Supernova [2000/I]

Filmmakers apparently count on the fact that generational turnover renders old formulas fresh again for new audiences. Which is the only explanation for this sci-fi thriller, which could kindly be called an homage to Ridley Scott's trendsetting Alien. A medical rescue ship responds to a distress call from a mining colony and finds only one survivor: a strange young man (Peter Facinelli), who comes aboard carrying an even stranger alien artifact. But the plot of this film, which was directed and then disowned by Walter Hill, grows confused as it tries to explain the sinister force that will lead to a star going to supernova status, causing a universe-shattering explosion. Some nice sexual tension between James Spader (as a recovering drug addict who is the ship's copilot) and Angela Bassett (as the ship's doctor). Notable mostly, however, for the eerie resemblance, both physical and vocal, between Facinelli and Tom Cruise. --Marshall Fine

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