Evers makes a valiant and self-sacrificing effort to save his life. As Karl goes on his killing rampage the crew bonds together in an attempt to preserve each other and the spacecraft. They would rather fight to the death than lend aid to his evil plan.

Spiritual Content: Karl plans to take over the universe using a device that harnesses the power of "evolution." The plot assumes that evolutionary development is factual.

Sexual Content: In a provocative scene crewmembers Yerzy and Danika are shown wrapped around each other while floating in a weightless chamber. Both are void of clothing and rear nudity is shown. Later the pair share another sensual encounter. Karl seduces Danika by telling her that "the only sin is regret" (implying that she would regret not jumping into bed with him). They quickly find their way to the gravity-free chamber for a skin-exposing sex romp of their own. Danika and Kaela's breasts are both briefly shown uncovered as they undress for the ship's jump to hyperspeed. Indeed, sexual innuendoes mar much of the movie as traditional science fiction elements become sensualized. (Yerzy is seen experiencing euphoric moments with the "evolutionary device." Jokes are traded about having sex while traveling at light speed. Benj carries on a "romantic" relationship with the ship's computer.)

Violent Content: Far too much for a PG-13 film. When Karl comes aboard the Nightingale his goal is to kill everyone. Multiple sequences depict close hand-to-hand combat. People are brutalized, then murdered by being sucked out of the ship into deep space. During Karl's rampage he is shot in the head, run through with a harpoon and hit repeatedly with a metal beam. Nothing stops him, not even a severed limb.

Crude or Profane Language: About a dozen mild profanities including misuses of God's name. A robot hoists a middle finger at Karl.

Drug and Alcohol Content: Mention is made of Nick's rehabilitation from a futuristic drug called "haza," and Karl brags about taking the same drug. Nick brings Kaela some pear brandy as a peace offering.

Summary: This shabby Star Trek rip-off features shallow characters that seem to only interact by using an array of sexual innuendoes or physical attacks. Most of them are killed off way before moviegoers can even begin to care about them.

The ship's captain is heard commenting about why the universe is so vicious. He believes that since violent cartoons like Tom and Jerry were outlawed in the 21st century people no longer had a catharsis for their anger so they started acting out what they could no longer watch. His theory falls flat as a flimsy attempt to make amends for all the brutality his character and others in this movie bring to the big screen. Stay away from whatever galaxy this Supernova came from.

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Robert Forster as A.J. Marley; James Spader as Nick Vanzant; Angela Bassett as Kaela Evers; Wilson Cruz as Benj Sotomejor; Lou Diamond Phillips as Yerzy Penalosa; Robin Tunney as Danika Lund; Peter Facinelli as Karl Larson.


Thomas Lee ( )Walter Hill ( )





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Jonathan Bartha

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