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A Good Star Trek Movie
A review of Star Trek: Nemesis
by J. D. Rummel

(Spoilers! Danger! Spoilers in content!)

First, I should at least lay my Star Trek cards on the table. I grew up on classic TrekKirk locking phasers and diddling every female humanoid with a pulsethat being established I am still a thinking organism and I easily recognize that the Next Generation had infinitely better effects and consistently superior writing than its ancestor, overall during its televised run. It is my opinion that Star Trek films have rarely risen above that television scope. I am not one who lives in a universe where SF begins and ends with Trek, but I am a fan and very familiar with Star Trek conventions (tropes, tricks, terminology, etc.) even though I have never been to an actual Star Trek convention. Therefore, I am going to weigh in on the latest installment, entitled Nemesis .

Director: Stuart Baird

Stars: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn

Rating: PG-13

Release: 12-13-2002

Time: 116 minutes

Buy Movie at After reading some reviews in the ordinary world I was prepared for a lurching disaster of a movie. Imagine my surprise when my brother-in-law and I sat through a very enjoyable Star Trek adventure. Now, that is not to say it was great art. Star Trek films carry a lot of baggage with them and that weight makes it hard for a writer to do everything expected by fans and still produce fresh work. I'm giving it a B+ with the understanding that it is Star Trek movie and for the most adheres to that universe's logic (ramming a ship that has 70% deflectors will work?) I know for a fact some Trek fans will be outraged by the details and the execution of the details.

But there are some bone headed things going on in the script, for instance why the main villain (Shitzu? Shits-on?), a clone of Picard, feels the need to rape the mind of Deanna Troi. The only reason I can see is so that Picard can have a backdoor to attack through later during the obligatory shields-are-down-to-30-percent-everyone-fall-out-of-your-chairs scenes. That being said, those scenes are done really well (after thirty plus years and five different series some college theatre curriculum somewhere probably offers a class in staging one). Another point of illogic: the villian's weapon is so powerful he really doesn't need more than a few seconds of guile insure his survival (he needs Picard's bloodno he's not a vampire, but he is decaying without it), then he could just destroy everything.

While it is short on logic, the plot nicely allows for the growth and death of characters. Star Trek's characters are figures we have come to care about and that is arguably its greatest strength in any of its incarnations. Troi and Riker get hitched at the beginning and at the end of the film depart for Riker's new command aboard the Titan. Picard, always well played by Patrick Stewart, gets to see what he would be like had he been raised by evil aliens (Tom Hardy nicely plays a Picard clone whose goal is genocide) and gets to explore the whole nature versus nature argument using Star Trek reasoning. Brent Spiner's android Commander Data gives up his life to preserve the lives of his friends (his katra is preserved in a new android also played by Spiner) at the climax of the film.

If this is the end of the Next Generation films then they ended on a mature and thoughtful Star Trek anchored note. I wish the Shatner troops could have gone out on as creative and well-oiled a rail. However, there are probably a sufficient number of fans raised on the Next Generation to let things simmer for a few years and then bring everyone back in a big reunion. I'll go see it.