Wacky Reviews: Star Trek

Zephram Cochrane in First Contact is one of those things where they basically completely contradict something that had already been established in canon.... but no one ever really cared? I guess because no one ever actually gave a shit about this guy:

Also there's the whole "Zephram Cochrane in First Contact is actually Gene Roddenberry" thing where he went down in history as a visionary man who wanted to change the world but in reality he was just some guy who wanted to sleep with women and make money and, yeah, that's probably right. I mean if anything it's still actually quite generous to Gene!


I want to smell dark matter
Star Trek: Insurrection - Some kids are playing on some kind of Amish planet. The title them is a bit twee this time (but in terms of twee opening music I guess it's well done!) All the people on the planet are happy and churning butter and stuff, but they're being spied on by Starfleet (and some ugly aliens.) There's invisible people walking around the village. One of them starts shooting. "The android is out of control!" Starfleet chase Data but he beats them up. This is all invisible so the villages have no idea why things are getting smashed around them. Then Data takes the head off his invisble suit and his head appears floating in the air. Data fires on the Starfleet Duckblind, exposing it to the villagers. It's a pretty good opening scene. The villagers look kind of lame but invisible Data going nuts is intriguing. On the Enterprise, Picard, Riker and the rest are wearing dress uniform. The Dominion get name dropped. Worf is on the Enterprise for some reason (we can barely hear what he says.) So he's going to be in the movie now. Just accept it. It is funny how only Worf gets to move on with his life and everyone else stays on the Enterprise in the same positions they were when the series ended four years ago. Picard welcomes a new race of midgets who only developed warp drive last year to the Federation. The Federation needs more allies due to the Dominion war (so these midgets are basically being recruited to die in a war? That's pretty dark.) Admiral Dougherty (Anthony Zerbe) contacts Picard wanting Data's schematics. Picard wonders if Data's emotion chip is the reason he's malfunctioning but Geordi says he "didn't bring it with him." Even if Data had developed a way to remove his emotion chiip, why wold he have to take it out when he can turn it on and off by twitching his head?

The Admiral talks with Ru'afo (F. Murray Abraham), the leader of the Son's, as some hot alien women perform a facelift on Ru'afo. Someone fires on the Son'a ship. It's Data! The Enterprise heads for the Briar Patch (even though the Admiral didn't want them to come) which is the kind of coudy area of space you often see in the movies. Troi starts stroking Riker as he gives exposition about the Son'a. Dougherty tells Picard that he and Ru'afo are sending an assault team to stop Data. Picard aks to be allowed to stop Data and offers to terminate him if it has to be done. Picard and Worf go after Data in a shuttle. Picard sings "come out, come out, wherever you are" and it's kind of cringey. Picard and Worf have a hard time catching Data because he's so smart. Picard asks Worf if he knows Gilbert and Sullivan and Worf says "I have not been able to meet all the new crewmembers!" That's kind of funny. But then Picard starts singing 'A British Tar.' And Data does too. This isn't funny and it goes on too long. This improbably distracts Data enough that they're able to dock their shuttle with his ship. There's some pretty bad special effects when the two ships nearly crash on the planet. Data is captured. Picard takes an away team down to the planet (should be Riekr's job!!!!) to rescue the hostages the nice aliens (the Ba'ku) have there. They've been well treated. The villagers know all about positronic brains but have chosen to live a technology free life (except machines that make butter.) A woman named Anij (Donna Murphy) tells Picard they have warp capability but don't use it because it would take them away from home.

Riker goes to see Troi. He kisses her but she says "yuck!" because she's never kissed him with a beard before (UNTRUE, see 'Menaga A Tro.') Geordi tells Picard that Data's ethical and moral subroutines took over after he was shot by the Son'a. Data is missing some memories so he goes down to the planet with Picard to retrace his steps. A little boy is scared of him. Riker and Troi have a bath together and she shaves his beard. We hardly get to see any Riker skin, which is bullshit. Data walks into a lake as there's something underneath it. They find a cloaked Federation ship (that's illegal!) Anij goes with them to the ship and they find it contains a holographic recreation of the Ba'ku village. Data found it before and was shot to prevent him from telling anyone. The Son'a fire on them. Anij falls into the water and Picard has to save her because she can't swim. Data reports that he's been designed to function as a floatation device. It's stupid! Worf has a huge Klingon pimple on his nose. Riker says his new beardless face is "smooth as an android's bottom." Data strokes him and shakes his head. I actually find that bit kind of funny, don't judge me. Don't worry, the terrible humour returns as Picard starts dancing a mambo! He realises something weird is going on and goes to see Anij to ask her how old she is. The Ba'ku explain that they came from another solar system, hoping to find a new hom where they could live without technology. None of them have aged in 309 years (but the child really is 12.) Picard says he won't let anyone take them from their home. Picard and Anij go for a walk and start to get on better as he admires their slow paced lifestyle. She asks him if he's ever experienced a perfect moment in time, when time seemed to stop. The next morning, Picard sees Geordi on the planet, watching the sun rise. His eyes have grown back (again) and he's watching his first sunrise through real eyes. It's a nice moment, the kind of scene Levar Burton is very good at.

