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Star Trek: Nemesis
Stars: Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes, Ron Perlman, Marina Sirtis, Michael Dorn, Tom Hardy, Dina Meyer and Gates McFadden
Director: Stuart Baird
Scriptwriter: John Logan
Paramount Pictures
Running Time: one hour and 55 minutes
Rating: PG 13

The even-numbered Star Trek film dominance continues!  The tenth installment in Trek filmdom is easily the best since Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.  Not because there is anything especially original in Star Trek X: Nemesis, but because they picked the right films to borrow from.  They’ve found the formula.

Nemesis steals elements left and right.  Once we get over Picard’s cloned “nemesis”, Shinzon, looking like an overgrown Mini-Me, his confused nihilism works itself into a near Khanian revenge fixation on Picard.  Another of the many Star Trek II similarities is the hazardous, spectacularly lighted region of space where the starships decide to duke it out.

The true sci-fi geek will also notice elements drawn from all three original Star Wars films, for example, the good guys’ movement in the interior of Shinzon‘s ship are reminiscent of the handcuffed Chewbacca walking through the Death Star and the blaster battle before they all leap into the trash compactor.

Brent Spiner steals the show by playing not only Commander Data (set to be Picard’s new number one as Riker leaves with fiancée Troi to command his own ship) but an older disassembled brother as well.  This relationship and the one between Picard and Shinzon raise very interesting issues in philosophy of mind.  Would Picard have turned out exactly as Shinzon if he had lived Shinzon’s life?  Or are we more than just our DNA?  The issue is raised, but a little more development of it would have been welcomed.

Be under no illusions.  This is a Star Trek film.  It relies on your prior knowledge of the characters in order to move as quickly as it does without giving background.  But if you already know about the crew before going into the film, you’re sure to enjoy it—especially the surprise ending!

Dan Singleton 12/15/2002

If you haven't figured it out by now, Star Trek: Nemesis is a continuation of the very long running Star Trek series. Patrick Stewart is back as Jean-Luc Picard, the elegant Starship Enterprise captain, with Jonathan Frakes as his Number One. The entire crew is here to fight a villain who is Picard's clone.

Scriptwriter John Logan must have thought an entire five minutes to come up with the idea for this script, and actually, it isn't a bad premise. The trouble is, Tom Hardy as Shinzon the villain, talks and talks and talks. What need of a super weapon (yes, he has that, too) when all the guy has to do is open his mouth and word the opposition into eternity. He has his Number One, also, an unrecognizable Ron Perlman. Methinks Perlman would have made a better villain with Tom Hardy (Shinzon) as HIS Number One.

The story has the crew of the Enterprise celebrating the marriage of Troi (Sirtis) and Riker (Frakes). Eventually, there is a distressing situation in the Romulan sector and the group is off for another adventure. No time for a honeymoon. The Romulans are having problems with someone named Shinzon who used to be a slave in the dilithium mines. Shinzon desires to meet Picard and certainly has an ulterior motive, he being Picard's clone and all. A side story has Data meeting a long-lost "brother" who is a slower version of the commander, a Data Base and a Data Prime.

"Star Trek" fans wait for just two phrases, (referring to a warship) "She's a predator" and "All hands to battle stations" (meaning the predator is prowling). I certainly felt the tension in the theater alter when the villain finally stopped talking and started pressing buttons on his control panel in the Scimitar. He has one good phrase, "It will be the victory of the echo over the voice."

The special effects are good, especially the inside of the Scimitar and the inevitable fight between the two ships. What can you learn from this film? Friends come in all shapes, sizes and genders and the biggest isn't always the best. Star Trek fans won't be disappointed in this film and it is sure to keep the series going no matter what crew is aboard the Enterprise.

Copyright 2002 Marie Asner
Submitted 1/9/2003


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