The “Star Trek” phenomenon has lasted for nearly three decades. When the original crew of the starship Enterprise passed the baton to the Next Generation crew in “Generations”, a new series of feature films have been released. The Next Generation’s plunge into the silver screen has been a 50/50 venture. They had an amazing sequel in “First Contact” but wasted a lot of fans time with the doughy “Insurrection”.
Now comes forth the tenth film in the series, “Nemesis”, in a cloud of controversy that the franchise is indeed dead and that an intricate plot point will change the face of Star Trek forever.
The story behind this tenth film surrounds the scheming Romulans and their impending struggle with a race called the Remans, a race of vicious blood-thirsty miners who live only on the dark side of their home world.
It turns out that the Remans have a new praetor named Shinzon (Tom Hardy of “Black Hawk Down”) whose sole mission is to win freedom for the Remans from the Romulans.
What is Shinzon’s connection to Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) when he asks to meet with Picard? Is there another plan in motion? What is with that abandoned android left on a desert world that is very similar to Data (Brent Spiner)?
By the time this mission is done, Picard and his Enterprise crew may never be the same again.
“Nemesis” is almost a blatant remake of the greatest Trek movie of all time, “The Wrath of Khan”. There are a lot of intricate parts, details, foreshadowing and the film’s third act that pay homage 1982 classic Trek film. Was this intentional or was the studio trying to relive the past to reboot the franchise? Those questions are never answered in the film but the film is still a landslide more enjoyable than the previous sequel, “Insurrection”.
Nemesis is a lot darker and friskier than previous “Star Trek” films. The film’s villains are creepy and sinister. The Remans, a new alien race in Star Trek, are actually based on the classic vampire incarnate, Nosferatu.
The Reman makeup is quite impressive and the viceroy Reman is played by none other than Ron Perlman from the forthcoming “Hellboy” and “Blade 2”.
It seems to be the in thing in Hollywood these days with sequels. The goal seems to make sequels bolder, darker and steamier than the predecessor. This is evident in other franchises like “Harry Potter”, James Bond, “Blade” and even “Star Wars”.
I have always loved epic space battles where starships are shredded and barely survive missions. I have always liked laser-gun battles with butt-ugly aliens who have a clan destine mission. Nemesis is all those and more. It is epic science-fiction at its best.
I have also love science-fiction that is smart and fresh. Nemesis does lack in that department because there were some scenes where a jump in direction left me going, huh? Also because I kept comparing it to “Wrath of Khan”, I found very little originality.
This is a fun ride for those of us who love Trekking or just love watching starships blow up. But for the people who remember “Wrath of Khan” fondly it could be a little frustrating. Is this franchise starting to clone itself? Where can it go next?
If it were me I would let Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner move on to other things like they are begging.
Start fresh with Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis) as they take out the new starship, Titan.
Surround them with characters from other series (maybe the Doctor or Odo or even Seven of Nine) and begin to tell epic stories with Star Trek crews who don’t have a 10 or 30 year history together.
It’s always has been a bold mission promising to go where no man has go before. So prove it!
3.5 out of 5
So Says the Soothsayer.
Written: December 12, 2002