Dougherty and Ru'afo go to see Picard in his Ready Room. Ru'afo is angry Picard won't release his men and his face starts to bleed. He leaves them alone and Patrick Stewart and Anthony Zerbe get to do the ACTING scene of the movie. Dougherty says the Federation Council gave him permission to remove the people from the village. The Son'a have the technology to replicate the the particles on the Ba'ku planet that make people immortal. The Son'a's technique will make the planet uninhabitable so that's why the Ba'ku have to be removed. Picard says they're betraying the principles of the Federation by removing them. Doughterty says it's only six hundred people. Picard asks how many people does it take before it becomes wrong. I feel like this scene is trying to recreate the "line must be drawn here!" scene from FC. It's nowhere near as good as that. It's just hard to care that much about the Ba'ku, I guess! I mean it's still a good scene, Patrick Stewart is always good at these kind of speeches, but he had better ones in the series. He relases the Son'a prisoners under orders and Ru'afo's friend goes back to him. All the main characters find Picard (out of uniform) about to sneak off with a load of guns. They know what he's going to do and they want to join him. Data says "Saddle up, lock and load!" a line Data would never say but they needed a soundbite for the movie. Picard orders Riker and Geordi to take the Enterprise back to the Federation Council while the rest of them go to the planet. The ridiculous thing about this scene (other than Data's terrible line) is that Riker and Geordi were still in uniform while the rest were out of unifrom. How did they know that Picard would order just the two of them to remain on the Enterprise? Or did Picard decide what to do based on what everyone was wearing? They take the Captain's Yacht down to the planet. Ru'afo orders his friend to get everyone off the planet tonight and to kill Picard and his people if they interfere.

Picard's plan is for the Ba'ku to hide in the mountains so they can't be transported away. The Son'a start shooting and some Ba'ku comically fall off a bridge. The stupid little boy drops his bad CGI pet and his dad gets beamed away, so Data grabs hm. Doughterty wants to talk to Picard but Ru'afo wants to kill him and is sick of the Federation. Data asks the boy what it's like to be a child. Who fucking cares. The boy says if Data wants to what it's like to be a child he needs to learn to play. Worf is continuing to go through Klingon puberty (why is this just happening to Worf?) and it still isn't funny. Picard and Anij hold hands and he notices time slowing down. He asks how she's doing it and she doesn't answer because it makes no sense. The special effects have aged poorly too. The Son'a send two ships after the Enterprise. Troi asks Crusher (who is in this movie by the way) if she's noticed her boobs are starting to firm up. Data asks the same thing to Worf. WHY WOULD HE DO THAT. The Son'a send some transporter drone things after the Ba'ku and more of them are beamed away. These drones look really fake and bad. The Enterprise is taking a beating from the Son'a so Riker decides to use the Briar Patch against them. Worf smashes a drone with his gun. The Son'a use illegal subspace weapons. Geordi decides that detonating the warp core might close the subspace tear (he isn't really sure why it might but it could!) Riker orders him to eject it and Geordi says "I just did" and Riker smiles. It's kind of a nice moment I guess! Riker says "we're through running from these bastards!" because that's our mild swear word for the movie. It does not sound natural. Picard and friends find some caves.

