Naturally the trip does not go as planned, or this would make for a short and uneventful movie. The Crew discovers an android similar to Commander Data (Brent Spiner) yet in an odd child like mental state named B-4. The crew assembles the android and Data takes to nurturing his lost relative. At the same time, Starfleet Command sends Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) and the Enterprise on a mission to receive peace overtures from the new Romulan Prefect Shinzon (Tom Hardy), who is the leader of a downtrodden sub class of Romulan society known as the Remans. Although highly skeptical, the Enterprise sets off to the rendezvous, and soon encounters Shinzon himself and his massive attack ship.
It is at this point that "Nemesis" begins to lose direction, as the film spends a lot of time with the cast in conversation mode, but they do not really expand much upon the characters, the situation, nor the story. We learn that Shinzon has a secret, that I feel was revealed far to early in the film and with little fan fare, and is a character that lacks direction. His stated goal is to destroy Earth by bombarding it with deadly radiation from his ship, yet he also desires to get Picard and destroy the Enterprise. The funny thing is, that when the story gets to the action, Shinzon becomes little more than a characture, as on one hand he dispatches troops to get Picard, then he states, that it is time to destroy Earth, only to stop and engage the Enterprise.
This is very frustrating to the viewer as any sense of dread, urgency, and continuity is lost and the menace of Shinzon is lessened with each passing moment. I am trying not to give away any of the plot twists in the film but suffice it to say, that they like the characters meander constantly passing up obvious solutions in tactics to leave audiences with a drawn out sequence that has little tension, excitement, or suspense. The film is also cluttered with plot holes that detract from the story and further weaken a good premise.
The veteran cast works well with one another, yet the script by "Gladiator" scribe John Logan gives them little new material to work with, and the direction of Stuart Baird leaves a fine cast stuck going through the motions. Newcomer Dina Meyer does a good job as Romulan Commander Donatra but she like most of characters are given little to do aside from spouting stale lines and walking stiffly.
The producers of the film thought that bringing in a writer and director from outside the Trek circle would infuse new ideas into the film. Instead audiences are given a film that is little more than an average episode and lacking much of the charm, suspense and sense of wonder that made the Trek franchise such a success. Some good FX works by Digital Domain and some fine acting by Stewart almost make this film good, but the plodding script and lack of tension makes this a Trek film that needed more time in Space dock before being released, as if this is the final film of the Next Generation cast, then they surely deserved a much better sendoff after 15 years.
3 stars out of 5
Gareth Von Kallenbach
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