STAR TREK NEMESIS is a still-borne baby. The film is lifeless, fragile and heartbreaking. You watch as something you love just lays there without so much of a twitch of life.
The trailers were the ultra-sounds that gave me hope. In the trailers I thought I detected ever so slight motions and life. These tiny glimpses of life in the effects – a captured moment here or there… It made me dream that a new Star Trek would be born screaming into our lives with the promise of future years of development – instead the tagline: A GENERATION’S FINAL JOURNEY… BEGINS also ends with this film… hopefully.
The most embarrassing moments have been taken out of what might have been, but the flat line of energy drones ever on without dipping or spiking. A monotonous hum of boredom that made me want Star Trek dead for a generation grew up inside of me.
Sometimes as a farmer you plow the crop under and you just let nutrients go back into the soil. Sometimes you do this for a season or two. A period of time where new ideas can germinate with new crops and new pursuits. Because right now, Star Trek has gone to the same field to plant it’s infertile seed too many damn times.
From the first flaccid intonations of Jerry Goldsmith’s worst ever Star Trek contribution, you know this is bad. His score feels like its 17 musicians plus Russell and his miracle Casio keyboard backing it all up.
Patrick Stewart has grown tired of this. He no longer seems to find any of this endearing. There’s one moment of cheer in his face while driving that ridiculous vehicle that made me see Stewart shine. It’s a brief moment – and it is all too fleeting. Throughout this film Picard seems to be going through the motions. – Oh here I go getting rid of Number One – I really must give a terribly written half-hearted speech about hating to see him go Now I must ambiguously end this so they can once again dredge me back up if they must. In all – it plays about as exciting as all that.
Jonathan Frakes has three faces. Happy, Smug and Determined. They all belong on television.
Brent Spiner is the real tragedy of the Next Generation. Here was an actor that I feel genuinely showed promise, yet has been given zero development to work with. He just doesn’t have much of anything to do here. He has the same bank of faces and ever so not so subtle hints of humanity – feelings of isolation and loneliness, of not being in on the joke, yet always willing to sacrifice for others. I’d kill to see Brent be given dramatic non-silly bullshit parts in a quality film. I think he has potential to actually be more than he’s been.
LeVar Burton is not really in this film.
Michael Dorn’s Worf is now being played like the stereotype of the drunken reservation Indian. He’s pathetic. A joke to everyone. Just absolutely embarrassingly awful.
Gates McFadden, lovely as ever, has absolutely nothing to do.
Marina Sirtis is the worst regular working acting professional in the history of Star Trek. Her seductive come hither of Riker in their bedroom made me think of the old shower hag in THE SHINING or this one lady that Quint and Tom Joad ran into at a gas station in Atlanta that apparently offered a blowjob and a watch for $10. Just ew. You could tell she was absolutely uncomfortable with the scene. The bad lighting on her PSYCHIC EYE moment is among the most ridiculously awful lighting in the history of cinema. They were getting that sort of thing right in the silent era, and they couldn’t get it right now? What the fuck?
Tom Hardy’s Praetor Shinzon – I love it… Here’s this skinhead from Remus whose big bit of evil is… “I’m you and You’re me!” Oh wow. I’m so threatened. The adolescent version of myself wants to kick my ass. If Picard was an ounce of the man Kirk was, as soon as lil bitch version of himself showed up, he’d kick-start the prick’s jaw and piss in his tank! The bullshit stuff about – “Other than the broken nose and cheekbones I suffered we look EXACTLY THE SAME” crap -- Oh, I love a movie that points out the exact problems with the make-up – but then does it wrong. So Shinzon was the one with the broken nose? His nose was perfectly straight and Roman in shape – whereas Picard’s is the one that looks like it might possibly have been broken at some point. His whole Snidely Whiplash – I’m evil because I’m him bullshit was terrible. The biggest problem is he looked like a punk. Not only could Picard kick his ass in that plastic nightgown he was wandering around in, but when his chemotherapy look starts happening, a suckerpunch to the gut would’ve doubled lil bitch in two.
Dina Meyer – Ok, so you hire an absolute goddess to wear the shittiest clothes on television… I mean Film… you cover her face in the worst make-up work I’ve seen in film in perhaps15-20 years. Here’s the girl that was wonderful in STARSHIP TROOPERS – ‘remember the shower scene?’ and you just give her a bad Liza Minnelli hair cut – actually – it is more like those Mod Wigs you could buy in 1966 at the Five and Dime in October. Again – she has nothing to do.
