Star Trek: Nemesis
***.4 GM
Starring: Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Tom Hardy, Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, Gates McFadden, Michael Dorn, LeVar Burton, Ron Perlman, Kate Mulgrew, Dina Meyer

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I'm not sure if this is possible or just wishful thinking, but is it too weird to start noticing subtle references and homages to "The Transformers: The Movie" in current films? The wonderful Stan Bush moment in "Boogie Nights" aside, are we at a point where the people that loved that film in their youth might pop a sequence or three into a "Star Trek" film to please nerd kindred? I don't care. I'm going to pretend it's true.

So I noticed a few similarities, minor at best, to my beloved Transformers film in "Star Trek: Nemesis." Woo! Just a few. Some of the odd musical choices in this film slyly resemble Vince DiCola's 80s-style electronic soundtrack, and one scene in particular seems to have distinct echoes of the opening sequence of "TF:TM" where the monster planet creeps up on an unsuspecting world to devour it. And boyo, if that doomsday weapon gearing up didn't strike a Unicron chord, then YOU, my friend, have not seen the 1986 animated masterpiece of which I speak.

And if you haven't, I shall stop blathering about it and get into talking about this actual film. This is the tenth Star Trek film, and it's following on the heels of a pretty crappy one called "Insurrection," so it was either going to be better, or it was going to be the worst thing since unsliced bread, and we all know how fucking horrible that is. Luckily, it's a pretty decent one, although still not without faults.

The story is thus: Picard and Krew are celebrating the marriage of Chucklebutt Billy Riker and Hotpants Dee-Dee Troi in traditional Earth fashion, and then are on their way to Troi's homeworld to celebrate it in the traditional Betazed way - getting all naked for some reason. If you allude to naked Troi, you should deliver naked Troi. Yes, even now. Yes, even in a Star Trek movie. Trouble is, their mission gets derailed when Admiral Janeway from that one other Star Trek show that apparently nerds didn't like so much tells them to go to Remulak - or Romulus, the home planet of those half-ass Vulcans that hate the Federation. Apparently there's been a coup of some sort, and they want Federation chumps to show up and negotiate a thing or two. Picard naturally trips out a bit when he discovers that the leader of the coup is a younger, angrier, militaristic clone of himself who wants to destroy the Earth.

Now, I'll forgive a lot of things in a movie, especially one as fun and entertaining as this film was overall. Centering on Picard is always a good idea, although it's to the detriment of most of the rest of the crew. I'll even forgive the lack of any true feeling of danger and depth to the story, despite casualties that occur in the film. What I CANNOT forgive, however, is a film that makes me think of Jonathan Frakes in any sort of sexual situation. "Insurrection" nearly made me vomit with the overkill of a Riker-Troi bathtub scene, and this one trumps THAT grotesquerie with a scene of them actually starting to DO IT. GAH! Any attration I feel to Marina Sirtis is utterly negated by A) The presence of Riker and B) her character's nonsensical attraction to Riker. Riker is a goddamned tool and a putz and he should NOT be the only person on that ship getting laid. I'd prefer a Patrick Stewart/Gates McFadden sex scene over this. Hell, I'd prefer a Wil Wheaton/Gates McFadden sex scene over this, and that's fucking disgusting. That's how much I hate Riker. His mere presence is contempt-inducing, and seeing him gallavanting about in a robe and getting to nail the hottest chick on the Enterprise is just nauseating. Bleh bleh bleh.

Another thing: When the hell did Worf become this anal prude who can't hold his liquor? He's a goddamned KLINGON. He's a tough bastard from a warlike race with animalistic tendencies. He should be able to drink anyone under the table, he should have no problem with being naked, and he should totally have married Troi, because he's a badass.

I think it's mildly amusing that Whoopi Goldberg got all gussied up in that weird getup only to deliver one line.

So this is heavily rumored to be the last Trek film featuring the Next Generation cast. However, with the film ending the way it does, they should do at least one more with the pared down cast, because that would mean a film with no fucking Riker. Maybe Troi's gone, too, but collateral damage, acceptable losses. Maybe it's time LaForge gets a little play.

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