Star Trek: Nemesis
Theatrical release: 12/13/2002
DVD release: 5/20/2003
PG-13; 1 hr. 56 min.
Screenplay by John Logan
Story by John Logan & Rick Berman & Brent Spiner
Produced by Rick Berman
Directed by Stuart Baird
Cast includes: Patrick Stewart (Picard), Jonathan Frakes (Riker), Brent Spiner (Data), LeVar Burton (La Forge), Michael Dorn (Worf), Gates McFadden (Crusher), Marina Sirtis (Troi), Tom Hardy (Praetor Shinzon), Ron Perlman (Reman Viceroy), Dina Meyer (Commander Donatra)
Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan
June 10, 2003
Months before Star Trek: Nemesis was released in theaters, I kept telling people that its box-office performance would be the true barometer to indicate the public's actual current interest — or disinterest — in the Star Trek franchise. With the sophomore season of Enterprise facing difficult times in the ratings and the holders of the franchise at an apparent loss in regard to the eroding viewer base, Nemesis represented the real test. It was a Next Generation film for a franchise whose second-generation resurgence was centered on the TNG cast's success. Would this release show that the interest was still there?
And then Nemesis bombed at the box office. The verdict, it would seem, was in.
Let's face it, folks: Star Trek has seen better days, and the glory days of its success may very well be in the past, never again to be recaptured. Furthermore, the film franchise may be over. In all certainty, the TNG franchise is finished; Patrick Stewart has gone on record saying he is done playing Captain Picard. Franchise head Rick Berman says he envisions another film of some kind someday, but I can't imagine a scenario where Paramount would want to make another TNG film, based on the dismal performance of this one.
Why was Nemesis a box-office failure? I can't say for sure, but it could be that Star Trek simply seems obsolete in the world of cinema today, where we have hugely successful, younger franchises like Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and The Matrix. Releasing Nemesis in between the second Harry Potter release and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers was putting it up against some serious competition. It did not survive.
Box-office numbers aside, Nemesis is a decidedly mixed bag, with some elements that work well and others that do not. I can see what they were going for here. Emotionally, they don't quite pull it off down the stretch, particularly with the lackluster ending. Technically, as an effects-driven hardware-and-battle movie, it's one of the better installments. Overall, I found it entertaining, but somehow lacking. Still, what I never understood was what seemed to me such an exceptionally negative critical and fan reception. This movie is no masterpiece, but it's not the train wreck some have made it out to be, and it's certainly better and more probing than the marshmallow-like Insurrection from four years ago. Perhaps the newer film franchises are simply raising the bar of our expectations. (Just look at The Matrix Reloaded; that's a franchise that makes Trek look seriously outmoded. But then, it's also a franchise whose latter two installments cost $300 million to make.)
It is perhaps a telling sign of the age of the Star Trek franchise that I went into the film more or less knowing what to expect and pretty confident that few, if any, of those expectations would be shattered. Star Trek these days, especially The Next Generation, is — let's face it — safe. We know what they're selling. The question is whether we're buying.
But I'm rambling, so I'll get on with it. Nemesis begins with a prologue coup d'etat on the Romulan Senate, in which most of the planet's leaders are wiped out with a lethal dose of something that turns them all to stone. Cut to the wedding of Riker and Troi, one of the film's genuine attempts at character development after the previous two TNG films were content to play like stand-alone episodes. It's these sort of scenes that should have emotional resonance. Alas, this one is too self-conscious, which made me feel self-conscious: It's hard to laugh at or be moved by forced material that comes across as vaguely unnatural. Picard's would-be snappy one-liners ("Mr. Data — shut up"), which show up occasionally throughout the movie, do not seem particularly in character. If there's one thing Nemesis reinforces, it's that the TNG cast never had the natural chemistry the TOS cast had. Humor is still a point of labor.
With the wedding out of the way, we move on to more sci-fi oriented concepts, as the Enterprise detects a positronic signature originating from the planet Kolaris III, which resides very near the Romulan Neutral Zone. On the planet surface they retrieve parts of a disassembled android that looks exactly like Data, buried in the desert sand. There's a chase sequence here involving a Starfleet-issued ground vehicle called the Argo — a futuristic dune buggy — and the desert's inhabitants. It's reasonably well executed as action, I suppose, but not all that inventive when you consider how Trinity can ride a motorcycle head-on into freeway traffic in The Matrix Reloaded.
Trying to make Trek look more cinematically contemporary, director Stuart Baird films the desert scene with that bleached washout look (plus filters of reddish brown); you'd think you were watching the desert footage of Three Kings (except that Three Kings was a great movie, whereas this is not — yes, I know; cheap shot).
The android turns out to be a precursor to Data named B-4, who is a ... shall we say, slower and less advanced version of Data. You'd think the Enterprise crew might've learned their lesson from Lore when it comes to assembling Data's mysterious siblings, but I guess not.
Around this time, Picard is contacted by Admiral Janeway at Starfleet Command, which dispatches the Enterprise to Romulus to open a dialog with their new leader, Praetor Shinzon (Tom Hardy), who has extended an invitation in the interests of a new peace. "We're sending you all the intelligence we have, but it's not much," Janeway says. You can say that again. Starfleet Intelligence apparently has no clue that the Romulan Senate was just recently murdered en masse; I can't imagine they'd enter a situation like that expecting a peaceful outcome.
Considering that sweeping Alpha Quadrant politics and a huge war were major elements of DS9's later seasons, Nemesis seems curiously out of touch (though no surprise here, since DS9 is the much-ignored Trek). After having been allies in that war a few years ago, the Romulans have once again become the Federation's major Cold War-like foe upon which galactic peace apparently hinges. I'm not suggesting this isn't possible, but the story doesn't even attempt to explain it. Not that I expected it to; the masses don't likely come to Star Trek movies to learn about its universe's political makeup. (One hopes they don't go to Star Wars movies for politics, either, considering the extreme banality of those last two movies' political material.) Also, following in the footsteps of the last movie, and also not at all a surprise here (though I still feel obligated to comment), Nemesis pretends Data's emotion chip never existed, and doesn't account for how Worf rejoined the crew of the Enterprise after DS9 had him packing his bags for the Klingon homeworld.
The new players in this interstellar game are the Remans, a race of laborers and cannon fodder in the Romulan Empire that live on the dark slave world of Remus. Shinzon grew up on Remus, and his mission in life became to free his people from their enslavement within the empire. Of course, no villain would stop with merely freeing his enslaved people, so after orchestrating the power play, Shinzon of course plans to take matters much further...
Shinzon commands the Extreme Warship Scimitar, a super-mean-looking predator that makes the Enterprise look like a toy. Shinzon also comes with a twist: He is not Reman but human, and furthermore, he's a clone of Picard who was engineered by a former Romulan government to replace Picard as a spy. When those plans were abandoned, Shinzon was banished to Remus. Still a child, he spent his life in the mines, growing up into a bitter megalomaniac, bent on staging an uprising. The invitation he has extended to the Enterprise is actually a trap, of course, not a peace offering.
There is a promising concept here, centering on the nature of Shinzon and Picard. Loyal readers will know I'm a sucker for tortured characters and the self-identity question, and that's what is at the philosophical center of Nemesis. The main question posed here is whether we truly have the power to make our choices, or whether our choices arise directly from our past experiences combined with some unknown predisposition. Shinzon has spent his life as a human among Remans, and he doesn't see himself as either Reman or quite human. He is the product of a hard and joyless life that has left him with the sole goal of escaping the confines of that life. But once he has escaped, then what? Can he go on to better things, and a life of peace? And the question posed on top of that is, would Picard, given the same set of circumstances as Shinzon, make the same series of choices?
It's an intriguing question that gives Picard pause. He sees a lot of his younger self in the young and tortured Shinzon, and he begins to wonder how he might have turned out had his own life been different. I think this is a relevant and interesting question. I've wondered myself how I might've turned out had my formative years been harder, or, for that matter, easier. Would I have been driven to work harder, or allowed myself to be lazier? Could I have gotten as far along in life, or would I have gone farther? Would a tougher life have created in me more ambition, or less? How about an easier life? What scars or experiences do we carry with us that allow or prohibit or compel us to act?
I guess the point here is that we all have a certain level of responsibility in controlling our destinies, regardless of our pasts. When Picard despairs over Shinzon's escalating brutality, Data reminds him that they are not the same person — although this becomes a bit too obvious after awhile: Obviously, Picard would not plunge the entire quadrant into war simply to "satisfy [his] personal demons." By making Shinzon into such an unyielding megalomaniac, the bigger point is somewhat lost among his standard-issue mega-villain excesses. (His first instinct is to follow the tired "go destroy Earth" sci-fi idea, which is too obvious and ups the threat into the land of foregone conclusions. Why does he automatically have to assume his best interests mean the Federation must be destroyed? Because he's the bad guy, naturally.)
Tom Hardy creates a reasonable villain who brings a respectable level of menace to the character — which is important when he's standing up against Patrick Stewart, who as an actor always has your attention. Shinzon has some memorable lines, as when he refers to himself as an echo of Picard, and promises that the onset of war will represent the "triumph of the echo over the voice." He also gets some of those obligatory attitude-heavy lines necessary for all movie villains. My favorite funny exchange, a somewhat low-key one, has to be this one:
Shinzon: "You may go."
Data as B-4: "Where?"
Shinzon: "Out of my sight."
(I guess the humor is in the delivery. For me, it was the biggest laugh in the movie.)
The good news is that the movie's philosophical center, the themes centering on Picard and Shinzon, mostly work. The bad news is that there are some other things in here that do not work, particularly within the flow of the plot.
Take, for example, the almost ridiculously convenient plot device that B-4 represents. There's a point, as the away team is finding pieces of B-4 in the Kolaris III desert, where Picard says, "This doesn't feel right." But that feeling is apparently dismissed immediately; it's as if finding a disassembled android in the middle of an alien desert is just business as usual. Kolaris III is within a stone's throw of Romulan space, and within literally moments of recovering B-4 comes the news that the Romulans want to open diplomatic talks. Suspicious? Hello? B-4 has been programmed, you see, by Shinzon to steal intelligence data from the Enterprise and report back to the Scimitar. It comes as a relief that the Enterprise crew figures this out and turns it against Shinzon, but the use of B-4 here by all parties is so full of fortuitous timing that everyone involved comes off looking silly before they can look clever.
Then there's the use of the Reman Viceroy (Ron Perlman in a wasted role), Shinzon's trusted right-hand man, who unfortunately never emerges as anything but a nebulous plot device. Remans, it would seem, have telepathic abilities, which allows Shinzon to invade Troi's mind while she and Riker are having sex. The point of this — beyond a cheap shock — is beyond me. We never learn what Shinzon hopes to gain by invading Troi's mind, short of, I guess, mental rape because he's a Bad Guy. This device "pays off" in a later scene (pulled from thin air) where Troi turns the tables to invade the Viceroy's mind as a desperate attempt for the Enterprise to track the cloaked Scimitar. This scene is laughable; director Stuart Baird shines a light directly on Troi's eyes — a hopelessly silly technique that drives the point so far over the top that it's impossible to take seriously.
Nemesis is more action-oriented than many previous Trek films, though the action isn't particularly fresh. The pacing and editing is fine, but the concepts are worn out. There are phaser shootouts in the corridors that might've seemed exciting ... had this been 1977. Having hordes of shooting Remans stand in for Imperial Storm Troopers is not much of a take on cinematic action in the year 2002. Similarly, the space battles rely a bit too much on the Trekkian staple that Voyager made officially unwatchable: scenes where sparks explode on the bridge and tactical officers urgently inform the captain that shields are down to X percent. I'm thinking "Shields down to X percent" is the line most in need of being banned from all future Trek-related scripts. Make it so.
The action I did enjoy mostly involves big ships shooting at each other and impressively flying past the camera in the vastness of space. Big starships and rumbling bass are still effective today, and the space battles — taking place in an area of space that has eye-pleasing wisps of green clouds — look great, and benefit from the latest in CGI and motion-control visuals. There's one jarring scene where the Enterprise is shot and a hole is punched right through the front of the bridge, and people get sucked into space and stuff. Neat. Maybe Starfleet should rethink putting the bridge right up there on top for all to see and shoot at.
And, of course, there's the movie's Centerpiece FX Sequence where the Enterprise rams the Scimitar in order to fulfill the movie's Mass Destruction Quotient. Such sequences are fun for those of us who need to satiate our appetite for imaginary visual chaos and Dolby Digital assaults (myself included). This collision happens at the same time as a scene where Riker fights the Viceroy below decks in hand-to-hand combat — a scene that seems to exist out of a desperate need to give both Riker and the Viceroy a reason for still being in the movie.
Nemesis, under Baird's direction, is one of the darker Trek films on record, in both tone and visual style. The lighting and art direction for the film paints deep shadows, particularly on the Scimitar, which has a huge, darkened bridge that looks like it could double as a concert hall. I liked the darkened tone, which is a nice change of pace after the overt brightness of Insurrection (the Trek movie with the most overstated title). Baird's visual style is one aspect of the movie that works. Meanwhile, Jerry Goldsmith turns in a memorable score that heightens the tension.
Unfortunately, knowing that Nemesis is almost certainly the end for TNG, I don't feel the film ends in success. It's often efficient on an action level and has some themes I appreciate, but the movie is ultimately unable to generate the emotions it needs to cap off this series. The ending tries to be ambiguous, and there are too many places where it looks like the writers were hedging their bets — as if wanting to say goodbye while at the same time hoping they wouldn't have to.
