I miss Star Trek Generations, let's get that out of the way right off. When I watched Star Trek Nemesis for the first time years ago I came to the sad conclusion that it would be the last Star Trek film until they reinvented the franchise somehow.
When Enterprise fell on its face, I was sure we'd be without a new Trek series for at least 10 or 20 years. Right now there's a new Star Trek film by J.J. Abrams that will hopefully bring people back to Trek, and I'm looking forward to it.
Before we all go on to a new Trek, however, I thought it would be interesting to quickly review the last film we saw, Star Trek X: Nemesis, so here goes.
I enjoyed the more military feel to the ship's operations, the advancement in character story, the performances rendered by the main-stays and even some of the rivalry. One thing that had been missing from the franchise was a captain versus captain tale of any grand traditional scope, and I admit, this was a good try. Sadly, it didn't satisfy and was no where near comparable to the famous captain versus captain film from the Star Trek franchise: Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Kahn.
Another saving grace for this film was the special effects. I found they were perfectly convincing, did everything they had to. The dogfight in the end looked really good even though combat in space promises to be quite different and will most likely be fought with ships kilometers if not thousands of kilometers apart. It was still fun to watch, especially on the big screen.
Now that all the positives have been laid out, here comes what certainly contributed to this film being the last Generations Star Trek movie. First of all, the villain reminded a large portion of the US and Canadian audience of Doctor Evil. Yes, that over the top villain from the Austin Powers movies. The story was good, but highlighted a lot of problems with the Star Trek setting and there were some other massive issues. Here's a list:
Alien worlds are named after Earth mythology by the aliens that inhabit them (Romulus, Remus).
Dune buggies? Why?
A starfighter in a hallway? I remember going to get more Junior Mints when that started...
ANOTHER Data??? I thought he was a rare specimen, but it's starting to look like they just dump pieces of him all over the place like old McDonald's wrappers.
Where is the exploration in this film? If I were an explorer, I'd make sure to at least visit the Romulan gift shop! All Picard got this time out was some gaudy knife with someone else's blood on it.
Last but not least, the directing in this film was nothing beyond standard fare.
Now, don't get me wrong, this film does make a fair attempt at saying farewell to the fans, the whole cast and production staff knew this would be the last Generations film, but they could have at least gotten a director who had done action or science fiction before, and worked a little harder on some of the action sequences to make them more plausible. The dune buggy and starfighter sequences were a bad fit for the film and not "very Trekkie" as a good friend of mine put it years ago. The suspension of disbelief snapped for a lot of people.
I'm glad to have this DVD as a part of my collection, but because I'm a fan of the Generations era of Trek (and I'll admit, pretty much all other Trek except for the latter half of DS-9), not because this film is in any way a stand out from the pack like Star Trek First Contact or The Wrath of Kahn. If you haven't seen it, I suggest you rent it online or at your local vid store before the new Star Trek film hits theaters in May, it is worth seeing once at least if you're a Science Fiction or Star Trek fan, despite its many shortcomings.
As for the new film, well, J.J. Abrams has a lot to live up to. His new movie won't be compared to Star Trek Nemesis, but to the rest of the franchise as a whole. That's damned hard to face, considering there have been some real golden moments in all the Trek series'. I hope he manages to give us something that is entertaining, somewhat reflects Gene Roddenberry's vision and starts us on a new seven year mission. I miss seeing Trek on my television, and my ultimate hope is that this leads to a series and not to an eventual sequel like Star Trek: The Voyage Home. Don't get me started on that one...
Status update on Spinward Fringe Frontline: 227 pages locked in, writing 4000+ words per day and loving it. When will I be finished? Hopefully before page 400. More on that later!