This is widely reviled as the worst of the Trek movies, and it effectively ended Star Trek as a viable film and TV franchise until 2009’s JJ Abrams directed flick.
It’s a shame too, because at its heart, there is something worth making here. Ultimately it’s a story about ‘nature versus nurture’, and about what makes us who we are.
Let us start with the positives; the special effects
are once again provided by Industrial Light and Magic were provided by Digital Domain and as usual they are good – if not ground-breaking. The musical score is also good, although, once again it’s not the best score that Goldsmith has produced. So the film is at least technically proficient. I love Star Trek like nothing else, so this review is gonna be tough to do…
Star Trek Nemesis is all kinds of wrong, it is truly bad. Firstly, it’s disrespectful to the Trek faithful. When we first meet B4, no one inquires if it’s Lore – Data’s ‘brother’ who we meet on numerous occasions in the TV show. They act as if they can’t believe that they’ve discovered another Soong android! This is even more ignorant because in the episode ‘Inheritance’, we discover that Data’s ‘mother’ is also an android – and is more advanced than Data. All this could have been covered with a couple of lines of dialog, so as not to ‘confuse’ the casual viewers.
The film’s main protagonists are the Remans, ‘brothers’ of the Romulans. Why had we not heard about this warrior race in the (at this point) previous 36 years of Star Trek storytelling? It beggars belief that these Nosferatu wannabes were included.
The film also has more flawed logic in it that any other Trek movie to date. The buggy scene is ridiculous. Why in Gods name do they do their reconnaisance in a dune buggy when they’ve got shuttlecraft?
Why does Commander Riker lead the security team to fight the Reman invaders on the Enterprise? For that matter, why does he have a fist fight with a Reman on a catwalk over a bottomless pit? Star Trek The Next Generation was never about mindless action – leave that to Star Wars, it does it better.
For what is supposed to be a farewell to The Next Generation, the supporting cast barely get to wave goodbye. Gates McFadden gets almost no screentime, and the film is dominated by Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner. Gone is the friendly ensemble of my beloved TV show.
The tone of this movie is completely wrong, Star Trek is not a dark and violent universe. What happened to the happy, fun and intelligent future, where mankind explored the stars – instead we get a dumb, dark, doom laden, sub par and derivative action film. We even find out that the Remans are unusually light sensitive – if they’d beamed onto the well lit TV set of the regular show, they wouldn’t have been so effective in combat. Why do our usually quite intelligent heroes not turn up the blasted lights?
I could keep going all day – but here is the last piece of illogic to trample on Roddenberry’s dream. The Enterprise is being shadowed by Shinzon’s cloaked ship and is desperate to rendezvous with the fleet for protection. On the way, they enter an area of space/plot contrivance where long-range communications don’t work. Data and Picard note this and then, well you can guess what happens.
Rick Berman blamed the poor performance of Nemesis on ‘franchise fatigue’, but that’s a lazy excuse that holds no water with this reviewer. There’s not an original idea in this wretched film, in Star Trek VI, there was a ship that could ‘fire whilst cloaked’. Janeway rammed her ship into another one in Voyager, Data had a ‘brother’ in Datalore. Now I use the Star Wars prequels as barometers of film badness. This turgid, inspid mess of a film is almost as bad as The Phantom Menace – but not quite.