Riker wants to use the ramscoop to collect some explosive gas. Ensign Perim (who is hot okay) approves! Riker telks manual control of the helm with a joystick and wait how does that make any sense. There's more shooting in the moutains. The stupid kid goes back for his stupid pet. Crusher discovers something about the DNA of the Son'a. Picard and Anij end up trapped in the cave when they go back for the stupid kid. Anij nearly dies but Picard takes her hand and tells her to stay in this moment. They have a shoot out with the drones but Picard and Anij are beamed up. Dougherty and Ru'afo go to see Picard. Ru'afo is going to launch the injectors even if it kills the Ba'ku. Picard reveals the truth to Dougherty: the Son'a and the Ba'ku are the same race. You'd think they would have done a background check before making the deal. The Son'a are a group who tried to take over the colony a century ago and were exiled. Because all Trek movie villains need to be out for revenge. Dougherty tells Ru'afo it's over but Ru'afo beats him up and kills him using the face-stretching machine. How ironic! Wait, that's not ironic. But it's kind of funny I guess. Ru'afo's friend doesn't want to kill the Ba'ku. Ru'afo's Captain's chair is litterally a couch. They deploy the weapon and it has solar sails, like Count Dooku's ship (Attack of the Clones is a much better movie than this by the way.) Picard talks Ru'afo's friend into helping him. Data attacks Ru'afo's ship with tachyon bursts. It's always tachyon bursts. There's a weird flash of light on the Son'a ship's bridge. They activate the weapon and it works "exactly as the simulations predicted." That's a clue! Ru'afo notices that they're actually on a Holodeck. Data and Picard somehow managed to mass beam everyone onto the holoship! This goes against every use of transporters we've ever seen in Star Trek! You can transport someone without them noticing it. It doesn't look like a light flashing for a few second. Ru'afo lets out a childish scream of anger. Picard, Worf and Ru'afo's friend (I'm stubbornly refusing to look up the spelling of his name) have taken over the Son'a ship but Ru'afo locks out the controls so they can't drestoy the weapon. Picard has to beam over to destroy it manually.

The background on the weapon ship sure looks a lot like unfinished bluescreen, but it's been pointed out that greenscreen would have been used by this time. So they probably just decided on a background that looked like bluescreen because they liked how it looked? I don't know, everyone's shooting at each other and I don't really care anymore. Ru'afo's ships fires on the Enterprise so Riker orders Daniels (he's back!) to target their life support. Ru'afo goes "NOOOOOO!" again when Picard shoots him. Ru'afo sucks. Picard manually destroys the weapon ship and the Enterprise flies up it as it explodes to beam Picard out just in time (they leave Ru'afo to die though, which kind of seems against the Star Trek spirit?) Back on the planet, Worf tells Riker that his feelings for Troi have always been there and it wasn't down to the planet. Remember when Worf and Troi were dating? Picard tells Anij that he wishes he could stay but he has a duty to the Federation. But he has 318 days of shore leave coming and he intends to use them!!! Data plays with the kid to resolve that subplot nobody gave a fuck about. Quark doesn't make a cameo because they deleted that scene and it wouldn't have made much sense.

Michael Piller wrote some of the best episodes of TNG and deserves a lot of the credit for seasons three and four being so good. He left during season 5 to create DS9 with Rick Berman and that's a great show too (spoiler!) so really his contributions to Star Trek are greater than most. But he thought First Contact was "too dark" and only agreed to write insurrection if it go to be light. And boy, is it lighter! There's a lot of attempts at humour. The problem is that most of that humour just isn't funny and some of it's downright embarrassing. Ironically enough, First Contact is actually a funnier movie than Insurrection since most of the humour in FC actually works. To be fair to Piller, he had to deal with Patrick Stewart having creative input (Stewart requested the return of "action Picard" and a romanctic subplot) and his script went through a lot of changes. So I don't think the badness of this script outweighs all the good Piller did for Star Trek...but it's still a pretty bad script! The Son'a are not good villains. Other than Ru'afo they're not even particularly evil, they just want to beam everyone up rather than kill the Ba'ku. Ru'afo himself is a pretty thin character who makes stupid crying noises at times. Doughtery actually works better because at least he has some internal conflict going on. The actual plot with Picard rebelling against Starfleet turns out to have little weight because Dougherty himself eventually sees that the Son'a can't be trusted and Picard and his crew are obviously never going to suffer any consequences for their actions. And as I have mentioned many times, the humour is bad.

Jonathan Frakes returns as director and I think he does a decent job? I'm not really an expect on directing (or anything!) but he gets good performances out of everyone. The movie isn't as visually impressive as First Contact but a lot of that is down to the visual effects: ILM were busy with a little movie named 'The Phantom Menace' so the effects here were handled by two lesser companies. It really shows in the scenes with the drones. The stuff with the Enterprise in the Briar Patch looks decent enough though. The bit where the Enterprise is flying up the exploding ship is good? But yeah this feels like a huge step down from First Contact in terms of visuals.

What works? The opening with invisible Data is good. The cast still have great chemistry so it's good to see them all together. The Riker/Troi plot is nice since it feels like some actual character development. Patrick Stewart and Donna Murphy work wel together, even though the whole "perfect moment" thing is weird and never explained. Anthony Zerbe makes a good evil Admiral. And the movie is really short (it's the shortest Trek movie of them all) so that's nice!

