Every now and then, a movie really is every bit the feast of turkey as the critics say it is. Supernova is that movie.
By all accounts, it was a troubled post-production process, with director Walter Hill (The Warriors) taking his name of it, The Hidden‘s Jack Sholder coming in for reshoots, Francis Ford Coppola doing some uncredited editing — and the end result is such a mess, it feels like you’re watching what would happen if the studio held an “Edit a Feature Film!” contest for the general public.
Supernovocaine (as I like to call it) follows a small crew floating through space on one huge ship. There’s the captain, Robert Forster (Jackie Brown), who watches Tom & Jerry cartoons. James Spader (Stargate) is a recovering addict, which has nothing to do with anything, but you’ll notice that with his hair dyed black, he looks a lot like Jeff Goldblum. Angela Bassett (Strange Days) is the no-nonsense, tough-as-nails doctor. Then there’s Lou Diamond Phillips (Young Guns); Robin Tunney (The Craft), who looks like a man here; and a robot so laughable that it appears to come straight out of Hardware Wars.
Everything’s peachy-keen until they rescue a mysterious young man (Can’t Hardly Wait‘s Peter Facinelli, the JV Tom Cruise) from a mining facility in another dimension. He brought a glowing, vagina-shaped special effect with him, you see, and he likes to kill people. So he begins the rote one-by-one method of cinematic homicide. Who do you think will make it to the climactic showdown? To quote Wesley Snipes in Passenger 57, “Always bet on black!”
None of it makes sense, and it doesn’t help that the cast is saddled with mumbo-jumbo dialogue like “We’ve jumped into a high-grav field right in the path of that moon’s debris cloud!,” which Spader is forced to utter without so much as a smile. Not even the promise of zero-gravity sex scenes — fulfilled — is enough to save this one from stupidity. —Rod Lott