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ST fan
Sun, May 24, 2009, 9:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Nemesis

I think Nemesis is the very worst of the Star Trek movies. The whole thing feels tired, recycled, and routine. The themes of cloning and identity are treated in a perfunctory way that feels more like a vehicle for FX explosions than the natural outgrowth of a good story.

While the CGI work offers great eye candy, I can get the same thing in a number of other (much better) sci-fi movies. The primary attraction of Star Trek for me has always been the character interaction, not the FX or self-reverential philosophizing. The Next Generation crew has no believable chemistry in this film.

The unpopular Star Trek V had routine FX and big plot holes, but it had one thing going for it that feels utterly missing from Nemesis: Genuine character moments with satisfying emotional payoffs. The scene where Sybok confronts Spock, McCoy and Kirk with their "pain" is more powerful than any scene in Nemesis. It's pure Star Trek. And most of Sybok's scenes are pretty good; Luckinbill plays well against Shatner and Nimoy.

I also like it when the crew enters the Barrier and when Kirk confronts Spock in the Klingon gunner's chair. There's nothing much new here, but the actors sell it with their chemistry. Even the campfire scene works for me because it is Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. I'd rather watch them share bad jokes and songs than watch the dazzling special effects of Nemesis put to no obvious purpose -- at least it's something human that reminds me of fallible real people.

That's not to say Star Trek V is a great film, as it meanders too much and indulges in too many conceits. But it makes me smile a lot more than the self-important confusion that is Nemesis. It also holds up better to repeat viewings; watch them again and see for yourself.

My rankings of the ST films are biased by my admiration for the literary themes and characterizations of the Meyer outings:

1. Star Trek II
2. Star Trek IV
3. Star Trek VI
4. Star Trek: First Contact
5. Star Trek XI (Abrams reboot)
6. Star Trek: The Motion Picture
7. Star Trek III
8. Star Trek: Generations
9. Star Trek: Insurrection
10. Star Trek V
11. Star Trek: Nemesis
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