Aside from bad humour there's some weirdness like Riker controlling the ship with a joystick and Data learning to play with a kid. I guess they had to include a Data subplot to keep Brent Spiner happy but did it have to be some lame? And why did they have him leave his emotion chip behind? He feels like he's back to season one Data at times here.

I don't think the movie's completely horrible, I'm pretty sure I'll be ranking at least two of the movies to come lower (spoiler: the next one and Into Darkness) but it feels really unsubstantial. I'm sure it was nice for the cast to have a light, breezey, tv episode type adventure but it doesn't exactly make for a great movie. It doesn't destroy my memories of TNG or anything like that, there's no major character assassinations or anythng, and I'm not angry at the movie's existence...but I wouldn't care if it didn't exist. I doubt anyone would?

SCORE: 5/10
First Contact is the only Trek film that looks like it’s had some proper cash dropped on it (I know TMP was super expensive, but it’s not reflected in the drab sets and costumes).
That was the '70s, though. The decade where the primary colors were shit brown, vomit green, and road cone orange. Drab was actually an improvement on colorful in that awful time.

Eggs Mayonnaise

All In With The Nuts
I thought it would be good because BROADWAY LEGEND Donna Murphy was in it. But it was so lightweight it wouldn't even rate as an above-average episode from the series.

They never explain the relationship between Sojef and that second guy (below) who seemed to live with him and the kid Artim, so maybe it's a weak but nice attempt at portraying a gay or polyamorous couple in a Trek movie. I don't think anyone ever talked about it at the time, so I'll assume it was all in my head.



Boobie inspector
The guy playing the admiral also had his face damaged to death in living daylights, the Bond movie thats always cut on tv because it was so violent.

I remember at the time dreading the line about the film "first contact was a great action movie, but we decided to take this one in a different direction".

Also how the films ended up being almost exclusively Picard and Data at the expense of everyone else, is one of the top reasons I dont want a new TNG show, or any other star trek show with Patrick Stewart.


I want to smell dark matter
Star Trek: Nemesis - We don't get the credits at the start this time, just the name of the movie (with BACKWARDS LETTERS) then straight into the action: a really nice shot of the Romulan Imperial Senate, in the Romulan city we saw often in TNG but updated to movie quality. The Romulans are debating "Shinzon's proposal" to team up with the Remans and destroy the Federation. ALAN DALE is the Romulan Praetor and he doesn't want none of Shinzon's shit. A female senator walks out but leaves a strange device behind (Nobody thinks this is strange.) It drops a cloud of green energy on the senators and turns them all to stone. Picard is making a weird speech somewhere (his voice sounds wrong? Like he soudns more like American Dad Patrick Stewart rather than Picard.) Turns out he's the best man at Riker and Troi's wedding. He makes jokes and everyone laughs even though they aren't funny. Riker is finally leaving the Enterprise for his own ship and he's taking Troi with him. Wesley is there in Starfleet dress uniform but don't expect to find out why because he gets no lines. Guinan is there too. She at least gets a line (she was married twenty three times.) Worf says "Romulan ale should be illegal" and Geordi says "it is." In the script Wrof then said "then it should be more illegal!" but they cut that. Just thought I'd note it! The rest of the wedding will be on Betazoid where everyone will be naked. Data fucking sings and it's terrible and Brent Spiner has too much creative control. On the way to Betazoid, Worf picks up a positronic signature from a planet on a nearby system (I'm pretty sure this is a continuity error because I remember loads of complaints about it on TrekBBS.) It will take them close to the Romulan Neutral Zone. Hmm, this isn't suspicious at all. Picard leads the away team because he's been "itching to try the Argo." He calls Riker "Mister Troi" and everyone laughs and Riker makes an insulted face. Take that, feminism! Picard, Data and Worf take a shuttle to the planet then drive out of it in the Argo which is...a dune buggy. That's literally all it is. It can't even fly or anything! And why couldn't they just fly the shuttle just above ground? An android hand reaches out of the ground and grabs Worf. They find more android parts scattered around, including a head which is identical to Data's. Some aliens in their own dune buggies start firing machine guns at them. The android head says "why do you have a shiny head?" to Picard and it's terrible. After and unexciting chase the Argo jumps off a cliff into the back of the shuttle. The aliens watch it go. We never see them again or find out what their deal is so just forget them okay.