Watching the deleted scenes on the DVD and listening to the commentary track, I wonder if maybe too much was cut out. Some of the unused material might've helped this movie reach the destination it was looking for — though I can't be sure. The DVD materials indicate that earlier cuts of the film played up on the theme of the Enterprise crew breaking up and moving on — hammering home the fact that things were definitely going to be different. This sense is de-emphasized in the final cut in order to get the story moving along faster. For example, the information that Dr. Crusher is leaving the Enterprise is no longer in the movie at all. A scene where Picard and Data discuss issues of family is gone. These little bits and pieces might've signified the ending of an era, but without them, the era seems like it's on the fence as to whether or not it actually intended to end. Riker has been promoted to captain (at long last), and he and Troi are leaving the ship for the USS Titan, but that doesn't seem to say quite what needs to be said.
Instead, the movie puts all its eggs in the basket of Data's grand sacrifice at the end, which is a good idea in theory but — I'm sorry — in practice is simply not Star Trek II by any stretch of the imagination. Watching the end of Star Trek II, even though I've seen it at least half a dozen times, can still evoke an emotional response in me. Spock's sacrifice really had a dramatic impact that resonated from one end of the film to the other, in thematic and emotional terms. I can't say the same for Data's end here. It's heroic and selfless, but it is not particularly emotional nor ingrained in the fabric of the movie. The crew's small, intimate memorial scene is so muted that it comes across as emotionally vacant. This provides one of those rare occasions where I will argue that less is not more. Less here is actually less.
I also find it a bit of a cheat to give B-4 all of Data's memories, and imply that he may one day reclaim them. You can almost sense the calculation here: Kill off a beloved character, but leave the door very obviously open to bring him back, one way or another. It feels like using sci-fi loopholes to toy with the audience, rather than playing the emotions that have been dealt. Yes, Trek II left a similar door open, but it wasn't nearly as blatant about it; we could accept the emotions on their given terms, which made so much sense in the context of the movie.
It's sort of too bad, because Nemesis is not a bad film and in some ways is a passable one. The movie takes a while to get going, but benefits from the sort of talkiness that one has come to expect from TNG. Once it gets going, it moves along at a steady clip. The Picard/Shinzon conflict reveals some interesting nuances. But in the final analysis, this is an uneven picture, with some pieces of the plot that tend to clang to the floor, and an ending that falls short of the mark. The TNG cast is now probably officially retired, but it looks like they didn't quite get the curtain call one might've hoped.
Previous: Star Trek: Insurrection
Next: Star Trek (2009)
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140 comments on this post
Tue, Nov 20, 2007, 6:37am (UTC -5)
Great action, some good dialouge. A few moments that make you feel cheated. The whole Data sacrife and B4 and the lack of any real handover with the Titan or new first officer.
2 and half stars seems fair to me though.
Wed, Dec 5, 2007, 1:58pm (UTC -5)
"If there's one thing Nemesis reinforces, it's that the TNG cast never had the natural chemistry the TOS cast had. Humor is still a point of labor."
On the contrary, the TNG cast had a natural chemistry all their own. Therein lies the major flaw of all 4 TNG films; the fact that they failed to truly utilize this chemisty.
Thu, Dec 6, 2007, 4:07pm (UTC -5)
The 4 films are simply excessive fodder as far as I'm concerned.
Sun, Dec 9, 2007, 8:06pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Dec 10, 2007, 5:40am (UTC -5)
Thu, Jan 24, 2008, 4:34pm (UTC -5)
the problem is the makers clearly
did not know whether it was the last film or not.
lets hope the new film reignites the franchise.
Sat, Feb 16, 2008, 11:54am (UTC -5)
Sun, Feb 17, 2008, 10:53pm (UTC -5)
I once read a review of First Contact that described the rifle-toting Picard in his undershirts as "Jean-Luc McLane" (à la Die Hard). This story might have been good (possibly even great, given that I love the Romulans) if not for some truly unnecessary detours and off-character behavior. THIS is supposed to be Captain Jean-Luc Picard? What is this, the 24th century equivalent of midlife crisis? The character is supposedly in his mid-seventies by this time, for crying out loud!
Also, the use of Riker and the Viceroy was filler. In a film like this, I do NOT expect filler. This is either an action premise or a spark for a philosophical debate on the nature of existence. Does anyone truly believe that there is not enough substance to either of these to fill two hours of screen time?
"Wasted opportunity" is probably the most apt description here. Sad.
And by the way, forget the "even numbers are great, odd numbers are bad" rule. There is one that hits it better - avoid any Star Trek film with a running number divisible by 5!
Sun, Mar 9, 2008, 7:54pm (UTC -5)
On the other hand, this was certainly not what I expected. Picard going head to head with his clone. A human who the Romulans accepted as their head of state? Have the guys who wrote this seen more than 2 Romulan episodes of Star Trek? Would ever the Romulans accept as their leader a person who was not Romulan, no matter who supported him? And regarding that support, after TOS/TNG/DS9, we suddenly find out there's a new race called the Remans! What?! Under what rock they where hidden all these years? I suppose somebody thought that having clones of Nosferatu the Vampire moving around 'menacingly' would approximate the terror of the Borg in First Contact -- were they serious? Sadly they were.
Bringing a new director who does not understand Star Trek didn't help either. They tried to recreate the Meyer effect of Star Trek II, but Meyer understood the series. Baird showed that he does not. (And what's with all these close ups on the faces of the actors? They've become old, for god's shake, do we have to see their creases up close?)
As Jammer so fully covered in his review, they tried to pull a cheap Star Trek II Spock demise, with the needless sacrifice of Data at the end of the movie, while his memories are safely stored on B4, ready to be awaken in the next film. If they wanted another Data android in the movie, they could at least put a 'brainwashed' Lore to spice it up a little bit. Instead, here nobody even wonders if this android could be Lore, as if he never existed (and I'm sure for Baird he never existed). (BTW, what is the probability of Shinzon finding this android, Soong's prototype, in order to use it to trap Picard?)
And what happened to the prime directive? What happened to the eras when a primitive culture could hold a member of the Enterprise due to a local law, and Picard would try only diplomatic means to save him (to unnerving extends) because of the prime directive? Here we find a broken android on an alien planet, we go down to get it, and when the planet's inhabitants try to stop us, we blow them to hell!!!
In the climax what is the only way for Shinzon to survive? To catch Picard. And who goes to Shinzon's starship to stop him? Picard, against all the laws of logic. Conveniently, the ship's transporters break down after that so nobody can follow Picard. Picard soon reaches the bridge of the Scimitar (the Scimitar's only remaining crew are the 2 Remans on the bridge?) and there, after he kills the 2 Remans, he DROPS HIS GUN, and goes to stop the machine bare-handed, while Shinzon is still around! And after Shinzon is dead, Picard is left speachless, since he confronted the "horrid-terrifying" clone of his; he is not able to move a muscle to do what needs to be done to save Earth -- so Data needs to sacrifice himself. Was this the Picard that faced the Borg in First Contact? Was this the Picard who laughed after he got impaled through his heart by the Nausican's knife? No, this was not the Picard we watched for 7 years of TNG and 3 other movies. If this was the reaction of a cadet, he would have just failed his academy entrance exam. And I believe that Patrick Stuart should have stood up for his character and defend him from the script-writers, like Nimoy did many times for Spock, when he was presented with such material.
(And we've seen that Picard HAD hair when he was at Shinzon's age. So there :)
The main thing that I expected from the movie, a Star Trek movie, was not to underestimate our intelligence. Sadly it did. :(
Thu, Apr 3, 2008, 11:10am (UTC -5)
- Picard acting out of character *all* the time
- Shinzon=most unconvincing and lame villain yet
- Superfluous Remans
- Sadly disappointing use of Romulans. I would have expected grandeur, thriving towns, big Romulan army and fleet etc. But no, all we get is a small, even puny excuse for a senate that is easily wiped out.
Thu, Apr 3, 2008, 12:44pm (UTC -5)
Wed, Apr 23, 2008, 1:33pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Apr 26, 2008, 8:54pm (UTC -5)
How is Nemesis worse than Trek V?
Trek V also has its captain acting out of character. There's also a clown (Sybok) introduced out of left field, just like B-4 and the Remans.
Nemesis at least had fine SFX.
Sun, Apr 27, 2008, 4:21am (UTC -5)
Sun, Apr 27, 2008, 5:10pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Apr 28, 2008, 4:01am (UTC -5)
Thu, May 1, 2008, 11:48am (UTC -5)
Fri, May 2, 2008, 10:01pm (UTC -5)
And the Dominion War at least rates a mention in the briefing scene, though as you say, the relationship with the Romulans at the end of DS9 is completely ignored here. Pity.
Sun, Jun 22, 2008, 4:02am (UTC -5)
1) The real-life Cold War started pretty much right after WWII, where the United States and Soviet Union had fought on the same side.
2) It was somewhat set up in DS9, in Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges, where Sloan talked about how the next conflict, after the Dominion War, would be between the Federation and the Romulans.
That said, there were a wide variety of other reasons I didn't like this movie, a lot of them involving B-4.
Mon, Jul 14, 2008, 9:14am (UTC -5)
Fri, Aug 29, 2008, 12:43am (UTC -5)
I think what bothered me the most was how atrophied the characters were. Riker and Troy were allowed some growth but that's pretty much it. Picard is still on the Enterprise, still with no personal life (why he hasn't at least been promoted to admiral by now is a mystery). All the character growth Worf experienced on DS9 has been done away with (he's randomly back on the Enterprise - his role as Klingon ambassador might've actually been interesting in the plot). Data /regressed/ as a character. So much wasted potential.
I almost wish they'd do another TNG movie just to tie things up decently. This wasn't a fitting end for the TNG characters.
Wed, Sep 3, 2008, 8:20am (UTC -5)
Remember what it was like? Enterprise's *horrendous* second season had just shuffled zombie-like into hiatus, leaving us all feeling empty and unmoved. The foul stench of moldy, past their use-by-date plots still lingered, but there was a small ray of hope in "The Expanse" that the show might finally turn the corner.
Then THIS piece of garbage came out, and you realised that Star Trek was going to die very soon, regardless of how well Enterprise's third season turned out. Not because it was a *bad* movie; because it was a hideously *mediocre* movie that embodied your worst fears about the state of the franchise: Star Trek was brain-dead, a walking corpse, the living dead... and nothing short of a LONG hiatus and a complete creative refresh would save it.
It was like a punch in the face, really (even though "These Are The Voyages..." would put it to shame soon thereafter). Bad time to be a Trek fan.
I think that's part of why it got such a bad reaction from fans - Trek was in bad shape at the time and when TPTB could have fixed things with a great TNG movie, they blew it and consequently all our hopes away.
Tue, Sep 16, 2008, 1:07pm (UTC -5)
Wed, Sep 24, 2008, 2:12am (UTC -5)
First of all - the story. It is REALLY imaginative. We NEVER saw a Star Trek movie that featured a villain holding a personal interest/grudge with our beloved captain. A space battle in an area where certain ships functions don't work. A super weapon. The "human-behavior-observer" sacrificing himself to save his ship and comrades from this weapon. Realize a pattern? This is Star Trek 2B!!! Only that Khan had a reason to be *angry* with Kirk and didn't come out of the nowhere like this latex-guy.
Ok, Picard has some difficult times - and this was the one opportunity to use his close relationship with Crusher. For people that didn't watch the TV series but just the movies - poor devils! - : Crusher is the red haired woman you hardly get to see in the movie(s), but was Picards closest friend in the TV show. She is the only one to call him "Jean-Luc", they often ate together and came quite close in the shows 7th season. But in the movies? Nah!
And if Crusher isn't good enough for the movies, why not the other woman, the one, closer to Picard than anyone else, the one sitting uselessly in the wedding scene: GUINAN, for heavens sake!
I quite agree, that the TNG cast had a great send-off in "All good things".
And speaking about send-offs: Now compare this movie to Star Trek VI. The final scenes with Kirks final log entry and the Enterprise flying off into the sunset, followed by the signatures of all the actors with great music underlining it: I still am quite stirred by those moments.
Whereas NEMESIS...well, no!
Tue, Oct 21, 2008, 1:11pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Dec 5, 2008, 10:37pm (UTC -5)
After rewatching the movie twice, each of the past two nights, I relate to that part of the review.
There were some awful scenes in the movie. But after time I can more accept an additional android (b-4) in the film. I see the key striking point, of dealing with the good and evil possibilities of one's self.... Shinzon-Picard... Data-B4... they present interesting ideas about facing an alternate side of oneself.
On a sci-fi level, and particularly a special effects level in ship to ship combat... this movie stands up well...
2.5/4 stars is an accurate rating to me. It's not in the category of worst trek films. On the flipside, it doesn't stand out in any category, other than some special effects. It's not a fitting end for the TNG crew, but some endings just aren't perfect... this ending reflects some adequacy and a sense that the characters are moving into another "role"...
(star trek 11 peaked my interest in re-watching some star trek. I'm psyched for the movie! Hopefully it does well, that would keep the franchise rolling!! How about a sci-fi mini-series next....)
Sat, Jan 3, 2009, 12:47pm (UTC -5)
It wouldn't have had to replicate the story of ST6, though obviously there would be elements in the empire, and possibly even Klingon empire, that would be against such an alliance.
But no - instead we got Nemesis - just from the title I remember being filled with dread at how the movie would turn out - Nemesis is a word Bush would use to describe Saddam.
The movie went for a post 9-11 audience and failed because of it, just like Enterprise did with the Xindi war.
Mon, Mar 16, 2009, 2:11am (UTC -5)
Mon, Mar 23, 2009, 9:29am (UTC -5)
Just wonder if he will be reviewing the new Trek movie and what his thoughts are on what is known?
Mon, Mar 23, 2009, 4:09pm (UTC -5)
Sat, May 9, 2009, 12:16am (UTC -5)
Sun, May 24, 2009, 9:59pm (UTC -5)
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
Wed, Jun 3, 2009, 10:37am (UTC -5)
Fri, Jul 3, 2009, 4:49am (UTC -5)
Fri, Jul 17, 2009, 6:13pm (UTC -5)
And, like so many of Voyager's alien villains, the villains of Insurrection and Nemesis fall back into the tired old stereotype of "ugly = evil" (at least for male villains, for female villains it's "sexually aggressive = evil"). I expect something more enlightened from Star Trek. Voyager had pizza-faced, diseased aliens who stole people's organs, Insurrection had stretchy-faced aliens who plotted to steal people's life energy, and now Nemesis had the Remans, vampire-bat-faced psychic rapists who turn people to dust by death magic, sorry, by some energy field WMD. At least it creates a pretty green light show before it kills you.
