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Star Trek: Nemesis Review

By Shawn McKenzie 12/17/2002

There is a huge area of the geek universe that goes by the name “Trekkies” (or “Trekkers” as some like to be called.)  Despite the fact that this is a geek web site, I personally am not a Trekkie.  How is that possible?  I guess I just never really got into it.  I do have a healthy respect for the Star Trek movies and TV shows.  As a matter of fact, I regularly watch the latest series, “Enterprise,” but that mainly because I was a huge fan of “Quantum Leap,” and “Leap’s” Scott Bakula plays Captain Jonathan Archer on the new series.  My favorite Trek movie has always been Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, and until now, it was the only Trek movie I had seen in the theater.  The tenth and latest movie in the franchise, Star Trek: Nemesis, won’t unseat my favorite Trek movie in my opinion, but it is pretty good.


Nemesis opens with the marriage of crewmembers Commander William T. Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Counselor Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis.)  Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and his crew of the Starship Enterprise hardly have any time to celebrate before they are sent on a possible diplomatic mission to meet with Praetor Shinzon (Tom Hardy) from the Romulan Empire.  Riker and Troi's honeymoon trip to her homeland had already been postponed when Chief Engineer Geordi La Forge (Levar Burton) picked up weird signals from a nearby planet.  When they get to the planet, they find an android in pieces named B-4 (Brent Spiner) that appears to be a prototype for the ship's current android, Lt. Commander Data (Spiner as well.)  The crew, including Lt. Commander Worf (Michael Dorn), and Dr. Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden), then heads off to meet Shinzon.  What they don’t know is that he recently killed many members of the Romulan Senate.  When they arrive, they also discover that the leader is not a native Romulan, but rather a human who was enslaved as a boy in the Reman mines.  Now with Reman Viceroy (Ron Perlman) at his side and Romulan Commander Donatra (Dina Meyer), who is uncertain of his motives, Shinzon is proposing peace between the Remans and the Federation.  Picard isn't sure he believes Shinzon, and he becomes even more suspicious when he freely lets them know that he's actually a clone of Picard who originally was genetically engineered to age quickly and replace Picard one day.  Picard gets the unique opportunity to see his younger self and wonder if he might have turned out the same way if he had been exposed to the same things as Shinzon.  He and the crew of the Enterprise try to figure out Shinzon's real motives, including what he plans on doing with an enormous weapon that could easily destroy them and the Earth as well.


Before I get into my critique of the movie in whole, I have a quick gripe about something in the beginning of the movie.  I personally think that “Star Trek: The Next Generation” was the best of the five television series.  One of the cool characters from the first few seasons of the show was Wesley Crusher, the son of Dr. Beverly Crusher, played by Will Wheaton.  While he wasn’t supposed to have a big role in Nemesis, he was supposed to have more of an appearance than he did, including some lines.  Instead, he not only doesn’t get to speak in the movie, but if you blink, you will miss seeing him altogether!  For some reason, the captain on “Star Trek: Voyager,” Kathryn Janeway (played by Kate Mulgrew), now an admiral, gets a bigger part than Wesley!  Oh well…minor gripe…


Now, as I stated before, I’m not a Trekkie.  I did go to the movie with some Trekkies though, and they loved it of course (their only complaint was the Wesley thing as well, and the end of the movie, which I won’t give away here.)  I thought it was a decent movie with lots of cool effects.  I think the reason why The Voyage Home was my favorite was that it had more of a sense of humor.  They don’t all have to become comedies now, but part four was just all around a more fun movie.  While Nemesis has its moments of levity, it was more of a serious movie.  I will say that Shinzon, as a bad guy, was more menacing than many enemies the crew has gone up against.


This is a very Data-centric movie.  That isn’t a surprise, since Spiner co-wrote the movie.  I personally thought it was about time, since I think Data is one of the more interesting characters of this cast (I lump him in the “Spock” category of interesting characters who are learning to be more like humans.  T’Pol on “Enterprise” is going through that right now, and she is almost more interesting than Bakula’s Archer.)


If you are a Trekkie, you will love Nemesis, but if you aren’t, it is still worth going to see.  It is far from my favorite movie of the year, or even my favorite Star Trek movie, but I think if you bring a Trekkie with you, you will have a great geeky time at the theater.  Find a Trekkie who owns Vulcan ears and knows fluent Klingon!


Rating for Trekkies:


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