Geordi reports that the android they found is a prototype created by Doctor Soong. Its name is B-4. Nobody mentions Lore or the possibility that this is Lore pretending to be an idiot as part of some plot. B-4 says "why does the tall man have a fuzzy face?" about Riker and oh God somebody kill it please. Picard gets a message from Admiral Janeway(!) Shinzon, the new Praetor of Romulus (he's from Remus though!) wants a meeting with someone from the Federation. The Enterprise is the nearest ship (hmmm) so it has to go to Romulus. Kate Mulgrew's acting in this scene is terrible but, to be fair, so is Patrick Stewart's so I'm not sure what's going on (though I suspect it's down to a terrible director!) Data gives exposition about the Romulans, they live on a permanently dark world and they're very powerful. Riker mentions they were used as ground troop in the Dominion War. Maybe we'll see them in DS9! Data downloads his memories into B-4 so that B-4 will have all his abilities and be able to be a more complete individual. Geordi suggests that maybe that's the wrong thing to do since B-4 is a different person. Data says B-4 should be able to explore his potential (by having Data's personality overwrite his own?) Data also says "I feel nothing" because this movie is pretending the emotion chip never happened which is pretty insulting. Data notices a (really obvious) extra memory port in B-4's neck. STILL NOT SUSPICIOUS AT ALL. A massive Warbird (The Scimitar) with loads of guns appears. Shinzon's Viceroy (Ron Perlman) hails them. Remans look a lot like vampires. Picard and others beam down and we meet Shinzon (Tom Hardy): a bald human. He instantly gets all creepy with Troi because he's never met a human woman before. He asks to touch her hair. It's weird. Shinzon finally turns the lights on and Picard is shocked. Shinzon tells Picard of a rare disease he had as a child. He says "cCme to dinner tomorrow,just the two of us...should I say, just the ONE of us!" because he's spent his life mastering bad clone puns. He gives a blood sample and Crusher confirms that Shinzon is a clone of PIcard. Shinzon's Romulan allies are angry that he is meeting with the Enterprise rather than attacking the Federation. Shinzon wants Commander Donatra (Dina Meyer) to prove her allegience. She asks what she must do and tries to storke his face but he's disgusted by Romulan women. He watns her to kill the other Romulan Commander at the first sign of treachery. As she leaves she notices that something is wrong with Shinzon.

SPOT IS STILL ALIVE (the best thing about the movie so far) and B-4 strokes her, but then he starts typing something evil on Data's computer. Shinzon explains that the Romulans planned to replace Picard with him but a new government called the plan off. But this would have been before Picard was Captain of the Enterprise so why would the Romulans have cared about him? He was sent to the Dilithium mines on Remus to die but the Viceroy protected him from the cruel Romulan guards and taught him how to survive. He built the Scimitar at a "secret base" (When he was in the mines? Or did he escape from the mines at some point? We're not told) to liberate his Reman brothers. He tells Picard he wants to learn what it means to be human from him. He and Picard both looked up at the stars and dreamed of new worlds so they suddenly feel closer. Doesn't everyone look up at the stars and dream of new worlds? Picard hopes than Shinzon can bring a new era of friendship between the Federation and Romulus. Picard returns to the ship and finds the computer has been hacked (nobody suspects the android they just picked up.) Geordi has detected some weird radiation from Shinzon's ship. The Viceroy tells Shinzon he's wasting time. Picard looks at an old photo of himself that looks like Tom Hardy, which is stupid because Tom Hardy looks nothing like a young Patrick Stewart. Also he's bald in the photo but we've seen a young Picard with hair in one of Crusher's flashbacks. Riker and Troi go to bed together but Riker turns into Shinzon as they have sex. He then turns into the Viceroy. Literalyl two minutes ago Shinzon was acting nice to Picard and now he's mind raping Troi and risking his entire plan. What an evil genius! He beams B-4 to his ship (B-4 was the trator!!!) and downloads stuff from him. Picard asks Troi to describe her mind rape. She should have just told him "it was exactly like the last episode where I got mind raped." Picard is then beamed away (yep, they didn't raise the shields even after Troi was mind raped.) Shinzon takes blood from Picard and tells him he knows the entire location of their fleet from B-4. He won't be a real person until Picard is dead and he won't bow to the Federation. Shinzon says if Picard had lived his life he'd be doing the exact same thing. Yeah, but he didn't. B-4 gives a Reman a Vulcan never pinch and rescuses Picard. He was Data all along! He gave Shinzon inaccurate locations of all the Starfleet ships. Also he has a prototype emergency transport unit. I wonder if that will be important later. Okay, if this was all a plan, why did they let Shinzon beam Picard over and steal his blood? Picard and Data have a weak Star Wars style corridor shout-out with the Remans and steal a Romulan fighter plane thng. Luckily it's really small and Reman corridors are really big, so they fly it dwon a corridor and through a window into space. It looks lame. They get back to the Enterprise and warp away.