The problem with Nemesis is IMO that its plot is all over the place, as if the writers tried to stuff the script with as many plotlines as they could find. The movie starts solidly with the terrorist attack on the Romulan Senate and the overthrow of their government. From those first scenes, I expected the movie to be about a Romulan civil war, in which Picard (and maybe Ambassador Spock) would serve as a neutral party and diplomat, given that TNG and DS9 had established that Spock had been on undercover diplomatic mission on Romulus and that the (now dead) Romulan government had entered a peace treaty with the Federation during the Dominion War.
But then the movie introduced the Data/B-4 storyline; and the plot about the Remans fighting to throw off the shackles of slavery (which could have been interesting if it had gone anywhere); and then it topped it up with the introduction of an evil psycho clone of Picard, one of the most overrated villains around and a character we had never met before and would never see again because it was clear he would be dead by the end of the movie. By that time, the plot about the coup d'etat and assassination of the Romulan senate was all but forgotten, and the main villain was a pasty-faced human.
This wasn't a story about Romulans any more, not even about the Remans and how their culture had been warped by the arrival of the Romulan overlords millenia ago when the proto-Romulans had left Vulcan and colonised the twin worlds. No, it was all about Shinzon's crazy parental issues and his fixation on Picard. Suddenly, Shinzon didn't want to wipe out the Romulans, which would at least have made some sense, no, he tried attacking Earth, which made no sense at all, given that the Federation might have willing to help the Remans achieve political equality.
The movie didn't even work as a dark psychological thriller or as a character study of Picard, because I found I couldn't care for Shinzon's childish tantrums and Picard kept acting out-of-character. The director was trying too hard to re-invent Picard, a character I had always respected for his wisdom and cool-headedness, as an action hero.
Sat, Oct 3, 2009, 12:18pm (UTC -5)
In a way, it's actually worse than Kirk's crew betraying him in Trek V because the bad guy gives out free psychotherapy. That only lasted one film, while Picard's 'reinvention' (along with the ignoring of Beverly & the Dominion War) lasted four films.
Sat, Oct 31, 2009, 5:42pm (UTC -5)
The biggest difference between the two is that Nemesis bombed and 11 hit the jackpot. I don't see why though.
Mon, Nov 16, 2009, 10:49pm (UTC -5)
Star Trek V is like Superman IV: A plot with more holes than swiss cheese along with shoddy SFX.
Fri, Dec 25, 2009, 6:29pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Feb 12, 2010, 10:36pm (UTC -5)
"Let's see... which alien race HAVEN'T we used in a movie? The Undiscovered Country was the Klingons, First Contact was the Borg, and the last one was the Son'a and the Ba'ku (NOTE: They SHOULD have used the Dominion! It would have been more impressive than two races whom we never met prior to this...).... the Romulans! We haven't used them in a while! Only this time let's put them back into their pre-war status!"
Christina..... you hit the nail on the head. BTW, I didn't like the Troi rape scene either. I could have *tolerated* it if it had actually had a PURPOSE and had LASTING EFFECTS. Instead there's no reasoning behind it and Troi recovers within minutes. But hey, SHE'S THE COUNSELOR!!! *dramatic fanfare*
I think 2.5. stars is a GENEROUS application for this stinker, one this eyesore doesn't deserve. But oh well...
Tue, Mar 9, 2010, 8:35am (UTC -5)
Mon, Mar 22, 2010, 9:02pm (UTC -5)
However, I loved the darker tone Baird filmed the movie, all the design work in the Romulan ships and in the Enterprise E. The action scenes of the ships in the space firing each other were fantastic. I appreciate very much the design work of the Herman Zimmerman crew in the TNG movies, I really missed them in the Star Trek 2009 movie.
Mon, Mar 22, 2010, 11:28pm (UTC -5)
Sun, Apr 11, 2010, 5:59pm (UTC -5)
I've also had it with the force shield that protects the Enterprise. The power on this thing is always going down. In movie after movie after movie I have to sit through sequences during which the captain is tersely informed that the front shield is down to 60 percent, or the back shield is down to 10 percent, or the side shield is leaking energy, and the captain tersely orders that power be shifted from the back to the sides or all put in the front, or whatever, and I'm thinking, life is too short to sit through 10 movies in which the power is shifted around on these shields. The shields have been losing power for decades now, and here it is the Second Generation of Star Trek, and they still haven't fixed them. Maybe they should get new batteries.
Wed, Jun 9, 2010, 6:40pm (UTC -5)
Wed, Dec 15, 2010, 1:18am (UTC -5)
Books. More precisely, the Star Trek Expanded Universe.
You see, during the series' run, even during Enterprise, the EU (novels and all that) was basically forbidden from doing anything truly remarkable with the Star Trek Verse. But after the box office crash of Nemesis and the end of Enterprise (gah, what an unworthy final episode), that seems to have changed quite massively. All the "relaunch" book series (one for TNG, one for DS9, one for VOY), plus the "Star Trek: Titan" series and various miniseries, really manages to flesh out the universe (and shatter it quite nicely in the process, but spoiler reviews are for Jammer, I guess ;) ).
What does that have to do with Nemesis? Two reasons: 1) this "new and improved" Expanded Universe for Trek couldn't exist (at least not in its present form) if there were new official releases planned within the TNG/DS9/VOY timeframe, and 2) there is a series of novels that tries to rectify all the gaping continuity holes in Nemesis, and I would be left unsatisfied if I knew the story between Insurrection and Nemesis, and after Nemesis, but not what Nemesis itself did.
So, thank you, Star Trek: Nemesis. You might not have worked as a film, and you might very well have killed off TNG as a movie franchise, but given the truly great novels that have come about as a result, I'm more inclined to overlook that.
Fri, Sep 30, 2011, 2:39am (UTC -5)
He then went on to discuss every element that, as it turns out, incredibly, ended up in the actual film. Things like the moronic "dune buggy" sequence, which has Picard smiling and laughing as his crew members shoot and kill members of an unknown alien race indigenous to the planet they are riding around on. Very in character. Or Riker telling the Viceroy to go to Hell: "Too bad Riker didn't throw his TROMBONE down the shaft after him to show him how tough he was" snarled the reviewer.
Let's start with the wedding. My sister, who, along with me, grew up with this show and these characters, commented afterwards, "they all reacted in the movie like the lines were funny, but they just... weren't." There was something forced about the camaderie and humor in this scene. People may disagree, but even "Generations" felt more natural in this respect and in the "family" interactions.
Then we have a quasi-sex scene with Troi and Riker and a ... saxophone underscore? Awkward!!! Sex and Trek have never mixed well. But, I digress, at least this wasn't the planet of the joggers!!
B-4... Dumb dumb dumb. And a huge plot stretch. Why go to all of the trouble of getting him (from where?, by the way?) and spreading him out on a planet, just to lure Picard into a trap? Surely there must be better (and more plausible) ways of doing that. And why scatter him around? Why not just have the body in one place? Oh, right, right, so we can have the "Dune Buggy" scene. I think one of the major problems with this movie is that they were trying to go "Bad Ass". When Riker says to Picard, "taking the Argo for a spin?", the delivery (and Riker's smile) comes across like, "Yeah, this is gonna be COOL!"... Kind of like the "Manual Steering Column" in "Insurrection" was delivered like "Yeah, man, BAD ASS", except it was a freakin' arcade JOYSTICK!!!!!!!
And the existence of B-4 itself is a problem. They already had Lore, they already had Data's "Mom"... it's like, "How many freakin' androids did Soong develop????"
The Scimitar. Big and bad ass for the sake of being so. They could have just had a fleet of 5-10 ships of a smaller size to out-gun and out-match the Enterprise. Consider: Out of all of the resources of the Federation AND the Romulan empire, NEITHER of these forces (esp. the more militant Romulans) had a super-ultra-colossal-mega-deluxe ship like the Scimitar? Other enemies, like the Borg, had more creative and yet plausible conventions for having an advantage over the Enterprise.
Shinzon. Yeah, sorry... Tom Hardy just did not cut it. Didn't look enough like Picard (and part of the problem is, by this point, Patrick Stewart is looking older), didn't have the same acting chops, and the character wasn't written with enough motivation to help out the poor actor. Other than, "I'm bitter and pissed off at the world." What they SHOULD have done was filmed Patrick Stewart against himself. At least, THAT would have made for something interesting -- and BELIEVABLE. But his character came out of NOWHERE. Now, you could say the same for Carol and David Marcus in Star Trek II... But, at least you could SEE how Kirk, given his womanizing ways, would have dated her (amongst many) and produced a child. What was the point of Shinzon? Ok, so the Romulans cloned him. For what purpose? To what end? CLEARLY, this clone of Picard DOESN'T LOOK LIKE PICARD, and doesn't SOUND like Picard!! Ok, then they throw him away to the sub-race called the Remans. And, yet, somehow he managed to gather the resources to build a more powerful ship -- in secret -- than ANY of the ROMULAN EMPIRE???
Also, Khan didn't need a mega-super-gee-whiz ship to (nearly) defeat Kirk -- despite the smaller ship, Khan outwitted him. That's much more interesting than "My ship is bigger, faster, has more torpedo bays, and has better abilities like being able to fire while cloaked."
Shinzon's character was written poorly, too. His motivations are all over the place, AND his self-preservation instincts SUCKED. He is initially pissed off at the Romulans, but then says, "Set course for Earth, destroy everything. Wipe them all out." HUH???? It's evil for the sake of being evil. Then he wastes all of this time having dinner with Picard and a bunch of other useless business, when in actuality, his time is rapidly running out, and he needs Picard's blood *immediately*. Since he had the power to grab Picard whenever he wanted, why the need to fool him into trusting Shinzon? Especially when he begins to rapidly deteriorate.
Data's death. *sigh* Gotta say, after Spock, they've had trouble writing good deaths on Trek. Tasha Yar, Jadzia Dax, etc... Again, it's for convenience sake, "We've only made ONE of these super-cool transporter doo-dads." Part of what makes it feel so empty is that, unlike with Spock in ST2, we don't get a death "scene" with Data, just... a big explosion. Why did he need to be killed off? There was no NEED, aside from, "Oh, isn't this dramatic".
The climax. I hated this in "Insurrection", too. Note to future film writers: A COUNTDOWN is a very cliched plot device to *artificially* raise the stakes at the end of a movie. Both movies climax in the same way... Some ridiculously elaborate weapon deployment (think "Mega-Maid" from "SpaceBalls") has to occur in a stunningly long period of time, which gives the opponent a WAY more than sufficient window of opportunity to disable it. Villain is located near the deployment, and dies during the process. "First Contact" was successful in avoiding this. The urgency was created not by a simple clock countdown, but by a series of events that occurred on their own logical time.
Many people blame the director, Stuart Baird, for this movie's awfulness. And, I will agree, the direction is lacking. I remember one scene with Dr. Crusher, and she just sounds so damned... TIRED. The irony is, what hurt this film more than the directing is the EDITING... esp. what was edited OUT of the film. Sadly, Stuart Baird was an editor for several successful films. Not sure why he dropped the ball on this one.
Nevertheless, like "Insurrection", the director cannot be held ultimately responsible for the reason the movie sucked so badly. That blame lies soley with the WRITER, John Logan. This script should have been laughed at by Paramount execs. It is written like it came from a teenage fanboy. Most of the people are written totally out-of-character. Some, like Worf and Crusher, are WOEFULLY underused. Shinzon's motivations shift and become muddled. And the plot just makes no sense. It makes no sense. Try and explain a summary of this to someone. If they don't know anything about Trek, they are screwed. And if they do, they (like me) would go "Huh?" You had 7 years of rich Trek TNG lore to mine from. That Harve Bennett guy did pretty well with 3 years of TOS and came up with Khan. Instead, Logan uses the Romulans as a backdrop (do we ever learn anything new about their culture or history in this film?), and he pulls TONS of new and unestablished crap out of nowhere... (Sounds like Sybok -- "Hey, let's use Spock's half-brother he's never talked about... ever!") Remans, Shinzon, the Scimitar, B-4... Need I go on??
Sadly, these are some of the same objections I had about "Insurrection", or as I like to call it, "Insert an Erection". That film was also HORRIBLE and a huge DISAPPOINTMENT, and it all came from the poor writing. I mean, you can't blame Jonathan Frakes -- with a great script, he did "First Contact" justice. Same director, weak script, and you have "Insurrection". New villains never before heard of on TNG (the Son'a), a weak premise / conflict, moronic plot devices (so now suddenly people aren't even AWARE when they've been transported??), and nothing but a simple COUNTDOWN at the end of the movie for the climax.
I maintain that "Nemesis" bombed so badly at the box office BECAUSE "Insurrection" had already ruined the franchise. And "Insurrection" only did as "well" as it did because of the *success* of "First Contact". Don't believe in this phenomenon? I offer "Jurassic Park 2: The Lost World" as evidence. That movie SUCKED, but it did well ONLY because of its vastly superior predecessor. Now matter what they did with Jurassic Park 3, it was screwed by how TERRIBLE JP 2 was!!
You can say, "Wow, gee, you're just nitpicking this thing to death. You could do this with every movie, and every Star Trek movie." That is true. However, I wasn't bothered by the fact that Chekov had never met Khan yet they seemed to know each other... Why? Because the rest of Star Trek II was a great movie. You could say, "Well, the Borg Queen came out of nowhere!", and yes that is true and something that raised an eyebrow... BUT, I was willing to overlook it because "First Contact" was a great movie. It was so well-done and well-written that I didn't mind. Having the two stories -- one on the ship, one on Earth -- alternate until they finally meet up (at the launch of the Phoenix and the threat of Data about to blow them up with torpedos), having characters act true to their series' selves, letting the humor flow naturally out of the characters and their circumstances, and just simply having a good STORY that made sense and flowed well... THAT is what made "First Contact" enjoyable to me, *despite* the Borg Queen. At least they used her to starting effect. She was interesting. Shinzon... Ru'afo... BORING villians.
