Reel Matt

This blog started as my movie marathon — watching a movie a day for a whole year — and has continued as a place for me to write reviews about movies, TV, and various other items.



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Star Trek: Nemesis

Film #310


After the Enterprise is diverted to the Romulan planet of Romulus, supposedly because they want to negotiate a truce, the Federation soon find out the Romulans are planning an attack on Earth.

Year 1, Day 318

BEFORE: Back in 2002, Star Trek: Nemesis debuted and was the end to a film franchise that had been going for over twenty years (the Enterprise TV series would continue running until 2005). I don’t know where I’m going with this grand statement so I’ll just say, “Make it so.”

AFTER: I’m sensing a trend in the Star Trek films and that trend seems to be mirroring the trend of modern cinema itself. Things are becoming more action-packed, less focused on story and more on the excitement level. Saying whether or not this is a good thing is complicated. Obviously films are better if they keep you engaged and active throughout and nowadays that means more explosions. But what Star Trek: Nemesis fails to understand, and what has been a growing problem in the last couple (minus First Contact) is why we watch Star Trek films and that is once again, curiosity. We want to see new and exciting things: new worlds, new people, new villains. Nemesis has the explosions, but lacks the purpose.

Even with Insurrection earlier today, I noted that it to had put less attention on the story. The film was still entertaining because there was enough of a story coupled with the great visuals that you went along with it. With Nemesis, the problems are amplified and the positives are effectively diminished. Examples: wedding between Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Troi (Marina Sirtis) - (ok, so maybe the setup in the last film was more important than I thought; still don’t care about it though) - the whole setup with Data’s (Brent Spiner) early prototype B-4, and poor inclusion of the Romulans (their role is quite significant but it’s just poorly executed). These examples are of separated and disjointed subplots that drag the film down. But what’s worse about Nemesis is that even the main story feels predictable and tiring. If you think about the premise - Picard (Patrick Stewart) has a Reman clone Shinzon (Tom Hardy) - you might b intrigued. But what actually happens is boilerplate, standard blockbuster fare. No longer do we have cool, new, and forward-thinking Trek stories; we have yet another action film.

So why do I look down on this more than I did with Insurrection? Both are seemingly “just” action films with little more going for them than explosions and eye candy. First off there’s what I mentioned about the story - it is much more problematic in terms of plot details and also in terms of predictability. Secondly, let’s look at the big picture. Ten Star Trek films is a lot (just under 19 hours of runtime - all of this is excluding J.J. Abrams’ two latest films). Chances are, unless you have some mission as I did to watch all of them, you’ll only want to watch two or three of the best ones. Why then should you watch Nemesis. The answer: if you’re looking at just the top two or three, you can stop reading this review right now. A more detailed answer: when you look at Nemesis stacked up against the other nine, there’s nothing that makes you want to watch it over the others. With Insurrection the visual effects and action can be reason enough to spend your time watching it. Nemesis on the other hand just recycles bits and pieces from previous films and does a poor job at it. So as it comes to recommendation time, just look above a few lines: don’t watch this one. There are plenty of other, better, Star Trek films you can watch. In terms of the original films, Nemesis may not be the absolute worst, that honor I think still belongs to The Motion Picture, but it is certainly at the bottom of the barrel.

RATING: 2 out of 5