Shinzon's Romulan allies are atill angry at him. Donatra tells and other Romulan that Shinzon isn't planning to defeat Earth, he's planning its annihilation. Wasn't she totally into Shinzon before? Crusher tells Picard that Shinzon is dying and needs a complete transfusion from Picard to survive. Picard has B-4 locked up and tells him he's dangerous. B-4 knows nothing so Data deactivates him. Geordi explains that Shinzon's super weapon can kill everyone on Earth. The Enterprise heads to meet the Federation fleet to stop Shinzon. There's a lame "battle stations" montage. The Enterprise flies into some weird space rift on its way to the fleet. Hmm. Picard and Data have a scene in what I think is meant to be Stellar Cartography but doesn't look anywhere near as good as the one in Generations. Picard is sad because his clone turned out evil. Data says Shinzon and B-4 don't try to be good but they do so they're different. The rift interferes with long range communications. WHY FUCKING FLY THROUGH IT THEN? SPACE IS 3D. Shinzon attacks because OF COURSE the big space battle has to take place in a weird space cloud thing. This one is green. There's some shooting. Shinzon beams a hologram into Picard's Ready Room to talk to him. Picard tries to appeal to the potential to do good in Shinzon. Shinzon keeps saying he is what his life has made him and leaves. Two Romulan Warbirds decloaks and Donatra hails Picard and offers help. The three of them attack the Scimitar but it keeps activating its cloak after shooting. It destroys one of the Warbirds pretty quickly. Shinzon tricks Donatra by dropping his cloak and luring her in. So the Romulans didn't really help that much.

The Scimitar is beating the Enterprise but Troi thinks she has a way to find them through their cloak. She enters the Viceroy's mind (somehow?) and gudies Worf's hand (HEY REMEMBER WHEN WORF AND TROI WERE A THING) to fire in the right place. The Enterprise shoots the Scimitar a lot so Shinzon has the Viceroy take a boarding party to get Picard. Riker (hey he's in the movie!) and Worf go to fight them and Worf kind of randomly says "The Romulans fought with hounour" along the way. I'm guessing there was a subplot about Worf's dislike of Romulans and all of it but that one line was cut because they needed more time for Picard and Data. Riker follows the Viceroy into a spooky area of the Enterprise. They have a fight. I love Jonathan Frakes but he's really showing his age by now (he's a bit tubby) and shouldn't be in a fight scene. The Viewscreen is blown off and the helmsamn is sucked into space. It's probably a stupid idea to have the Bridge at the top of the ship, isn't it. The Scimitar's shields are still at 70% so Troi's reverse mind rape did nothing. Picard says Shinzon "wants to look me in the eye" and realise he's got him because Shinson thinks he knows what Picard's about to do. He sends a secret message to Troi (who took the helm, because she's the official reserve helm officer) telling her what to do and the Enterprise flies straight at the Scimitar. Yep we're finally getting the "ramming speed" scene we've been promised before. Lots of stuff explodes on both ships as the Enterprise ploughs through the Scimitar's hull (wouldn't the Enterprise's hull be just as badly damaged?) Oh yeah, Riker and the Videroy are still fighting but we cut away again because we're seeing as little of the fight as possible. They fall onto a birdge over a pit (where in the Enterprise are they?) and the bridge breaks because Riker's fat. Riker kicks him down this bottomless pit that exists inside the Enterprise for some reason and the Viceroy says "NOOOOO!" as he falls. It's terrible. In the script Riker said "don't worry, Hell is dark!" but they cut that line. Maybe for the best. Picard activates auto destruct. Shinzon turns his super weapon on to kill everyone so they can go to Earth because killing everyone on Earth is now worth dying for. Poor Levar Burton has to give more exposition about how the super weapon works. That's literally all he's done in the movie. Picard beams over to the Scimitar by himself. Conveniently the transporters explode after he goes (What about shuttles? Remember shuttles?) Data has Geordi lower a forcefield covering a hole in the hull so he can run and jump out of it and land on the Scimitar. This is the kind of thing that sounds cool on paper but the way its executed it doesnt look all that good.