Speaking of humor, where was it in "Nemesis"? This movie took itself too seriously (part of trying futilely to be "bad ass".) Aside from the awkward ATTEMPT at humor during the wedding scenes, there is none. The movie is so dark. A lot of really bad shit went down in "Star Trek III", but still there was natural humor throughout. (I'm thinking of Bones' line on Vulcan near the end, "I choose the danger. HELL of a time to ask!!!")
And, when all is said and done, you could refute everything I've written point by point, but let me leave you with this: the experience of watching the movie. I took a bunch of friends to "Nemesis"... some were Trek fanatics like me, some were casual Trek fans, and a couple had never seen a Trek TNG film. I gotta say, during the film... I was just EMBARRASSED. After all the hype I gave to my Trek newbie friends, THIS is what they were given to represent Trek? I mean, when I did the same thing for various Trek virgins over the years, who saw Star Trek 2, 4, 6, or "First Contact", they all LOVED the movie they saw that day and were like, "Wow, I need to check out the franchise". With "Nemesis", I was wincing.
Not only was the story SOOOOOOO bad, but -- and I realize that people rave about the special effect in "Nemesis" -- having just seen "The Lord of the Rings" a few days before, "Nemesis" looked lame. The Romulan / Enterprise / Scimitar battle near the end? LAME. I mean, for a Star Trek movie, it was very ambitious, but compared to the F/X of movies coming out in 2000, 2001, 2002.... It was just NOT impressive in ANY way. In fact, DEEP SPACE NINE had done larger, better, more awe-inspiring space battles! It looked amateur by comparison to the other big movies that summer. Afterwards, I just looked at my friends and said, "I'm sorry, that sucked. I am ashamed." And, it turns out, the rest of the movie-going public agreed. UNadjusted for inflation, the movie is the worst Trek flop of all time. But adjusted for inflation, Star Trek V is a SMASH HIT in comparison.
Yeah, Jammer, you were way too generous in your rating... "Nemesis" is easily the absolute worst Star Trek movie OF ALL TIME.
Nemesis sucked, plain and simple. I recently re-watched it on DVD, to try and give it a second chance, thinking that perhaps I was unreasonable 9 years ago... Nope. It's as bad as I remembered, and even worse as I started thinking about it all throughout. It just... doesn't make any sense. What were they thinking? How did Paramount approve this script? It's entertaining to watch Rick Berman on an interview, puzzled, just mystified as to why "Nemesis" bombed. And the cast, too, thought it was gonna be great. I'm no movie executive producer, but... it's obvious as Hell to me what went wrong!!!!!
Fri, Sep 30, 2011, 1:08pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Nov 28, 2011, 2:07pm (UTC -5)
I've often wondered why the writers didn't make the movie immediately after the breakup of the crew. The original crew had already broken up to a point when Worf left, and the movie came out eight years after we saw the TNG crew each week (and four years since the last movie). What if Riker and the Titan had acted as, basically, the Excelsior in ST6? Or, maybe the story could have brought in Worf as the Klingon ambassador, in a multilayered story involving the Romulans and the Klingons. As it is, the movie feels old because everybody on the ship is in the same role that they've had for 14 years (15, if you throw out Geordi's promotion after the first season of TNG).
And cutting any mention of Crusher leaving REALLY downplays the whole family-breakup bit. The producers should have cut the unnecessary fight scene between Riker and the viceroy, and used the scene between Picard and Data. Why they didn't is just baffling.
Lastly, Jammer's right that the whole B4 business is implausible. I've read that the backstory was that Shinzon found B4 on Omicron Theta. So, did the Federation stop looking around the colony after they found Lore, 14 years earlier? What was Shinzon going to do if B4 wasn't there? How long did it take him to carry out the mission to find B4? Did Shinzon really need B4 to lure Picard to Romulus? Couldn't he have just asked Starfleet to send, you know, their flagship? Did he really base his entire plan on the spying abilities of an underdeveloped android?
Such a wasted opportunity. Sigh. At least Abrams did pretty well with the reboot.
Sat, Jul 21, 2012, 5:47pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Aug 2, 2012, 7:27am (UTC -5)
Thu, Aug 2, 2012, 10:48am (UTC -5)
Thu, Feb 14, 2013, 12:05pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Mar 5, 2013, 3:09pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Mar 21, 2013, 5:40pm (UTC -5)
When Insurrection and Nemesis came out I was eager to watch the film to see what had happened in the lives of my favourite characters. Especially in the 3-4 year gap between the films. So I ended up being quite disappointed when basically nothing had happened and it was just TNG Season 8 on a fancy new ship/soundstage. In the TOS films they made a point of giving the characters new jobs (e.g. Sulu on the Excelsior, Chekov on the Reliant). I don't know why it was so important to me but I really wanted to see the same thing happen to my TNG crew.
Mon, Apr 8, 2013, 9:17am (UTC -5)
I completely agree with you 100%!! This movie is the worst thing since abortion!
I begged my wife and her family to see this movie. They don't like Sci fi at all. I get her to Watch ST 2 and ST 4 and she "sort of" liked them. She was willing to give it a chance. I was cringing in my seat from the wedding scene. I had to apologize to her and her family for days afterwords.
Fri, Apr 19, 2013, 11:00pm (UTC -5)
True there were some good parts. The stellar cartography scene between Picard and Data was excellent, as was most of the dialogue between Picard and Shinzon. I appreciated the Riker-Troi wedding and the carrying on of the redshirt/TNG flight controller tradition too (RIP Lt. Branson, we hardly knew ye ;) ). But the characters remained stuck in a sort of stasis - the never really changed from the TV series. Yawn. The Shinzon mental rape scene, in my mind, is the worst part of the movie and the worst scene in the entire Trek franchise since Uhura's fan dance in Star Trek V. Gratuitous, unnecessary, and offensive. (To be fair though, I did like that it led to a sort of "payback" when Troi used that to track the Scimitar's location. I'm glad Troi actually got to be useful after all those years of stating the obvious on the TV series.) Data's death got an emotional response from me at first but the more I think about it, the more I hate it and think it was unnecessary.
1 star. At least Star Trek V was bad in a way that I could laugh at it. Nemesis is bad in a way that makes my want to bury my head in my hands.
I think the ultimate reason why this and the Trek franchise failed was because it eventually became non-distinguishable from your average action movie/TV show. Once Trek took the route of pure action and moved away from the larger themes that made it great in TOS, it was basically reduced to a walking zombie. Not saying that action is bad, but when Trek became too dependent on it, with plenty of other, more innovative action franchises to follow in an already oversaturated market, it lost what made it unique, and with it, its core audience. Nemesis was merely the epitome of what Trek in general had turned into somewhere around the DS9/VOY era.
For anyone else who absolutely hated the movie, this guy did a hilarious, and I mean HILARIOUS, dissection of all the plotholes and contrivances:
My personal favorite: "Cool, I'm a 60 year old man and I'm single-handedly wiping out the entire crew of this ship! This is like playing Quake with "God Mode" turned on. Gotta love fanboy writers."
Fri, Apr 19, 2013, 11:10pm (UTC -5)
And forgot to mention, the dune buggy scene was extremely out of character for Picard and just unnecessary - I would have taken the money from that scene and hired better writers, but the link I posted in my previous comment skewers that scene more better than I ever could.
Fri, Apr 19, 2013, 11:13pm (UTC -5)
Thu, May 30, 2013, 1:13pm (UTC -5)
"Not to mention they ripped off TWOK as well"
So I guess you really hated Star Trek Into Darkness then!
Thu, May 30, 2013, 8:51pm (UTC -5)
While we're on the subject, I'll agree with something Hammer said about casting Shinzon: "What they SHOULD have done was filmed Patrick Stewart against himself..."
Good idea. Maybe they couldn't afford to give him two paychecks.
Thu, Jun 20, 2013, 2:12am (UTC -5)
The reasons for this are many. Just a small selection, so that I don't end up having another hate-seizure:
It's dark. Not "mysterious and exciting and scary" dark. It's plain "mean and violent and depressing" dark. It's "Star Trek needs to be edgier! Let's alienate everyone who does not love death" dark.It's "Troi gets skull-raped for no reason other than we wanted this to be a dark movie" dark.
It's a flagrant (and pathetically inept) attempt to remake the Wrath of Khan for The Next Generation (up to and including the death of the series' most beloved character at the end), and it fails at this attempt on EVERY. SINGLE. LEVEL. Shinzon is to Khan Noonien Soong what Dr. Evil is to Darth Vader. And, by the way, did you notice just how much Shinzon is EXACTLY LIKE DR. EVIL? HE EVEN LOOKS LIKE HIM!
Our beloved main characters (in keeping with all of the TNG movies, I must note) do not behave, for the most part, in the way our beloved characters, well established in the series, would have behaved. They have the same names, they have the same faces, but they're all stupid action movie imposters. Especially Picard.
But worst of all, Nemesis committed the most cardinal sin that any movie can commit. A sin so egregious that I cannot even accuse Star Trek V such a transgression. A sin that even Battlefield Earth (though still by far the worst thing to ever befall the human race, as movies go) did not commit to quite the same degree:
Star Trek: Nemesis' worst sin is that it was horribly, horribly, unrelentingly, unforgivably... BORING. Like, "Check my pulse, I think I might be dead" boring. It was so boring that it made Star Trek: The Motion Picture look like freakin' Die Hard on methamphetamines by comparison. It was so boring that it should be considered as a viable treatment for pain-induced terminal insomnia. It was so boring that I, a Star Trek: The Next Generation fan who watched each and every episode in its first run ON THE DAY IT AIRED, COME HELL OR HIGH WATER... I, a fiercely loyal fan who continues to site TNG as the best television series of all time, bar none... I do completely and wholeheartedly believe that Star Trek DESERVED to die after the stupid and pointless waste of time and money and fan-loyalty that was Star Trek: Nemesis. It was a betrayal of Star Trek fans all around the world. The J.J. Abrams movies are Star Trek: Casablanca by comparison. If Nemesis were a late-term fetus, I would abort it. If it were a race of sentient beings, I would advocate genocide.
It... was... AWFUL.
So yeah, in a nutshell, thumbs down for me.
Sun, Aug 18, 2013, 1:18pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Aug 19, 2013, 9:53am (UTC -5)
1) Cut out the dune buggy scene. Finding B4 could have been done quietly and taken nothing away from the movie.
2) Cut out almost every scene focusing on Riker and Troi. The rape scene was awful, but the Riker/Viceroy fight scene was really unnecessary. It's pretty clear the creators decided they needed to find something for Sirtis and Frakes to do, which is really not a worthy justification.
3) With the extra time, focus more on the family-breaking-up theme. The movie doesn't even have time to mention that Crusher is leaving (the scene was apparently cut for time). One of the deleted scenes has Picard and Data talking about the crew breaking up. Leaving that in would have made the movie stronger. The ending that was cut -- where Picard meets his new first officer -- could have helped, too.
Another thing they could have focused on: How in the hell did Shinzon find B4? Presumably, the Romulans went to Omicron Theta (or maybe the planet where Soong was in exile?) and found him. The creators could have solved this with a line of dialog -- or maybe a scene where a newly empowered Shinzon finds B4 in a Romulan lab, where the Romulans have been studying him for years after finding him.
There ARE parts of Nemesis that work, and Data dying the way he did wasn't terrible. If the rest of the movie was stronger, maybe the homage to STII would have been acceptable.
Mon, Aug 19, 2013, 11:58am (UTC -5)
Really, though, I have a hard time knowing what would have been a good idea to salvage the TNG movie era. Don't get me wrong -- I like First Contact and there are things about Generations and Insurrection (probably even Nemesis) that I like, but I think that by the time Nemesis rolled around the opportunity to do what the TOS movies did for TOS -- to have the crew grow and change and drift and figure out what is still important -- had already been squandered by the time of Nemesis, and so trying to focus on the idea of the family breaking apart in Nemesis feels a little disingenuous. Why do they break apart now? What has changed? TNG did remain a little more static than it should have, but I feel like the movies eventually (I'm thinking by Insurrection) freeze the characters even more, while also losing some of what made them special, rather than make them change.
I wonder what would have been preferable? Maybe this (I repeat, maybe; I'm not suggesting that I have all the answers): in Generations, Riker takes his own command. Troi has to decide whether to go with him or to stay on the Enterprise, and some of her decision does end up resolving the Troi/Worf/Riker triangle (which I know people hate, but I think it naturally has to be discussed). Eventually Troi/Worf fizzles out, but with a conversation about it, and Troi goes to join Riker on his own ship. Data becomes Picard's new first officer, which allows for a more natural justification for Data's primacy in the various movies. In keeping with Generations' themes, in addition to the passing of the torch from Kirk to Picard, there is also something of a passing of the torch from Picard to Riker, as Riker becomes his own captain. Data still gets emotions, though it's handled maybe differently.
First Contact plays out much the same, except Riker is also commanding his own ship, just as Worf is. Riker is leading the task force fighting the Borg, with Worf-in-the-Defiant as a key figure; Picard comes to join the fight as happens. Worf is rescued (as happened) by either Riker or Picard; Riker and Picard both go back in time. Riker agrees to take over the First Contact duties on the surface while Picard and Data try to fight the Borg threat on the ship(s).
Insurrection, um -- well, as someone suggested, make it a Picard vs. Riker conflict, with one of them representing the Federation establishment's POV and the other representing the idealistic POV. Data is a wildcard, somewhat as Michael Piller had imagined him being at one point in the scriptwriting process.