Oh… and then there’s Ron Perlman. Ron is a great character actor – a great makeup actor. We’ve seen how he just transforms inside of great makeup into characters we love, but here… One his make up is shit. Two – his character has shit to do. This was just sad and tragic and just awful. At least Ron gets to do HELLBOY next – there he has great makeup by Rick Baker and a real director and a real script. You’ll see what he can really do there.
This film is just complete lameness with the exception of Digital Domain’s visual effects work… Other than that – the film is shit.
It amazes me. They go from TV to film – They go with DIGITAL DOMAIN instead of the TV effects folks, so they want to improve – but do they go to a Stan Winston or a Rick Baker or a Weta for their makeup? Oh god no. Do they even try to blend the shadows on the Romulan faces? No. Other than Shinzon’s advanced whatever problem makeup – it all looks like crap.
The singing is random and serves no purpose other than to be Cute Data moment number 844521. The car is stupid… Oh here’s something…
Ok, remember how the Federation has a rule about non-revealing to pre-Warp societies? Well, this film, they find out there be Android parts on this planet. Instead of setting up an away team with surgical work done to look like natives of the planet. Instead of beaming them down for however long it takes to find out what the Android parts mean and study this new culture to report back to Starfleet and the Federation. No, this time they just Fly down in a shuttle craft with a big jeep style car in it with a machine gun laser gatllin gun on the back and they send the Captain – a Klingon and an Android down - All of which don’t look a thing like the indigenous people on the planet. Blatantly disregard all protocol for Starfleet – which this whole film is taking a crap on btw. Just crap.
Then there’s the big – let’s use the Enterprise as a blunt instrument and ram the other ship. OK… Never mind that they have 70% shields and you have none. That you’d probably just break up on the shields. Let’s say that the ‘slow blade passes’ rule applies and that’s not a problem.
What’s the basic purpose militarily speaking with RAMMING another ship. Go back to Roman and Pirate times. What’s the purpose? One is to cause HULL DAMAGE, the second is to follow-up with boarding parties to seize control of the other ship. This is STANDARD MILITARY POLICY in regards to RAMMING! We see tons of Starfleet personal with rayguns – of course they never do anything… Of course Picard decides it is best to send just one person over there. God forbid we escalate the thrills and chills. God forbid you use the crew you have to mount an all out attack. I mean, it is only the sake of mankind at stake here. Sending just the captain to abandon his ship in crew… well that makes shitloads of sense. Especially because he’s the one person that can save the enemy from dying, and so long as he’s aboard the Enterprise and alive – Earth is not being attacked. BUT HEY!!! Why nitpick?
Because STAR TREK fucking deserves better than this shit. Because this shit is just awful. Because this doesn’t work. For brief moments we have cool space stuff, and woo hoo, COOL SPACE STUFF, but god damn it, let’s have some decent character work. A compelling story. Direction from something other than a blind nanny with zero sense of decent style. This film is ugly, bland, non-textured and just boring.
That’s the grand Romulan Senate Chamber. Looks more like a tiny committee room. Where’s the majesty of the Romulan Empire? The Romulans in this movie look like extras from TEENAGE CAVEMAN that got banished to a bad movie.
The lighting in this film is bad, the makeup is bad, the acting is bad, the story is bad, the action is adequate, the space stuff is cool but uninvolving beyond eye-candy, this is just a waste of resources, time and money. Berman must go. He really doesn’t know what he’s doing at all here. They defuse every moment of tension with an escape clause in case there’s a sequel, which is actually at this moment the best bit of tension they have created with this film… the fear that there might be another.
P.S. -- Saw a note in Talk Back that wanted me to put this in perspective of the worst Trek films. Let's see that would be STAR TREK V (directed by Shatner and ambushed by Paramount), STAR TREK GENERATIONS and STAR TREK INSURRECTION. I personally feel that STAR TREK INSURRECTION was the worst Trek ever. This film is just like STAR TREK INSURRECTION but just cut out the most embarrassing moments. STAR TREK V is laughably bad - to that point that you can have fun with how bad it is. STAR TREK GENERATIONS is mediocre. So I'd put this as my second least favorite of the series. Personally I'd put David Fein in charge of the Franchise. Afterall he was able to transform the Best Flawed Trek into something MAJESTIC - Imagine what he could do from scratch!