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Star Trek: Nemesis

A movie directed by Stuart Baird

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A tepid farewell to the ST:TNG crew

  • Aug 26, 2010

If one is good, two must be better.

That must be the philosophy driving the 10th installment in the big-screen Star Trek franchise. Nemesis doubles its pleasure by cloning two characters and borrowing heavily from earlier films in the series -- but that doesn't necessarily make the end product twice as good. The movie reunites all of the major characters from The Next Generation for a film Hollywood sources say will be the last in the series. I hope the rumors prove false, because Nemesis is unsuitable to be the final chapter in the Star Trek tradition.

The plot revolves around Shinzon (Tom Hardy), a young clone of Capt. Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) who was created by the Romulan empire, then discarded in the dilithium mines of a planet inhabited by extras from a Nosferatu remake. (The clone bears no resemblance to the source of his DNA, by the way, and an effort to explain that away with a broken nose and jaw in Shinzon's youth is lame.)

Shinzon's coup on Romulus interrupts the Enterprise on its pleasure cruise celebrating the long-awaited marriage of Cmdr. William Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Counselor Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis). Along the way, the crew stops on an uncharted planet long enough to joyride in a hopped-up dune buggy, violate the Prime Directive and discover the disassembled remains of an android identical to, but mentally simpler than, Lt. Cmdr. Data (film co-writer Brent Spiner).

After the requisite talk scenes, everyone gets down to business and things start exploding.

Nemesis features some excellent combat sequences, less of a dogfight than a massive sea battle. The action borrows heavily from The Wrath of Khan and The Undiscovered Country, but there is still plenty of real drama as the Enterprise and its heavily armed opponent, Scimitar, are battered and torn, shrieking and groaning like living things. The much-hyped ramming scene is an awesome effect.

Nemesis overall is visually stunning, including a new look for the Enterprise, inside and out, that has it looking more like a luxury liner than previous versions.

This movie, too, is a little sexier than its predecessors, making the maximum use of Counselor Troi's ample cleavage in one opening scene, titillating with a promise (unrealized) of an all-nude ceremony to come and providing a sex scene between two characters, something until now unheard of in a Star Trek film. (For all of Kirk's many conquests, he was never actually shown in the act!) Still, in keeping with the franchise's wholesome image, Troi is modestly draped even from her new husband's eyes in the scene.

More unsettling than Riker's "boldly going" is the psychic rape to follow -- as well as Picard's order that Troi grin and bear it for the good of the crew.

Another out-of-character moment comes near the end when Picard uncharacteristically freezes in a crisis. Unthinkable! The well-publicized death of a major character is handled well -- its abruptness adding to the emotional impact. Again, however, filmmakers borrowed heavily from The Wrath of Khan, paralleling Spock's selfless death and providing a similar loophole for this character's return.

The movie has its share of plot holes, and I wouldn't be a true Trek fan if I didn't list a few. Why did the Romulans plot to clone and replace a mere starship captain instead of someone higher in the Federation or Star Fleet hierarchy? How did Shinzon and his companion slaves find the time and resources to build an ultra-modern ship and weapon, much less earn the support of the Romulan military and overthrow the government, from the bottom of a mine shaft? Where did the inexplicable Data prototype come from? What's with the blatant disregard for the Prime Directive, with an away mission (led by non-interference stickler Picard) that certainly contaminated a pre-warp culture? When did B-4 return to Enterprise? Do Federation shields and transporters ever work through a crisis? Why couldn't Data carry two emergency transporter beacons? And why is Worf, who was assigned to Deep Space 9 for the spin-off series, always aboard Enterprise when a movie is being made?