All that said, though, that does run into the problem that plagues the TNG movies. TOS had three leads, basically, and so finding something for them to do wasn't too hard -- actually, mostly it came down to two leads, with McCoy in a significant emotional-advisor-to-Kirk role. TNG was always more of an ensemble, but not only that but it was an ensemble in which it was very, very rare for every member of the main cast to have a significant role in a given episode. The movies, almost automatically, are going to leave vast swaths of the cast out. First Contact fared the best, because (more so than any of the others) it actually did have two genuinely independently important storylines: the fight with the Borg on the ship, and the protection of First Contact on the surface; both are significant, the former because of its action/emotional effects, the latter because of its connection to Star Trek mythology and history. Once the Borg plotline split aboard the ship even more, it was possible to have Picard doing one thing while Data does another while Worf gets to do badass action in an integrated fashion (oh, also Crusher was there sometimes), while Riker and Geordi and Troi save The Future on the surface. In Generations and Insurrection, Riker commanded the ship at crucial moments and that sort of gave him things to do, but it was not all that important overall; and Data's stories were not integrated into the overall plot. Worf, um, got promoted in Generations and had a pimple in Insurrection. Mostly the movies were Picard-centric with a Riker-commands-the-ship action thing tacked on and a Data-explores-humanity-in-a-poorly-drawn-way tacked on. Really, even in First Contact Troi and La Forge (and Crusher) didn't have much to do, though at least La Forge had some important Engineering to do there, but FC at least does pretty well by Picard, Data, Riker and Worf which is the highest percentage of the cast any of the TNG movies managed.
Overall, the more I think about it the more I like to view All Good Things... as the true finale for the TNG characters (with Worf as the exception, I guess), with First Contact and parts of Generations and Insurrection as maybe a bonus. There's more bravery and interest in the depiction of the crew's eventual fates in AGT, even if it's a possible future, than the movies provided.
Mon, Aug 19, 2013, 1:48pm (UTC -5)
One reason why Riker as first officer made sense for a while after TNG was that his career was tarnished by the events of "The Pegasus." That said, he could have had his own command by ST8, and it's possible that the Federation would have wanted Riker, who beat the Borg the first time around, in command of Starfleet's task force with the Enterprise left to patrol the Neutral Zone. A great moment might have involved someone like Data saying to Picard that "You're the best man to lead this fight," with Picard smiling and saying, "They already have the best man to deal with the Borg," and then a cut to Riker during the battle.
Then, when the Enterprise swoops in later in the battle, Picard saves Riker and Worf from ships that are heavily damaged. The rest of the storyline could have played out as it did, from that point.
(As an aside, I'm perfectly fine with the fact that the Riker/Troi/Worf love triangle never popped up again, aside from a line from Worf about Riker and Troi late in 'Insurrection'.)
Assuming ST8 ended the way it ended, ST9 could have involved the Enterprise led by Picard and Riker in command of his own ship, sort of like what TOS did with Sulu in STVI. Maybe in that movie, the fountain of youth effects could have renewed the Riker/Troi stuff while both of them are on the planet, leading to the marriage in ST10.
ST10 could have played out in a couple ways, I suppose. Maybe Riker's ship would have been getting a refit and the Enterprise could have been taking Riker and Troi to Betazed to get married as the movie began. Maybe Worf would have been on board for the wedding, making ST10 one last mission for the original crew. Hell, maybe they could have even incorporated Wesley and Guinan into the on-ship stuff. Guinan's perspective on Shinzon would have been good (and better than Beverly's).
The movie could have ended with Data's death, Riker and Troi (who's been on the Enterprise throughout the movies) leaving for the Titan and Beverly leaving for Starfleet Medical. That would have still had some resonance as an era ending. But maybe Worf would have decided to stay on board (as Picard's first officer?) after being reinstated following the mission to Romulus. The last shot could have been Picard, Worf, Geordi and Wesley on the bridge, with Picard saying something like, "The more things change ... "
Sat, Oct 19, 2013, 4:29pm (UTC -5)
Also... for some reason... re-watching Nemesis just now with all its explosions and fights and space battles and huge dark impressive threatening space ships... makes me feel a lot better about the Abrams movies. He really, really didn't go THAT far off the track of what was before.
Sun, Jan 5, 2014, 10:40pm (UTC -5)
Wed, Mar 12, 2014, 6:02am (UTC -5)
What is good:
Dina Meyer as the hottest Romulan ever
What the story wants to be.
The bits in the script that are missing from the film
What is bad:
Having read the script I can't help but feel they did a lousy job editing this.
Wed, Mar 12, 2014, 10:14am (UTC -5)
One of the really inexcusable changes was removing the mention of Crusher leaving the Enterprise. Combining that with Data's death and the departure of Riker and Troi really would have underscored the idea that the family was breaking up. Only Geordi and Worf would have remained with Picard.
The other problem was that they eliminated any scenes that would have shown how Shinzon pulled off this elaborate scheme. How did he FIND B4 in the first place? Are we to believe that Starfleet, for the second time, discovered an android on Omicron Theta but didn't search the entire facility to see if there were more?
Also, why even have Wil Wheaton show up if you're going to cut his brief appearance at the wedding?
Worse was what was left in the film. Riker's fight scene with the viceroy was just so pointless. I know that they probably wanted to give Frakes more to do, but they could have done better. The scenes with the ARGO also take forever and the Troi rape scene was just distasteful.
Sun, Mar 23, 2014, 6:20am (UTC -5)
OK, I will admit, the film had me at first. The set-up of the main threat was nice, and it was all fairly enjoyable stuff. I could even overlook the dune buggy chase.
Until we actually first saw Shinzon.
From that point onwards, everything all goes downhill. The villain is an absolute moron (if you haven't got long to live, why all that waiting?!), the TNG characters don't act the way they usually do, the music is mostly forgettable, the effects (minus the admittedly impressive collision scene) have somehow gotten WORSE than the previous TNG films despite costing more to make and coming out in 2002, that Troi mindrape scene is quite possibly the worst scene in anything related to Star Trek, and the story as a whole felt like a horrible Star Trek fanfic (which was written by John Logan who is apparently a big Trek fan) that somehow got a budget.
This is tied with The Motion Picture as my pick for the worst Trek film. TMP was boring beyond belief, Nemesis was wretched.
Makes me appreciate the Abrams films even more.
Mon, Apr 14, 2014, 3:04am (UTC -5)
I think that covers it.
Also, given Tom Hardy's acting here, it's no surprise to me that he got picked to be Bane. I feel sorry for the guy, he tried to do his best with what he was given but the poor writing let him down. Glad it worked out for him in the end though. ("When the Federation is in ashes, you have my permission to die." Wait a minute...) Seriously, how did he not get an Academy for TDKR?
Wed, Jul 30, 2014, 7:03pm (UTC -5)
1. The scripts for Insurrection and Nemesis were no better than a regular episode and couldn't carry the weight of a feature film. They were boring and winning no new fans. "Mustachioed Villain with BS motivations a doomsday weapon and a countdown part n" would have been a good working title.
2. Everything about this plot was a big middle finger to the loyal fans they had left. Every five minutes was a major break in years of continuity built between TNG, DS9, and even parts of the previous couple movies. I wasn't expecting the movie to cater to fanboys, but it was like the writers never watched a single episode of Star Trek before making the movie. As a fan of Trek I spent more time scratching my head than watching the movie the first time around.
3. The TNG movies could have been called "Picard and Data parts I-IV." Every single plot was about them and only them. The rest of the cast combined probably didn't equal their screen time.
4. The TNG series ended on a fairly high note, but they were running out of ideas and laid the groundwork for DS9 and Voyager. The movies had nothing to offer except show us how the TNG cast was aging before our eyes.
Thu, Oct 16, 2014, 7:00am (UTC -5)
Sun, Apr 5, 2015, 7:09am (UTC -5)
It's things like this that pull me out of a movie.
I thought overall that it was better than Insurrection, but it was no First Contact.
Wed, Jul 15, 2015, 9:31pm (UTC -5)
-You want to introduce Remans, a new race joined with the Romulans (one of the most famous races on ST)? OK, but you need time to explore who they are and where they fit in the politics of the Romulan empire. (As an aside, this especially needs to be high quality, because there's no need to introduce them otherwise)
-An overthrow of the Romulan leadership? Could be wonderful; but of course this, too, needs time to develop.
-A clone of Picard, especially one played by an actor like Tom Hardy? That's certainly interesting; I'm sure there will be lots of subtle similarities and differences that can make that story worthwhile.
-Yet another Data-like android? Sigh...that's unoriginal. But, sure, you could introduce that in the first episode of our hypothetical season and explore him over the year, demonstrating how Data has grown over 7 years of STTNG + 3 movies by comparing him with a basic model. Later you can parallel the relationship of Data & the new android with that of Picard & his clone, but only after you establish each one separately.
-Worf back in a Starfleet uniform after becoming an ambassador? Seems a backwards-step for the character, but OK. I am confident that you'll explain that for the audience!
-Deanna & Riker getting married & moving on...Beverly Crusher (maybe) moving on...Wesley Crusher back from wherever that was? I'm generally not a fan of 'wedding episodes', but it's good to see characters' stories progress.
There's a foundation for good stories here. Furthermore, it's a foundation for good Star Trek stories: examining politics, alien races, and philosophical ideas of the self, all with characters we have affection for. Yes, B4 was hardly original, but it could still be interesting if done right.
The 1st big problem was the attempt to throw them all into 1 movie. Even if the movie went 4 hours, it wasn't going to be enough to do justice to them all. They needed to trim these elements down to 1 or 2.
The 2nd big problem was probably due to studio dictates & interference from the big actors (Stewart & Spiner). The studio didn't want a good Star Trek movie; they wanted a generic action movie with a few character notes thrown in so they can call it Star Trek (they think Star Trek fans will show up regardless, so why consider them?). The screenplay just got dumb, with mindless action at a cheap price (pre-Abrams, the studio was notoriously cheap with Star Trek), while pushing Picard & Data up front at the expense of everyone else (probably due to 'requests' from the 2 actors).
The result was a bad movie. I have many of the same specific criticisms as the above posters. I re-watched it for the first time the other day and my attention kept wandering. I will add that there was a bleakness throughout that wasn't redeemed with any genuine humor or solidarity from our characters. It was just depressing.
To say something nice about the movie: the sets were wonderful, the Reman makeup was well-done, Hardy was good (the written dialogue, of course, was not), and the choice of camera shots from the director were quite good.
I've re-watched all the non-Abrams movies over the past year and I'd like to sum up my experiences.
As a Star Trek fan who thinks there has been a lot of good ST episodes, but admits there's also been a lot of bad episodes, I'd say ST II is the only great Star Trek Movie, with IV being pretty good. The rest range from passable to bad.
The movies have depended on the goodwill of the TV viewers going to see the movies and bringing along their friends and families. If Star Trek is going to have a future in the movies, it needs a new TV show to drive it. (I'd really prefer that show not be a reboot, but that's a different discussion)
I don't think Nemesis killed Star Trek (though it didn't help). Rather, the repetitive stories told by pretty much the same writers from the last few years of ST:TNG through all of ST:VOY through the first few years of ST:ENT drove viewers away. Enterprise rebounded some in the last few years with new writers, but it was too late to save the franchise from an extended hiatus.
There's no reason some new writers with some fresh ideas that are faithful to the ideals of Star Trek couldn't be successful with a new TV series, especially now that serialization is accepted.
Imagine if, instead of Nemesis, the actors had agreed to do one final season of TNG using all the ideas of Nemesis (the same ones listed above). It could have been a great final season, one that fans would still be re-watching. Yes, I know that Stewart wouldn't have agreed to it, but the point is that fresh Star Trek Stories can still be told on TV. Star Trek is better suited to that format.
The 2 Abrams movies are at their heart much like Nemesis: generic, forgettable action movies that capitalize on characters we are all familiar with. They can't make the franchise successful; it's only because of the franchise's previous success that people went to see them.
The Abrams movies don't have any of the grand ideas behind Nemesis. That's fine, Nemesis didn't do anything with its ideas. Abrams movies were better at the box office because they had more style and more natural humor. I don' think they were good Star Trek movies themselves, but they are more tolerable than Nemesis. They at least have an affection for the characters & the ship.
Right now I'm re-watching Deep Space Nine. There are several mediocre episodes and some poor ones, but it's much more entertaining than re-watching the Star Trek movies has been. Whatever happens with the movie franchise, I'm hoping a good Star Trek TV series comes out in the near future; that's what the franchise needs.
Fri, Aug 14, 2015, 5:55am (UTC -5)
This. The intended purpose of having Data die at the end of Nemesis - aside from harkening back to Spock's sacrifice and attempting to end the film with dramatic punch - was to complete Data's character's arc by showing how human he had become (enough to give his life for his friends). However, it completely fell short.
First of all: Data's sacrifice was essentially negated by the convenient plot device of B-4 and Data transferring his essence into his "brother." Knowing that he was leaving this part of himself behind in relative safety, it was *logical* for Data to let his android body be killed by the blast in order to save Picard, whose human existence and knowledge would otherwise have been obliterated. If the scene was really meant to emphasize Data's humanity over his logic, his sacrifice should have been made less logical. Perhaps this would have been a good time to activate the emotion chip and have Data clearly override his programming due to his feelings toward Picard and the rest of the crew.
Second, if Data's death is meant to show how human he had become, we as viewers should have seen the Enterprise crew reacting as they would to a human death, e.g. as they would if it had been Picard who died. In fact, because Data is an android, the need to emphasize his friends' emotional responses to his death is almost *more* important than if a human character had died. Otherwise, you get the feeling that when it came down to it, his life as a machine was valued less than that of a flesh and blood man (Picard), and that his sacrifice was - again - simply logical. To me, the muted memorial scene on the bridge felt like a communal, resigned, "Damn, I'm going to miss him, but...it makes sense."
