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Same old story. Same old song and dance.

Feb 19, 2003 (Updated Jul 12, 2007)
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Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Fairly entertaining.

Cons:We've seen all of it before, cloned from previous Star Trek stories.

The Bottom Line: I'd recommend waiting for video.

As far as Star Trek goes, one could say I'm a casual fan. I'm not a serious Trekkie; the real Trekkie in the Wilder family is my father. Yet I do enjoy the movies and TV shows (The original ST and Next Generation anyway). So ST Nemesis was a movie I wanted to see, yet I wasn't in a major rush to see it. Upon viewing it I am grateful that I was not psyched up for the film, because if I had been this review would be much more negative than it already is.

As I noted above, I enjoy the Star Trek movies, yet I think the series is starting to wither beyond its expiration date. It's true that most of the totally original ideas had been used up after The Voyage Home (The one with the whales for those who don't remember) yet the better ones could take ideas that had been done before and add new interesting parts to them as First Contact proved.

In a Star Trek movie, it's often not a good sign when a movie begins with a change of command or two characters getting married. The latter is how Nemesis begins, with Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis) and William Riker (Jonathan Frakes) getting married. The wedding ceremony of course features much good luck wishes and classical music, the latter of which causes Worf (Michael Dorn) to shake his head and growl "Oh no! Beethoven!"

Not long after that, we get into the action. Part of the plot leads them to a supposedly deserted planet where they find an abandoned android. This android is a nearly perfect clone of Data (Brent Spiner). Of course this sets up the basis for many expected scenes in the movie: some supposed to be comic, some supposed to be moving.

The other plot thread concerns an effort by a human named Shinzon (Tom Hardy) who has assumed control of the Romulan senate and now wants to destroy the earth for reasons unexplained. In addition, Mr. Shinzon has a secret of sorts. But I shall say no more about that.

It becomes apparent when watching this movie that screenwriter John Logan and Director Stuart Baird wanted to make another Wrath Of Khan (the 1982 Star Trek movie that is commonly regarded by both casual fans and Trekkies as the best in the series). However, the effort falls flat. Instead of reminding one of Wrath Of Khan, this one is more likely to remind one of 1994's Generations which is NOT one of the better remembered films in the series.

Evidence in favor of this is the fact that Shinzon is nowhere near as evil or memorable as Ricardo Montalban's Khan. In fact, he is rather flat. Consider that his most evil moment is copping a simulated feel on the just married Deanna Troi. Hardy is almost as bad as Hayden Christensen was in Attack Of The Clones and makes one wish that Montalban had been available for the role.

Aside from Hardy, most of the acting is passable. Yet the script does not enable the actors to really bring the characters to life. Instead it appears to have been written on autopilot (or warp speed in this case) as the plot cliches amply demonstrate. The battles between starships are old hat in the Star Trek universe and I could swear that this is the first Star Trek movie that featured a car chase in it. In additions, many gaps in logic are apparent. I'll just mention one: how did Janeway from the later Star Trek show Voyager reach Admiral before Picard who had been part of the federation for much longer. So much for the glass ceiling.

Despite all the negative things I’ve said so far, I will give Nemesis points for being entertaining and for never being dull. It is enjoyable to watch the characters in action, even though they are more or less going through the motions.

Advanced word on Nemesis suggested that it was going to be the movie that brought the Star Trek series to a conclusion. Methinks that this is for the better. On the basis of this movie, the series has already started running out of gas. If they do decide to make another Next Generation Star Trek movie or move on to Deep Space Nine or Voyager, my advice would be to at least make sure that they have another writer and director than Logan and Baird. As far as Nemesis goes, I'd recommend waiting for video. Otherwise you might find yourself walking out of the movie singing a certain Aerosmith song chorus and adding the line "Same old plot cliches".

Recommend this product? No

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