A spaceship with the explosive potential to destroy a quarter of the Earth is sent hurtling towards us in this hard-to-follow sci-fi thriller, the least implausible aspect of which is comedienne Sandra Bernhard as an action heroine.
In the 30th century, pilot J.T. Wayne (Sandra Bernhard) is bailed out of an outer-space jail by her friend and employer Suarez (Matt McCoy). His salvage operation has been given first crack at retrieving the Agamemnon, a cargo ship lost for 25 years. It holds 22 million tons of solarium, a
valuable and highly unstable fuel. Because time is short, Suarez is forced to augment his own crew with that of the unscrupulous Vendler (Frank Zagarino). Although Wayne despises Vendler both as a former partner and lover, she reluctantly agrees to work with him.
But Vendler wants the treasure all for himself. As soon as they have boarded and activated the Agamemnon, Vendler's minions murder Suarez and his crew. The only survivors are Wayne, who remains on the salvage ship, and Lennon (Cameron Dye), who is hidden in the Agamemnon's ventilation system.
Vendler doesn't realize that the ship has been turned into a giant missile by its insane former programmer Goad (Laura San Giacomo); its computers cannot be diverted from their mission to crash the Agamemnon into Earth, causing an explosion the size of a small nova. As Wayne tries to get Lennon
(with whom she is in radio contact) off the Agamemnon, they discern the ship's deadly potential. The two of them battle Vendler's mercenaries and are able to activate the ship's self-destruct function just before it would have collided with Earth.
While she might seem ill-cast as an action heroine (particularly in an early barroom brawl scene), Sandra Bernhard eventually grows into her role. That's about the best thing that can be said for this hopelessly muddled thriller. The production is strictly low budget, with adequate shots of model
spaceships interspersed with people in jumpsuits running through (or more often sitting in) dark rooms with panels of flashing lights. The relationship between Wayne and Vendler is poorly defined, as if it was changed in a partial script rewrite. Laura San Giacomo's character is wholly perplexing:
in a prologue she seems to be commanding the Agamemnon, yet for the rest of the film appears only in video recordings, spouting lines of Shakespeare meant to be clues to the computer's password. (As to why she wants to blow up the Earth, that's anyone's guess.) And while the ending seems to
indicate that Wayne and Lennon sacrifice their lives to save the Earth, the explosion of the Agamemnon is followed by a scene of them on the ship's bridge, holding hands and making sexy talk to each other. Are they supposed to be in sci-fi heaven? If they are, they're not accompanied by the
viewers. (Violence, sexual situations, adult situations, profanity.)
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- Released: 1997
- Rating: NR
- Review: A spaceship with the explosive potential to destroy a quarter of the Earth is sent hurtling towards us in this hard-to-follow sci-fi thriller, the least implausible aspect of which is comedienne Sandra Bernhard as an action heroine. In the 30th century, p… (more)