Thu, Nov 5, 2015, 9:28pm (UTC -5)
Wed, Sep 28, 2016, 8:59pm (UTC -5)
ST:NEM isn't really a bad story, as far as stories go. Arguably it was a better story than its goes-nowhere, does-nothing predecessor, the overly technobabble-filled pseudo-Insurrection (in which the most lasting consequence was Troi and Riker hooking up).
Unfortunately, they made Insurrection first, which pretty much doomed Nemesis.
What else doomed Nemesis? The resurrection of plot devices trotted out elsewhere:
* Data's bad sibling;
* Riker's "Kirk kicks Kluge in the face" finish to his fight with the Viceroy;
* The "Stop the Bad Guy and His Death Ray in the Nick of Time" finish we'd just seen in the prior film; and
* Kill off the beloved character, sort of.
Pity. Nemesis held some promise. The awesome opening Roman Senate scene; the desert chase; the intriguing Picard clone concept ("the triumph of the echo over the voice"); the Remans, the Scimitar, the vicious space battle.
This was a more entertaining movie than Insurrection but also showed the franchise running out of new ideas.
One wonders what would have happened if they'd skipped the bloated TV episode that was Insurrection and gone directly from First Contact to Nemesis. My bet is that would have left room for a better finale, perhaps one that could have woven together some of the contemporaneous characters from DS9 and VOY.
Now that could have been a heck of a send-off.
Fri, Oct 21, 2016, 4:45pm (UTC -5)
Sun, Sep 24, 2017, 3:59pm (UTC -5)
Not only did the characters often act totally out of character, it's almost as if the writers and director barely watched the series.
The point of Star Trek is to present alien cultures that reflect on aspects of the human condition as a kind of metaphor. This does nothing of the sort.
All it does is present an evil alien that could basically be interchangeable with any other action flick villain. It was painful to watch and it seemed like they were writing the film with a mass audience, rather than a Trek audience, in mind.
Whereas TNG and DS9 (and often VOY) were usually very intellectual, this feels like dumbed down sci-fi without any complex allegories or philosophical statements.
Mon, Nov 6, 2017, 3:44pm (UTC -5)
the battle was one hell of a show, CG everywhere, two whopping great ships smashing each other to bits, that was amazing.
I do agree that its really annoying to have announcements about the shields all the time, but that might be because of how its delivered. (I don't remember complaining when Tuvok used to do damage reports on Voyager)
Data's sacrifice though goes from emotional to infuriating right when you realise that B4 is there because the writers didn't really mean it.
its Data, giving his life to save his captain, this is the big emotional moment where he does the most human thing of all, and its ruined by having a get-out clause in the form of another android.
Mon, Nov 6, 2017, 3:53pm (UTC -5)
I'm sorry to be a bit blunt but look at the state of him. Data/Spiner is now wrinkly, losing his hair, and is seemingly getting too big for his uniform.
I love Brent Spiner and I know he can't help being older, but he's been playing an android for 15 years by this point, a character who by definition doesn't age like us, and Spiner can't do anything about his own aging.
I think there was a reason given that Data wanted to explore aging, but I think its more likely that Brent Spiner aged out of the role.
Mon, Mar 12, 2018, 5:37pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Apr 23, 2018, 11:30pm (UTC -5)
The Scimitar, was basically bulletproof, but it could had used something better than 5 mph bumpers.
Picard needed to have General Akbar on his bridge staff. He at least could let the captain know "It's a Trap"! Troi seems to be useless in this aspect. Don't put together strange androids, then allow it the run of the ship. That's insane!! And Picard knows Shinzon is dirty, yet the Enterprise just hangs around while waiting for him to make his move, like kidnap Picard. Once they figure out B4 was trojan horse, they conveniently have data to impersonate him just in case Picard gets captured. Too bad Shinzon didn't give B4 a Blue Gill so he could be picked out of an android line up. Isn't that how parents tell which twin is which???
The only good thing about androids is that if you lose one you can just upload the old backup software, and you have the same old android back. It will even sing the same old tunes.
At the end of every episode, Picard or any other Enterprise captain will put his life on the line to save the ship and crew. And as usual, some random red shirt or replaceable android will pull him out of the fire at the last second. I never fret that we will lose the captain at the end of the movie or episode. This movie was no different. Picard had about two seconds to spare at the end of Insurrection. The worse that happens is a slightly banged up Enterprise. Although I doubt Picard will get his security deposit back with the dented grill after this mission.
Tue, Jun 26, 2018, 1:15pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Jun 26, 2018, 5:11pm (UTC -5)
I think that Voyager is absolutely worth it, especially if you liked TNG so much. It has its share of flops but it's also a ton of fun. The peak is probably the final stretch of episodes of season 3 through the first couple episodes in Season 6. I've grown to appreciate it more in in retrospect, especially after the constant hyperbolic filmmaking and loud action of Discovery. It has a huge variety of types of episodes, almost all self-contained, and you never know what you're going to get in terms of genre or quality. It's also a bit more of an action/adventure show than TNG overall.
As to Enterprise, I find the first two seasons to be mostly garbage, but it gets good in seasons 3 and 4. The first two seasons are mostly standalone episodes, too, so they are pretty skippable. I'd honestly recommend watching the pilot and maybe "Dear Doctor" (the most divisive episode of the series, to see what all the fuss is about), "Cogenitor", "Regeneration", the Season 2 finale and then just watching Seasons 3 and 4. But you're welcome to watch the whole thing if you feel like being a completist.
Anyhow, that's just my opinion.
Tue, Jun 26, 2018, 7:28pm (UTC -5)
I will probably watch atleast Voyager eventually I just know I’m going to be burnt out after tng and ds9 back to back. Everyone seems to say ds9 is the best so I’m definitely going to check that out. I’ve only seen the pilot. I will say it’s a disappointment going from hd quality down to what’s supposed to be dvd quality but looks worse. I’ve downloaded three different torrents and they all look pretty bad. We are spoiled with everything hd nowadays though and I can’t complain bc I’m a big fan of kung fu movies and I’ve watched some downright horrible quality stuff. Wish they would modernize ds9 but I read somewhere it’s an expensive process bc of the way it was formatted for tv and a lot of the Fx have to be redone and also tng hd didn’t sell good enough to warrant the gamble on ds9. Shame. Thanks for the recommendations I appreciate it!
Sat, Oct 6, 2018, 12:29pm (UTC -5)
On the plus side, I like the Picard/Data scenes including the deleted scene that Jammer mentions above. The Tom Hardy/Patrick Stewart scenes are also good and hint at some interesting themes that are never properly resolved. The special effects are very nice and a clear step up from the less than convincing CGI of Insurrection.
A reedit could considerably improve the film. The first 20 minutes or so are a complete mess and leave a bad first impression that lingers over the rest of movie. I would eliminate the opening scene on Romulus (Shinzon's coup is better left unexplained), most of the wedding sequence (Picard's toast is atrocious), and the risible dune buggy sequence. The Picard/Data deleted scene would be restored. All of the icky Troi/Shinzon stuff needs to go, along with the pointless Reman boarding party and silly fight between Riker and the Viceroy.
The ending of the film is odd, with a less than inspiring shot of the NCC-1701-E undergoing repairs in spacedock. I would replace it with the deleted ending that introduces Picard's new first officer and ends with the Enterprise triumphantly jumping into warp. None of these changes would make Nemesis a great Trek film, but they would improve it somewhat.
Fri, Oct 12, 2018, 1:23am (UTC -5)
You know, I do enjoy Voyager, but lament that it could have been so much more. That being said, I am doing a ST re-watch and would never leave Voyager out of the mix. They had many fantastic stand-alone episodes, but sometimes I sort of wished they'd not hit the re-set button quite so much. It'd have been nice to see them still making repairs the next episode after getting pasted a bit, but the ship is usually fine the next show. I would not skip it, personally.
As for Enterprise, I watched it during it's original run, and thought it was very underrated. I liked the long season arc they eventually had, but also enjoyed many of the episodes that were earlier. I've not done a re-watch of it yet, but once I'm done with DS9 (one episode left) and STV (two seasons), I am looking forward to watching it again. Heck, I might even mix it up with Voyager, since they are in different times, just to keep things from getting stale.
Myself, I'd say watch 'em both. You never know what might tickle your fancy, and you might be pleasantly surprised.
Forgive my late comment, I'm waaay behind on my rss reading. :)
Fri, Nov 23, 2018, 1:28pm (UTC -5)
Wed, Nov 28, 2018, 4:54am (UTC -5)
I watched it yesterday and, well, time has not been kind. Maybe I was in an especially critical mood but I found it sorely lacking. I watched the Undiscovered Country a just few days ago, and it just fares very poorly in comparison.
So here are my nitpicks:
* An insurgent slave race is able to develop a gigantic dreadnought , more powerful and massive than any other starship in use by the major races (Dominion and Borg, excepted), completely in secret. Even with supposed help from Romulan allies (why would they?) this is beyond credible.
* Positronic signals. When has Data, Lore or any other android emitted ominous sensor readings from light years away? (Possibly explained by the Sovereign Class Enterprise's advanced sensors)
* Pacing. Gosh it really takes a long time to get going. I can see why they cut a lot of scenes out of it. By the time Enterprise reaches Romulus and they start dialogue with Shinzon it really starts to drag.
* That awful, awful scene where Shinzon explains his origin and we get a slow mo shot of him as a kid in the Reman mines. I cringed all the way through that.
* Dichotomy between Picard and Shinzon: the idea is plausible, but it's still one of many plot contrivances in this film which I found a bit hard to believe. As an attempt to create a motivation and character for the antagonist it's not all bad, but still feels a bit artificial to me. This is not a fault of the actors, and Stewart still really sells it.
* Why on earth is Geordie hanging around on the bridge and not repairing the warp drive from Main Engineering?
* "Shields at X percent!" is definitely getting old. It was nice to get visual indicators on shield graphics this time though. I would also like add to that any line that involves boosting power to any given shield area, or just simply saying "full power to shields" is not interesting, and even redundant.
* Stellar Cartography got a major downgrade from Generations. I guess the Sovereign Class is smaller after all.
* Awful Star Wars stormtrooper-style firefights. We're told how fearsome the Remans are during the Dominion War, but this lot are clearly the B Team that got left behind.
* Reman fingernails . Yes, I know your control console buttons have enormous spaces between the keys, presumably to accommodate them, but it's still gross.
Things I liked:
* The Enterprise crew figuring out B4's deception and taking advantage of it. I've seen this film a few times now, and I completely forgot that they were in on this one.
* Fantastic visual effects, best ship-to-ship combat involving the Enterprise of the entire series run.
* Instead of crew endlessly realing off damage and status reports, as in most Star Trek combat, the Enterprise actually fires back. Repeatedly. This is what space combat should be like!
* The goofy scene where Troi hunts down the Viceroy through her empathic link. Total cheese, but I kind of loved it. (Incidentally, the light shining on Troi's eyes reminded me of that ghastly film where Madonna seduces a gay man. They do this in *every goddamn scene* of that film, presumably to give Madonna the look of a classic movie icon. This scene in Nemesis is how you do it right).
* Troi first given the helm to set a collision course with the Scimitar and then later given command of the bridge. I will always love this!
Other stray thoughts:
* Battle lulls: I've never seen anyone comment on this, but I've always found it odd in Star Trek how ship to ship combat suddenly ceases, to give the characters a good chance to have a natter about something. It struck me as odd when it happened in DS9's Way of the Warrior, and has happened in many other episodes. I accept that It's fully necessary to accommodate the plot.
* First contact was released, what, 20 years ago? That's like half my lifetime. Does anyone else still think of the Enterprise E as being the "new ship" like I still do? lol
Mon, Feb 18, 2019, 11:03pm (UTC -5)
I think ending the series with All Good Things would have been a much better conclusion, but I can live with this film. Although I do like every Star Trek film, I'd personally much rather watch this film again over Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Star Trek: Generations, and Star Trek: Insurrection.
Wed, May 22, 2019, 11:11pm (UTC -5)
Seems like Picard is no longer a household name twenty years post-Nemesis.
There’s also a leaked set photo here:
At the very least, it’s fun to see 24th century uniforms again!
(I left this comment on Jammer's Blog, but I don't think it shows up in the comment stream on the reviews site, so it felt appropriate to leave it here instead as the last appearance of Picard.)
Thu, May 23, 2019, 5:00pm (UTC -5)
I'm ever so slightly optimistic about this ... I like that someone in the production was wise enough to resist the urge to tinker with the labels of Chateau Picard wine or the way the vineyard looks or the uniforms! (I can accept that the Starfleet designers -in the"actual" future- didn't go with those ugly-ass uni-color uniforms. )
Thu, May 23, 2019, 5:12pm (UTC -5)
Thu, May 23, 2019, 9:02pm (UTC -5)
There's a teaser trailer now, too:
Like DSC, the production values at least are gorgeous.
Thu, May 23, 2019, 10:56pm (UTC -5)
Thu, May 23, 2019, 11:27pm (UTC -5)
Fun fact: I'm in my tenth year of military life and my fourth uniform (fifth if you count the new dress uniforms!) Starfleet's got nothin' on the ADF.
Sun, Jun 2, 2019, 6:43am (UTC -5)
All in all, a Star Trek movie for people who don't watch Star Trek.
Mon, Jun 3, 2019, 7:26am (UTC -5)
Thu, Jul 18, 2019, 10:21pm (UTC -5)
Why not have Shinzon target Romulus with his thalaron weapon, instead of Earth, as revenge for the way he was treated?
Not only does this make Shinzon's motivations make more sense (while obviating the usual Earth-is-in-danger cliche), it also forces Picard to make a choice: save his own butt, or risk his life and ship to help former enemies?
So the story would then go something like this, in my mind:
-Picard is kidnapped, Shinzon take a pint of his blood - one pint is all he needs to begin the regeneration process or whatever, but the operation itself will take several hours. Data rescues Picard and they escape; the Scimitar does not pursue.