For all of Nemesis's failings, it also has its strengths. It's a fair bit better than some movies in the series, although it's certainly not among the top three, either. Star Trek fans will love it regardless -- and we'll all wait to see what Paramount's decision on the future of the franchise will be.

by Tom Knapp, the Rambles.NET guy

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August 27, 2010
I never thought of why Picard as the clone choice, other then he's the captain of the flagship and a respected man in the Federation who could carry sway. I think Worf was onboard cause they got tired of saying why he was there, and just said "forget it, he came back."
More Star Trek: Nemesis reviews
review by . December 07, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
A Fitting Send Off for the Next Generation Crew
Star Trek Nemesis isn’t new by any means… In fact I vaguely recall checking it out back in 2003 when it first arrived on DVD and though it did nothing to offend, the prose hadn’t really stuck out in memory either.  As such I recently added the DVD to my collection in effort to complete my tour of the Star Trek motion pictures.  It has the distinction of being the tenth major motion picture of the Star Trek franchise despite the fact that Roman Numerals in the titles …
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
This is one of my favorite of the Star Trek series. It is interesting to see a Picard raised by Romulans.
review by . October 06, 2009
Nemesis Blu-ray box art
There has been a lot of bad mouthing over the years as to how the TNG crew went out in the final Berman-Era Trek film, with the loss of Data as well as having too much action.  I say, what's not to like?  Nemesis was full of everything that Star Trek had over the years; story, action and a half decent plot.  If anything killed this movie, it was B4.  Fans probably would have been fine with a final conflict with the Romulan Empire, which somehow would end on a good note.  Instead, …
Quick Tip by . May 13, 2010
Sad finale for the Next Gen crew in a dark and violent showdown with a shadowy enemy. High on action and low on common sense and plotting.
review by . December 06, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Star Trek Nemesis isn't new by any means... In fact I vaguely recall checking it out back in 2003 when it first arrived on DVD and though it did nothing to offend, the prose hadn't really stuck out in memory either. As such I recently added the DVD to my collection in effort to complete my tour of the Star Trek motion pictures. It has the distinction of being the tenth major motion picture of the Star Trek franchise despite the fact that Roman Numerals in the titles used to identify the films fell …
review by . June 23, 2009
Picard vs Shinzon
It was a good five years in between Star Trek movies.  Insurrection was out in late 98 and Nemesis was out in 2002.  With that time off you could swear some creative juices would be flowing to make the long awaited new Star Trek film a success right?.....They do not.      The last of the movies with the Next Gen cast has a story written by a long time Trek fan but directed by a newcomer in hopes that the "new" energy that Harve Bennet and Nicholas Meyer brought …
Quick Tip by . October 06, 2009
Last Voyage of the Next Generation crew where they battle a creepy Romulan foe. Not bad but Picard and company deserved a better swan song.
review by . December 11, 2002
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Patrick Stewart and the great TNG Cast     Cons: Numerous Plot Holes, dull pacing, and nothing new.     The Bottom Line: Nothing new here, and a bad send off for 15 years of great work by the TNG cast.        Star Trek Nemisis Review            In what is being billed as a "Generations Final Journey" The cast and crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC 1701-E warp onto the big screen this …
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Tom Knapp ()
Ranked #285
I founded the online review site, Rambles.NET, in 1999 and continue to operate the site with more than 200 contributors and more than 14,000 reviews in our permanent online archives. A fraction of my … more
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About this movie


 In STAR TREK: NEMESIS, based on the STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION television series, the USS Enterprise is gearing up for a challenging mission. While responding to a call from the Romulan neutral zone, the crew comes across a signal on the nearby planet Remus. It turns out to be Data's (Brent Spiner) less advanced brother, B-4 (also played by Spiner). Soon thereafter, Picard is confronted by Shinzon (Tom Hardy), who makes an offer of peace on behalf of the Romulans. As Starfleet enters into negotiations, they realize this treaty may have a twist. Shinzon presents himself as a clone of Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart), and as a simultaneous friend and foe. Though the baby faced Shinzon wears an intimidating shiny black metallic suit of armor, and spits his words through a nasty sneer, he is clearly no match for Picard. Meanwhile Data has a nifty side project debugging his clone, whose intentions are not as innocent as they may seem. As tension mounts between the crew of the Starship Enterprise ...
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Director: Stuart Baird
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Release Date: December 13, 2002
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Brent Spiner
Runtime: 1hr 57min
Studio: Paramount Pictures
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