Action Picard shoots all the Remans until it's just him and Shinzon. Picard is going to destroy the weapon but he lost his gun (I guess?) Shinzon tries to stab him but Picard impales him using a ranom piece of metal that was hanging on the wall (those Reman designers!) Shinzon pulls himself along it so he can look at Picard. Data arrives with one minute before the weapon activates. He puts the emergency transporter on Picard and says "goodbye." He shoots the weapon and the whole ship blows up. Data's dead. Everyone is sad (except Worf and Crusher who have disappeared.) Donatra sends shuttles with medical supplies. Worf and Crusher fianlly showup as everyone drinks Picard's wine and remembers Data. Troi is the only one who cries because she's a girl. Riker talks about how he first saw Data on the Holodeck trying to whistle but he couldn't get the tune right. That's a semi-nice continuity moment at least! The Enterprise is in Spacedock later and the Enterprise music from TMP plays for a few seconds. Riker says goodbye to Picard and tells him that serving with him was an honour. Picard says the honour was his. This really should feel like a bigger deal. Picard speaks to B-4, who is still thick. Worf and Geordi are still on the Enterprise. Who's First Officer now? How cares, B-4 is singing 'Blue Skies' like Data did. So maybe he's turning into Data or something. Kind of makes killing off Data pointless, eh? Picard walks away smiling. The last thing we see from the TNG era is the Enterprise in Spacedock around Earth.

I remember the whole script for this movie leaked on the internet about a six months before release and there was a detailed summary of it posted on TrekBBS. I think this wasn't long after Voyager had just finished its pretty bad final season and Enterprise was in the middle of its first pretty bad season. It had been a while since Insurrection (it was four years between release, the longest gap until this movie nearly killed the movie franchise) and really my faith in the Star Trek franchise was at all time low. So I read the spoilers. I didn't care. I just wanted to know if there was a chance the movie could be good. And what I read sounded kind of promsing? I remember wondering if they'd be able to make the big space battle look good and the interactions between Picard and Shinzon sounded potentially very interesting. The script was by John Logan, who received and Oscar nomination for his screenplay to Gladiator. He was a huge Star Trek fan, and shoved many references all five series in there (he even wanted a Gorn to appear but was told it was too expensive.) But maybe his script is proof that you shouldn't let a Trek fan write Star Trek, because he also completely ripped off both TWOK and TUC. I can see why that would be tempting, they were arguably the two best movies (I'd argue that TVH and FC are better than TUC but whatever) but Trekkies are going to say "oh this is just like TUC" when Picard has dinner with Shinzon or "oh this is jst like TWOK" when the big space battle between two ships takes place in a nebula (to be fair Nolan actually wanted the battle to be between two whole fleets but was again told it was too expensive.) And a lot of Logan's script doesn't make it to the screen, I mentioned some cut lines above but the ending was also a lot longer than his script, showing that Crusher had left for a new job and letting us see the new first officer. And a terrible joke about seatbelts. So yeah it probably wasn't the best script (it definitely wasn't) but maybe with the right director it still could have been a good movie...

Stuart Baird edited the original Superman movie and was Oscar nominated for it. He is well regarded as an editor and got the job directing this is payback for doing re-edits on the first Tomb Raider movie and Mission Impossible 2. I'm not sure why he WANTED the job though, because based on this movie I'd say he hated Star Trek. Bringing in an "outsider" to direct a Trek movie isn't a bad idea, of course, Nicholas Meyer was an "outsider" between TWOK and we all know how that turne dout. But Meyer took a crash course in Trek before directing it, watching every episode of the original series, whereas I doubt Baird even read an episode guide. Many of the cast have talked about how they hated working with him. Levar Burton said that Baird thought Geordi was an alien! It really shows in the performances. Everyone just feels off. That could be partially down to it being four years since the last movie, but I think I'm going to blame Baird anyway. He frickin' digitally altered Worf's voice to sound deeper. Worf, the character who's been in more Star Trek than any other, and they decide to change his voice in his final appearance. That's really stupid! Maybe that's why Worf only gets about six lines in the movie. There's several attempts at humour early in the movie that fall completely flat. Even the great Patrick Stewart doesn't feel like Picard for most of it. Brent Spiner's performances as B-4 is cringeworthy Insurrection might have been light and dull but at least it still felt like Star Trek. And hey if you want to modernise Trek, make it more exciting for a new audience, I'm fine with that. The next movie does a good job at that thing. But this isn't exciting! It's really shockingly dull for the first hour. It picks up a bit when the space battle starts, but even that isn't really much better than the space battle from Insurrection. The action is nowhere near the level of First Contact (that Riker/Ron Perlman fight is the pits) and the Enterprise interior looks ugly and dark. Baird hasn't directed another movie since this.