-Shinzon diverts the majority of the Romulan fleet away from Romulus by ordering them to attack the Federation. His plan: wipe out Romulus with the thalaron weapon as revenge for how he was treated, then sit back and let the Federation destroy the Romulan fleet. Then he will take the Scimitar and wipe out every last Romulan colony in the galaxy.
-Picard and company figure out Shinzon's plan, and Picard deduces that Shinzon will wait until his operation is complete (say, eight hours) before commencing his plan, firing up the Scimitar and turning every Romulan to stone.
-Picard realizes that by providing his blood to Shinzon (albeit against his will) he will be indirectly responsible for the slaughter of billions. He has a choice to make: continue back to Federation space at max warp to help Starfleet fend off the Romulan fleet and leave Romulus to their fate, or turn back and try to stop Shinzon, helping his former enemies?
-This being Picard, what do you think he will choose to do?
-He contacts Starfleet, however, they're more interested in preventing the incoming Romulan fleet attack and essentially say "too bad for them". However, six Starfleet captains disobey orders and volunteer to help Picard.
-Picard takes the ships back to Romulus, gets there just in time, and attacks the Scimitar. After an epic battle, with some timely assistance from Donatra (and/or Sela) the Scimitar is destroyed and Shinzon is vanquished. (Data's sacrifice is optional)
-The Romulans appreciate Picard's actions, opening a door to a new era of friendship between the two powers.
Thu, Jul 18, 2019, 10:59pm (UTC -5)
-Shinzon is twenty minutes away from firing the thalaron weapon at Romulus when the Enterprise and other ships warp in and attack. Shinzon cloaks and disables/destroys three of the ships without breaking a sweat, until Troi does her mind thing allowing the Enterprise to disable the cloak.
-The remaining ships are able to damage the Scimitar/destroy two Reman-crewed warbirds escorting it, but ultimately, every Starfleet ship is destroyed except the Enterprise which is heavily damaged, weapons disabled.
-Shinzon prepares to fire on Romulus. Picard orders the Enterprise to ram the Scimitar, taking out the thalaron weapon.
-Enraged, Shinzon still has plenty of conventional weapons and orders them all targeted at the Enterprise. ("Target the Enterprise." "With what?" "EVERYTHING!")
-Picard tells his crew "it's been an honor serving with you", then Donatra warps in, having disobeyed Shinzon's orders, with three warbirds (one of which is commanded by Sela). They save the Enterprise from getting blown to smithereens and take down the Scimitar's shields.
-Picard decides "enough is enough" and beams to the Scimitar with a boarding party of himself, Worf, Data and a bunch of security to capture or kill Shinzon. Epic battle in the corridors, including Data single-handedly thrashing a bunch of Remans hand-to-hand, plus Worf using his bat'leth.
-Shinzon partially restores the thalaron weapon and prepares to use it on the Romulus capital city - he won't be able to wipe out everyone but it will still kill a lot of people. Picard and co fight their way to the bridge. Data plugs himself into the system and shorts out the reactor permanently, but is heavily damaged in the process.
-Picard kills Shinzon in an epic hand-to-hand fight, then accesses the comm system and recalls the Romulan fleet just in time. The Enterprise is victorious once more...
-But Data is heavily damaged beyond repair. They take him back to the Enterprise but even La Forge can't restore him. With minutes left, Data accepts his death, thanks the Enterprise crew for teaching him what it meant to be human, and expires.
-Big funeral for Data as Donatra's warbird tows the Enterprise back to Earth.
Mon, Aug 19, 2019, 5:02am (UTC -5)
I'd rather grimace at Tom Hardy's Picard not resembling Patrick Stewart than wrestle with the mere existence of a Borg Queen.
Wed, Jan 29, 2020, 9:10am (UTC -5)
First, the pace is incredibly slow (like TNG-season-one slow). The plot is simple and straightforward (and as I recall, it was all given away by the trailers, except maybe the ending). It’s essentially one interminable buildup to one interminable action sequence.
It’s also a very static film. Aside from the wedding and a few scenes on Romulus, the entire film takes place aboard the Enterprise and the Scimitar. Compare that to the multiple locations of any other Trek film. These are small gripes, perhaps, but they sure don’t help.
From a character standpoint, I would say “What characters?” Perhaps that’s a little harsh. But aside from Picard, very little of the dialogue has anything to do with who these people are. They find B-4, but Data is barely allowed to react to the discovery, and they never mention Lore. Riker and Troi get married, but that doesn’t tell us anything about them; the dialogue during the wedding could be about any couple. Geordi spends the whole film spewing technobabble. Worf and Crusher are just… there. Data sacrifices himself to save Picard, but his decision is not based on anything that happens during the film, and it tells us nothing new about him. Why oh why couldn’t he have had his emotion chip? That alone would not have saved the film, but at least it he would have had the potential for growth.
Were the producers afraid to alienate non-Trek fans? Did they forget that First Contact was a tremendous success even though its story was heavily dependent on prior events (specifically “The Best of Both Worlds”)?
Getting back to Picard, I think the idea of him questioning how his life and his decisions have shaped him is a good one, but it was already addressed, in a much more moving fashion, in “Tapestry.” And Picard clone or not, the idea that a human raised on Remus could become leader of the Romulan Empire is preposterous, and Shinzon looks like a pretty terrible leader to boot.
Insurrection was a mediocre film with a questionable message. But at least it had a sense of fun about it and each character got at least one good moment (Geordi got to see the sunrise for the first time, Riker and Troi rekindled their relationship, etc.). That makes Nemesis the worst TNG film (and the second-worst Trek film overall) in my book.
Wed, Jan 29, 2020, 10:49am (UTC -5)
I’m not sure if age makes a difference because there wasn’t much to begin with. I think what they were trying to go for is to give us these Data and Picard duplicates who could potentially be very disruptive people on the wrong side, but the key difference between the fakes and the originals is a lifelong career in Starfleet. The problem, besides “evil clone” being a terrible movie cliche, is that the duplicates end up being way too different from the originals. It would’ve been nice if we actually cared about Shinzon or B4 and pitied their fate in intergalactic politics. But Shinzon is scripted as a generic bad guy right from the start and B4 is more annoying than cute. Also, there should be a ton of political intrigue in a Romulan rebellion story but most of that is sacrificed by a single bloody coup scene without context.
I think the beginning with the build up before the reveal is actually the best part. But there is so much unspent potential. You mentioned the lack of sets and I agree - since the Titan was mentioned, why wasn’t it used in the film? STVI benefits from having this great new ship with Sulu in command — basically showing us that the Kirk spirit will go on. Why can’t Riker have his command here to do the same?
That said, it’s hard not to like TNG cast and even the Janeway nod. I don’t think this is quite as bad as The Final Frontier because even if this one is pretty dumb, it’s coherent and straightforward.
Wed, Jan 29, 2020, 10:58am (UTC -5)
Nemesis, on the other hand - I was cringing in the theatre when I first saw it. The freshness of it did nothing to forestall groans at certain parts. A year or two after that I thought maybe I was a bit harsh and I got a DVD copy to give it another chance. I could not sit through the whole thing, it was so boring. It didn't even look good, visually, and the dialogue was useless. I can't say much to recommend it at all, frankly, and I think it is not only the worst Trek film in comparison to the others, but it's just a plain bad film by any standard. I have still never watched it again to this day, and can't imagine why I would want to.
Wed, Jan 29, 2020, 11:34am (UTC -5)
Despite TFF's grand intentions which I admit are there, the Sybok plot is just abysmal. They never make it clear if he's using some sort of mind trick on everyone or he's genuinely a charismatic leader. If it's the former, they should show him doing the trick to the Enterprise crew to explain their mutiny. If it's the latter, they need to actually develop scenes where we can understand why people (even the Romulan Commander?!) would want to abandon their lives and join him.
Perhaps fittingly, both Nemesis and The Final Frontier use the same "misguided version of a beloved character" high concept and without a really good script it's a dead end.
Wed, Jan 29, 2020, 11:57am (UTC -5)
Oh I agree and could list more faults than that with TFF. But my point was that despite its shortcomings it was often fun and entertaining, if under-plotted. Nemesis is rarely fun. The two may be on par with the "huh??" factor, but at least TFF is not boring (except at the start on that Nimrod planet or whatever).
Re: Sybok's 'leadship skills', I think we were actually meant to not know how he does it. I personally thought (and still think) it's fairly clear he's abusing telepathy to massage people's minds to make him more persuasive, and that it's not just his public speaking skills. The way they behave reads as more than just driven by faith or belief. That said I do think the writing is supposed to show that following Sybok is analogous to following some nice-sounding version of God, in that the teachings sort of take over your brain and you don't act rationally anymore. Especially since Sybok is a fraud and in this film so is God. But at least there's a message there - use science and reason, and don't go based on just gut. Going on gut gets you into wars with Klingons; thinking clearly lets you jettison fake gods and unnecessary aggression. So I think his mind control thing is all part of this general theme, but it's just not written very well.
Wed, Jan 29, 2020, 12:01pm (UTC -5)
Nemesis was irredeemably bad from day 1. I would not bother saying it didn't age well because I am certain it is exactly now as I remembered it and always will be.
One thing I wanted to add was my befuddlement at how it seemed the effects went drastically downhill in the TNG era movies. In First Contact we still had the gorgeous beam effects and colorful blue and red torpedoes especially in the Borg battle.
By Nemesis it's these trashy little pew pew effects for the phasers, barely there torpedoes and dark ugly visuals and shabby ship designs. The Romulan ships in Nemesis just look like trash - what a step down from the gorgeous D'Deridex warbirds from the TV show.
But then Discovery came along and we hit a brand new low. In The Battle of the Binary Stars it was so fuzzy and ugly I literally didn't know which ships were Federation and which ships were Klingon or even who was firing and what.
I mean who would have thought that after all these years I'd be pining for the effects from 1987 if for no other reason to know what the hell is going on?
Wed, Jan 29, 2020, 12:25pm (UTC -5)
"Re: Sybok's 'leadship skills', I think we were actually meant to not know how he does it. I personally thought (and still think) it's fairly clear he's abusing telepathy to massage people's minds to make him more persuasive, and that it's not just his public speaking skills. The way they behave reads as more than just driven by faith or belief. That said I do think the writing is supposed to show that following Sybok is analogous to following some nice-sounding version of God, in that the teachings sort of take over your brain and you don't act rationally anymore. Especially since Sybok is a fraud and in this film so is God. But at least there's a message there - use science and reason, and don't go based on just gut. Going on gut gets you into wars with Klingons; thinking clearly lets you jettison fake gods and unnecessary aggression. So I think his mind control thing is all part of this general theme, but it's just not written very well."
Yeah, there's definitely potential in the concept of a false prophet manipulating people with a false God, but it's all too undercooked. I don't think the mechanics of Sybok bothers me as much as the half-hearted nature in which they're presented in the movie. At least in TWOK we know how Khan is manipulating which people and why. TFF just makes mind control too much of a given (literally the whole crew of the Enterprise follows him without an on-camera explanation). Did he really have the time to go through 60+ crewmembers' heads and have them relive some moment of their life without resistance? It doesn't look like it, and I'm not even sure if that's what the filmmakers wanted to go for.
Sun, Feb 2, 2020, 2:28pm (UTC -5)
A low three stars from me. Had Frakes been allowed to direct and the script gotten some rewrites, I think we could have gotten a good film.
Sat, Apr 11, 2020, 2:32am (UTC -5)
Shinzon could have been a memorable villain but why did he have to be a clone of Picard? Served no purpose just muddied up the waters. I like the assassination for the Romulan Senate, that was awesome, and the Reman uprising/coup was a great concept that went nowhere. A Romulan centered movie, a Romulan coup/Civil War, ala Afghanistan or Yugoslavia or Syria could have been interesting. But like so much else in this movie it went nowhere. What a wasted opportunity.
Yes, aside from a brief mention the Dominon War never happened, and Worf's time on DS( and going off to the Klingon Empire never happened. And didn't we do a TNG episode where Picard met his clone or a sone who was a clone? And this movie seems to forget one of TNG's greatest episodes, Tapestry, where young Picard had hair. Completely violating canon.
And B4, what a useless, stupid, uninteresting and unnecessary plot device. Why would anyone want to see a slow, stupid Data? And the whole dune buggy scene was and flying thru the halls of Shinzon's ship was stupid. Why do we need car chases? Dumb, pandering to the lowest common denonimator.
And I'm sorry Jammer, I totally respect you and your reviews and opinions, but the Picard/Shinzon dialog and the can we rise above our circumstances and be better was totally cliched, pop psychology that a million other movies and TV shows have done. Shinzon could have been a great villain, he has the motivation certainly, but why a clone? He could have been a human POW or half human child of a Romulan Senator, like Sela, but the clone/connection to Picard was forced and contrived.
And just when you think Trek is moving beyond it's troubled relationship with female characters and Roddenberry's old-boy's club sexism, Troi gets memory raped yet again. How many times did that happen on TNG? Women were sexually assaulted/violated on supposedly more politically correct (No one has gone before...) than on the supposedly less enlightened more sexist TOS. And here Troi's assault serves no real purpose. Raping/jeopardizing women yet again just to serve a contrived porrly written plot device is totally misogynistic and sexist.
Yes, great effects and space battles but no compelling story. Potentially interesting villain, but contrived cliched villain/hero conflicts. Just dumb addition of B4. And reverting back to sexism and misogyny with let's rape Troi yet again for no reason.
Sat, Apr 11, 2020, 2:33am (UTC -5)
Sat, Apr 11, 2020, 3:41am (UTC -5)
"Shinzon could have been a memorable villain but why did he have to be a clone of Picard?"
You missed the main message/question of the movie. Nature vs. nurture. One could even speculate that Patrick Stewart at that point had already started the unraveling of Picard. The point of Shinzon being a clone was to show that if you grow up in a horrible environment then you become a horrible person and if you grow up like Picard you become an ethical and disciplined person. Simplistic, sure. The whole "I need Picard's life juices" plot was dumb, though.
