Supernova (2000) is just the kind of genre film that -- I readily admit -- I’m inclined to enjoy. It involves a doomed space mission skirting the edge of the cosmic map. Specifically, Supernova recounts the most dangerous journey of the Medical Rescue Vehicle Nightingale as -- in response to an emergency signal -- it “jumps” to a rogue moon where a mining outpost, Titan-37, once operated.
In that film, as you may recall, a couple played by Sam Neill and Nicole Kidman go to sea following the death of their child, only to help out the last survivor of a ruined vessel, played by Billy Zane. Zane’s character turns out to be a dangerous psychopath, and he strands Neill’s character on his useless old boat while he terrorizes Kidman’s character on the family yacht.
The film also finds Spader’s lead character, Vanzant marooned there, and fighting his way to get back to his ship, much as Neill did in the earlier picture. Facinelli, like Zane, is a physically-fit, twitchy psychotic who, before his reign of terror ends, has his way with a female shipmate. Outer space, obviously, substitutes for the terrestrial high seas.
In this case, it’s the presence of the ultimate WMD, the alien artifact that elevates the film’s ending. The movie’s denouement, which eschews our desire for closure, also leaves audiences to ponder what might could happen in the brave new world following the finale.
Add those figures up, and you have 5% percent, Troy’s proposed figure for recompense.
By contrast, the biological transfer renders Evers pregnant, ostensibly with Vanzant’s child.
Or would it usher in the very “leap in evolution” that the mad Troy foresees?
There are many ways that the movie could have ended. Troy could have been killed. The ship could have escaped. There could have been a final sting in the tail/tale. Instead, Supernova leaves audiences to ponder the idea that a “wave” is coming for mankind, and that it is something he can’t avoid. The future will be…different.
He attempts to unshackle her, however, so she can kill. Again, there’s the notion here that without “programming” (or biological) restraints, the universe tends to violence. Man creates Tom and Jerry and Sweetie the Computer, and directs them both towards that violence.
What chance is there he won’t act violently if transformed into a superman?
Similarly, the battle scenes on Titan and aboard the Nightingale seem claustrophobic and messy, but not in an intentional or good way. The scuffles are visually incoherent, and so some sense of suspense is sacrificed.
But after spying Troy naked, Danika makes love to him. She does not seem to be under duress when she does so.
To be clear, she is not executing a survival strategy (as Nicole Kidman’s character was, once more, in a similar scene in Dead Calm). Instead, we have no understanding of why -- besides carnal lust -- she would sacrifice everything to be with this guy for the right fifteen minutes.
Does she feel trapped by Yerzy? Does she really not want children?
Is this her way of avoiding those responsibilities?
It would be nice to have just a bit more clarity in terms of character motivations. If we knew Danika’s reasons, we might be able to fit them into the film’s larger puzzle or leitmotif. Sex, like violence, might be deemed the result of our biological programming, and this aspect could have been explored in the context of the rest of the film’s themes.
You can either enjoy the flashes of ingenuity on their own terms, or curse the general darkness of the enterprise.