Star Trek: Nemesis Review

by Shannon Patrick Sullivan (shannon AT morgan DOT ucs DOT mun DOT ca)
December 23rd, 2002

STAR TREK: NEMESIS (2002) / **

Directed by Stuart Baird. Screenplay by John Logan, based on a story by Logan, Rick Berman and Brent Spiner. Starring Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Spiner. Running time: 116 minutes. Rated PG for frightening scenes by the MFCB. Reviewed on December 21st, 2002.


Synopsis: While celebrating the marriage of Commander Riker (Frakes) and Counsellor Troi (Marina Sirtis), the starship Enterprise is sent to the planet Romulus to investigate its new ruler, Shinzon (Tom Hardy). Shinzon claims peaceful intentions, but Captain Picard (Stewart) soon discovers he has darker motives. And what is Shinzon's connection to a recently-unearthed prototype of the android Commander Data (Spiner)?
Review: Although it would go too far to suggest that I disliked "Star Trek: Nemesis", I think it's fair to say that I enjoyed it much more the first time I saw it -- when it was called "The Wrath Of Khan". Although the "Trek" franchise has long made a habit of cannibalising its own ideas, rarely has it been as disappointing as here. From the portrayal of the movie's villain to a starship showdown in an eerie nebula, "Nemesis" constantly retreads the plot of "Khan". As such, a climactic sacrifice will come as little surprise to any viewer; more astonishing is the utter lack of emotion invested in the event. Much of the blame lies at the feet of Baird, whose flat, uninspired direction robs "Nemesis" of the sense of wonder which once fuelled "Trek": all we are left with is the usual runaround of positronic emissions and dwindling rear shields. And once again it is really only Stewart who gets much of a chance to actually act, although Sirtis does well with a rare spotlight. Hardy is not bad as Shinzon, but despite some trappings of the plot he is indistinguishable from the legion of other power-hungry madmen the Enterprise has faced in the past. Although I generally prefer the "Next Generation" crew to Captain Kirk and company, in a way I'm glad "Nemesis" is probably their final outing. This is a movie franchise in desperate need of new blood.
Copyright 2002 Shannon Patrick Sullivan.
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