In terms of character, the only interesting stuff goes to Picard and Shinzon. Picard trying to persuade Shinzon that he could do good if he chose to, that Picard's existence is proof that Shinzon could be good, is the only part of the movie that kind of feels like good character work. For a few seconds. But Shinzon doesn't have any depth, he's just evil, he talks in an evil voice, he wants to destroy Earth for reasons that are never really explained and he pointlesssly mind rapes Troi. There doesn't seem to be any conflict in him. Tom Hardy is fairly good at some of the EVIL line readings but this isn't a good character.

Data has no emotions again because...fucks knows. Brent Spiner gets story credit on the script so maybe it was his idea The B-4 story is terrible. I have no idea what it's meant to be saying. Picard believes that Shinzon has the capacity for good but Data seems to think the opposite of B-4. But they're not really analogous: Shinzon is a fully grown adult clone of Picard whereas B-4 is just a mentally challenged android who Soong apparently dumped somewhere (and he was found by Shinzon...somehow.) He only shows signs of becoming intelligent because Data gave him all of Data's memories. But doesn't that mean B-4 just turns into Data? That's the route the comics went down, but the movie cuts off without having to answer that.

You might have noticed I hardly mentioned Riker above. That's because he gets almost nothing to do the movie. Sure the movies have always leaned towards Picard and Data, but Riker at least got subplots in the last two. Here he gets...a terrible fist fight. Great. Yeah he finally gets promoted to Captain but he never talks about that in the movie. Poor Marina Sirtis has to play a mind rape again. Worf, Geordi and Crusher might as wel not be in the movie.

Jerry Goldsmith does the music for the final time and it's sadly not very memorable. Or maybe it's because I was too busy hating the movie to concentrate on it. The main theme is pretty decent. I think he was ill at the time? He died a couple of years later.

It's just a bad movie. Not just because it's an insult to Star Trek fans, it's just bad in terms of movies in general. It tries to be an action movie but the action is bad. It touches on some themes of identity, nature versus nurture, but doesn't develop those themes at all. It's not particularly good looking, aside from some of the space ship shooting each other parts. It's the worst Trek movie yet, worse than TFF. A sad end to TNG. It makes me wish that the rumours of Picard returning are true...as long as they have a good script and director for his return.

SCORE: 2.5/10
Why the fuck was Janeway an Admiral, btw? She had had exactly one mission in her entire Captaincy, and managed to fuck it up on Day One, then spend 7 years unfucking it.

That'd be like a pizza delivery driver on his first delivery somehow ending up in fucking Peru, then taking 7 years to get back to the pizzaria -- and when he gets there, he's the General Manager.

Um... no?! :wtf:


I want to smell dark matter

The movie completely ignores Worf's DS9 development (he was the Federation Ambassador to Qo'noS when it ended) and has him back on the Enterprise apparently with the same rank and position he held when last there seven years ago. I've seen people try to fanwanks by saying "WELL MAYBE HE WAS JUST THERE FOR THE WEDDING" but he's still serving on the Enterprise at the end of the movie. The script had him say something like "the life of an Ambassador did not suit me" to explain why he was back.

John Logan wanted Patrick Stewart to play Shinzon but Stewart refused for some reason and the script had to be hastily rewritten to make Shinzon young.

I was looking at opinions online and a lot of people were saying the space battle redeemed the movie and made it worthwhile. And I looked at some gifs of the spaceship stuff on tumblr last night and it did look pretty good in that form. So why didn't I care much about it much when watching the movie? I think because the first hour was so terrible that I didn't really care by the time the spaceships were shooting at each other. Plus the Scimitar itself was pretty ridiculous: it had a stupid number of torpedo and phaser banks and could apparently fire when cloaked and was really really big. That might sound "badass" but compare it to TWOK where the ship Khan stole was actually smaller and less impressive than the Enterprise, yet using his brain he nearly won anyway. Whereas Shinzon only did so well against the Enterprise (and the amount of damage the Enterprise took was pretty silly too, far more than the A took in TUC before it was decomissioned) because he had an improbably powerful ship. Plus it was a film made in 2002, so of course the spaceship stuff is going to look better than any previous movie. So I don't think it made much of a difference and who watches Star Trek for spaceship battles anyway?

Donatra is the only character who gets kind of an arc, but because she's got so little screentime it basically goes from "I'll help you destroy the Federation, Shinzon!" in her first scene to "Maybe it's not a good idea to help Shinzon destroy the Federation!" in her second scene.
John Eaves really should not be permitted near Star Trek. Seriously, something should be done to prevent it, ideally involving an ankle monitor and angry men with rubber batons.

Eggs Mayonnaise

All In With The Nuts
Deleted scenes, some (but not all) of which might have made the film a little better, but if they kept these they would have needed to undelete other stuff too and it would have been a 3-hour movie: