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I can imagine the creative team of this expensive sci-fi project trying to secure financial backing. The convincing line: "What if they can only do high-speed space travel if they're naked?"
The story quickly presents the crew with a crisis requiring them to make this naked space excursion when they receives a distress signal from an abandoned mine on a deep-space moon. But the medical team of the emergency rescue ship Nightingale (ambulance to the galaxy) loses more than its shorts in the dangerous attempt; arriving in a hostile solar system with a damaged ship, low fuel, and a dead captain.
Now the newly assigned co-pilot Nick Vanzant (James Spader) is in charge. If he thought he had enough problems, wait until he discovers the source of the alarm was Troy Larson (Peter Facinelli), son of a man whom Chief Medical Officer Kaela Evers (Angela Bassett) knew intimately. She describes the father as the most dangerous man in the universe. However it's Larson's carry-on luggage that generates the greatest apprehension.
This souvenir brought from the mine resembles a great glowing glob of floating gelatin. Speculation runs wild after a crewmember sticks his hand into the glob and gains unique abilities to regenerate body growth. Unfortunately there is neither anything scientific or distinctive about the invincible madman who ruthlessly beats and murders the script's disposable characters over this "fountain of youth."
Along with the violence, sexual conversation among the crewmembers is also a concern. You'd think they had more pressing matters to worry about, yet these people find lots of opportunities for recreational sex. An anti-gravity chamber (a popular location) allows the camera to move around the floating couple in 3-D. As long as the characters hang onto each other the right way, a careful camera man can capture these nude depictions of intercourse with only a few bum shots.
The unimaginative story and stale plot may account for why the studio went through three directors in making Supernova. Unfortunately, reaching the outer limits of the PG-13 rating seems to be the greatest challenge this film has to offer.
Supernova is rated PG-13:
Cast: James Spader, Peter Facinelli, Angela Bassett
Studio: 1999 MGM Studios Inc.