"where young Picard had hair."
Shinzon had an obvious fascination with Picard and also wanted to mess with him. Would it had been better if Shinzon had had very long, beautifully flowing hair? Absolutely.
"Why do we need car chases? Dumb, pandering to the lowest common denonimator."
Well, if you want to call Patrick Stewart that. The scene was only in the movie because Stewart loves cars and wanted a car chase scene in the movie.
"Roddenberry's old-boy's club sexism, Troi gets memory raped yet again."
Roddenberry was dead for more than a decade and the whole rape scene is shown in a way that portrays the whole thing as disgusting and disturbing. If Troi had been filmed naked or sexually suggestive, then you could argue that it was meant to titillate in a terrible way but there is nothing like that in the movie. Are you saying movies shouldn't have rape scenes? Rape exists. Women ( and sometimes men) get raped all the time.
Sat, Apr 11, 2020, 2:44pm (UTC -5)
Fri, May 15, 2020, 5:35am (UTC -5)
It's incredible to me. The screentest in a dinky little backstage is 10x more compelling then the professionally lit/directed feature film, you can really see how poor direction sank the movie - seems like they were directed to be more 'dramatic' & then edited to remove all the natural pauses in their dialogue (probably to bring the movie down to a lower runtime).
Always good to remember when criticising actors how much they're at the mercy of factors beyond their control .
Sat, Nov 28, 2020, 6:52am (UTC -5)
The 2nd & 3rd Matrix movies were seriously awful.
Sat, Nov 28, 2020, 7:41pm (UTC -5)
How did the aliens firing at the buggy keep missing? I know bad guys being bad shots is a cliché but this stretches suspension of disbelief.
Why didn't Data carry two transport enhancer thingies? Why couldn't Data put his phaser on overload to destroy Shinzon's weapon and beam out of there?
As an action or general entertainment movie I can't give it an overall score of more than 5/10, but for philosophical value (How clones or twins can turn out so different) I award it a 10/10.
Sun, Dec 6, 2020, 9:16pm (UTC -5)
On the DVD, Brent Spiner says that he and Logan wrote the script together (though he later says he mostly wrote the action scenes), and that Berman did additional work on it, and it went through a number of revisions and what sounded like rather complete rewritings before it was finally accepted. Logan was supposedly a Star Trek fan, but how knowledgeable he was, I don't know. And of course Spiner is far from an experienced writer.
Sad that this wasn't done better. Seems like it was almost a "Discovery season 1" level of accident waiting to happen.
Wed, Jan 13, 2021, 9:31pm (UTC -5)
Somehow a TNG flick featuring another Data, a Picard clone, the Enterprise ramming another ship, Troi being mind raped and getting revenge, a visit to Romulus in a Trek film, with Remus thrown in to boot, the assassination of the Romulan Senate (the one good scene), Data being launched through space (an interesting bit) to sacrifice himself to save Picard...
Somehow all that produced a terribly dull movie.
I guess it’s not hard to see that being green lit, because it sounds like a pretty good movie.
Tue, Feb 9, 2021, 10:09am (UTC -5)
But I also agree with Jammer that there were good elements here. Is it enough to rise to 2.5 stars? It's between that and 2.0 stars for me: say 2.25 stars. Definitely not the 0 or 1 stars some are saying.
One thing I strongly disagree with that, skimming the comments, at least two people said: that Hardy did not look enough like a young Picard. WHAT?!? I thought that was one of the film's strongest points! Frankly, I didn't recognize Hardy and didn't know it was him until the closing credits. I thought "who is this guy they found who not only is a dead ringer for how I'd picture a young Jean-Luc, but also has such good acting chops?"
One thing I wondered: how did Janeway get to be admiral before Picard? Isn't he older and more experienced than she is?
Also: the ramming scene was cool, but I call BS on the idea that when Shinzen throws it into reverse, his huge ship would rip itself violently free of the Enterprise. Why wouldn't he just pull the smaller ship along with him?
Kind of weird that Senator Tal'Aura is treated as a hero at the end, coming in to try to save the Enterprise, dispatching shuttles and medical supplies, etc. But she conspired in a military coup at the beginning of the movie, horrifically slaughtering the entire Romulan Senate! I get that she had a change of heart, but can we really so easily forget what an evil conspiracy she participated in?
Looking at the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, I discover with some satisfaction that the Guardian's Peter Bradshaw is the only person I've ever seen specifically call out the character of Data in a way I agree with:
"The subplot concerns Lt Cmdr Data (Brent Spiner), one of the least funny or interesting characters in the history of screen entertainment"
Yes! The way he is so widely beloved has always been puzzling and frustrating to me. I've always thought he sucked nearly as badly as Troi.
@Mark B: "BTW and FWIW,
The 2nd & 3rd Matrix movies were seriously awful."
Yeah, that was a weird little element of Jammer's review. In fairness, I walked out of the second film about 20-30 minutes in, and never went back to it--nor did I watch the third film. But I had seen enough to know they had gone seriously off target. Of course, the original Matrix film had a perfectly good closed ending, and those later entries were only made because of the studio's imperative to get a cash grab on a hot property.
P.S. I just "bought Jammer a coffee" and I encourage everyone else to do so!
Tue, Feb 9, 2021, 11:28am (UTC -5)
Tue, Feb 9, 2021, 11:33am (UTC -5)
Tue, Feb 9, 2021, 11:57am (UTC -5)
Tue, Feb 9, 2021, 1:52pm (UTC -5)
>One thing I wondered: how did Janeway get to be admiral before Picard? Isn't he older and more experienced than she is? .
She crippled the Borg and saved the galaxy from Species 8472, amongst other good deeds.
Tue, Feb 9, 2021, 2:21pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Feb 9, 2021, 2:58pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Feb 9, 2021, 5:41pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Feb 9, 2021, 6:29pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Feb 11, 2021, 2:34pm (UTC -5)
Aside from being undermined in the editing suite, the film squanders the few interesting ideas it does have: for example, I actually liked the basic concept of the Remans, who - as one commenter above notes - actually do make sense given that the Romulans are famously settlers on Romulus, and the idea of an indigenous slave revolt taking over an Alpha Quadrant great power from within is in itself intriguing. Yet the execution is awful: the Remans have in my opinion the most ridiculous and cringeworthy make-up ever seen in Trek - straight-up Orcs* - and are consequently impossible to take seriously at any point. The Viceroy character, played by an unrecognisable Ron Perlman, is forced to act solely via unintentionally comical sideway glances and his vizier's staff.
(*The Xindi Reptilians were of course similarly overwrought in terms of design, but worked much more successfully.)
Visual frustration extends to the murkiness of the lighting throughout the film, in which even the Enterprise-E bridge looks like its dimmer switch is broken, and of course any scene involving the pitch black interior of the Scimitar. Nor did I like the new Romulan uniforms, although I understand the urge for a new colour scheme for the viewer's sake given that Starfleet uniforms since First Contact had taken over the Romulan grey paletten. Superficial points, but I found myself constantly distracted by them.
The tediously unrewarding focus on the shuttle dogfight and the Argo chase eat up precious screen time that should have been used on character scenes. Crusher is thoroughly ignored and the Troi mind rape scene is appallingly unnecessary.
Finally, despite the efforts of Tom Hardy (a fine actor) and Patrick Stewart (an even finer actor) and intense peril throughout, the Shinzon/Picard scenes are strangely unengaging, as are the final scenes involving reminiscing about Data (see the point about deleted scenes above) and the implicit farewell from and among the TNG crew. Scenes with the Titan and a new first officer were sorely missed.
I do appreciate, at least, an attempt to put a Romulan story on the big screen. It is a pity what we got.
Fri, Apr 30, 2021, 8:10pm (UTC -5)
The writers of First Contact said at first didn't want to do an Ahab thing because TWOK did it. However, they did want to do the Borg and when it became Picard vs the Borg, the Ahab thing flowed naturally. And Picard was deeply injured by the Borg, so it's entirely organic.
But other than that thematic element, First Contact didn't lift anything from TWOK. Unlike this film, and Into Crapness.
Fri, May 7, 2021, 3:31pm (UTC -5)
I do agree that the scene with Troi and the mind was not particularly good viewing and seemed very unnecessary.
Also, the Federation send just one ship to Romulus itself? Not to a neutral location? Though the Scimitar was a purpose designed vessel, I would still like to see our Enterprise E hold its own for a while until they used some special weapon, or something.
I'm not sure I bought the accent of the "young" Picard clone Shinzon.
Above all I am not keen on the loss of Data. That is the biggest no for me. I'd have preferred him to have lived. If you wanted someone to make a sacrifice, I'd rather have had the other android perhaps understand the situation and make the sacrifice.
Or come on, there has to be a way - somehow - to do the same battle, but Data survives.
The lady Romulan commander was pretty cool. I will say this - the battles in this film were much nicer than the lense flare and pew pew for just a few seconds in the new films.
The story of this film needed some tweaking. Or I guess a different premise. And Data must live!
Wed, May 12, 2021, 5:19pm (UTC -5)
But this is a film that never amounts to the sum of its parts. I first watched it in the company of a bottle of Scotch about 17 years ago. I started to zone out, and I've always wondered if that was because of the alcohol or the film. I was entirely sober tonight, and it definitely the film. It really tested my attention span. The action scenes are over-long, over-indulgent and unnecessary and they robbed the film of some of its focus. i don't think the plot was that interesting or coherent.
I didn't like the scene with the buggy. Why everyone was so excited about it I have no idea, it looked much like a 20th century motor vehicle, which is of course exactly what it was. The dive off the cliff into the shuttlecraft really represents the whole film quite nicely - it's all spectacle and style and little substance.
I guess B4 was a nice idea. Great shame to kill off Data at the end, though. He made it through seven TV series and four films. Couldn't they have let him live another ten minutes?
Picard performs his own one man special forces mission again, he does this a few times in the TNG canon and it always comes across as dumb.
Well - finally that's the end of the TNG odyssey I started in 2018. Took me a long time to get round to the last film, but job done now. Bit of a shame that it bows out like that, really.
Sun, Jul 25, 2021, 1:25pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Aug 3, 2021, 5:28pm (UTC -5)
Looking back, I think that what I liked about “Nemesis” were the few nods to continuity that it managed (especially considering how much continuity it chucked right out the window.) As poorly handled as it was, there’s a fanboy part of me that wouldn’t have been happy if Will and Deanna hadn’t ended up together, after their “imzadi” relationship was barely touched over the entire course of TNG. I liked that the Betazoid nudist weddings weren’t forgotten. And of course, Riker absolutely has to finally have his own ship.
Mind you, the reasons for these things not happening in the series aren’t addressed. We don’t hear anything about Will and Deanna reluctantly refusing to be together like that because it would be awkward while they serve on the same ship. And Riker wouldn’t take his own command because whatever ship they could offer him, “She’s not the Enterprise.” I guess all of that was left behind? But no matter, at least it got done.
I guess it says something that I’ve only spoken well of the character moments, and haven’t said anything kind about the story itself. There’s just not that much to praise. It was fun as an action-heavy popcorn movie, but that’s all it really tried to be, and I think that’s sad for the crew’s swan song. Even worse is that, again, so much continuity was sacrificed for that, along with Picard’s character and Data’s life. I guess I’m just left feeling that it wasn’t worth it.
Ah well. It was what it was. And, writing this comment in 2021, we now have further Star Trek properties, including “Picard” which continues the story for at least some of our beloved characters. So “Nemesis” wasn’t the absolute finale, as it was assumed to be at the time. Based on the reviews I’ve seen here, I imagine most of us can agree that’s, at least, a good thing.
Fri, Oct 8, 2021, 9:20pm (UTC -5)
I guess my take on it is similar to what I thought it would be. It's bad, with lots of disastrous moments. Shinzon, in particular, is a disaster on nearly every level, given a dozen motivations and plot contrivance medical/strategic issues to get to the end. The moment where Riker steps on the bridge after his pointless battle-of-the-first-officers sub-subplot with a kind of "what did I miss?" expression is actively hilarious.
It's hard to describe what I see as going on in the writing; it seems to me that John Logan is a writer who can do relatively competent structuring and, if working with a great director like Scorsese, especially with real-life subject matter, can turn out a good product, but whose actual line-by-line writing is pretty uninspired and whose imagination seems limited. This by itself produces a pretty flat and limp script, which combines with Baird's disastrous direction. So, there we go. The character writing seems to me to be mostly weak fanfic -- not bottom of the barrel exactly, but someone who understands the basic shape of the characters much of the time, but is having a hard time digging into something the characters would actually say and feel. The emphasis on "Encounter at Farpoint" character dynamics (Riker not letting Picard beam down, the "Pop Goes the Weasel" holodeck scene) is partly a "full circle" thing I know, but it also feels like a kind of desperate attempt to mine for how to write for these characters by...just grabbing stuff from the first episode.
And yet, I also just do like this cast and these characters, even when it's in this nth order Xeroxed version. I'd rather just take "All Good Things" as the ending to most of these characters ("What You Leave Behind" for Worf), of course. I guess I can fuzzily just sort of imagine a version of this story that kind of takes some of the moments that almost work (including some of the deleted scenes, which are also not *good* exactly but some of which are better than most of what was in the movie). Riker and Troi get married and leave (and Wesley and Guinan attend!); Data dies a noble sacrifice; relations with the Romulans are maybe slightly opened up (and Worf admits grudgingly that they fought with honour); life goes on. Cut out nearly the entire plot of the movie, restore some of the deleted scenes, and you have a...well, honestly, still poor, but at least relatively heartfelt coda.
Tue, Oct 26, 2021, 9:25am (UTC -5)
Tue, Oct 26, 2021, 9:29am (UTC -5)
Thu, Jul 14, 2022, 8:33am (UTC -5)
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