Monday, June 13, 2011

STAR TREK: NEMESIS

Stuart Baird, 2002
Starring: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Tom Hardy, Marina Sirtis

This is the tenth and final film in the Star Trek film-verse, if you don't count the 2009
Star Trek redux. And let me say THANK GOD it's the final film. There are only two reasons to watch Nemesis. First, you are a Star Trek nerd and a completist. Second, the film's villain, Shinzon. Also, if you aren't already loosely familiar with Star Trek, this review isn't going to make a lick of sense.

In a complicated and somewhat incredulous turn of events, the Romulans spend lots of time and money creating a clone of Picard, which they then abandon to the Reman mines. This sorta/kinda/not really human gets adopted by the other Reman slaves. They grow up together and Shinzon, the clone, comes to lead them right out of the mines and into the military, where they eventually stage a coup and take over Romulan leadership. Stay with me.

Shinzon carries out an elaborate plan to get the Enterprise and Picard to come to him, because he claims to want peace. Really, he is insane and dying of a complicated genetic disorder, which is an unfortunate side effect of the cloning process, and he needs a transfusion of Picard's DNA to stay alive. Plus, he's totally nuts from growing up not human/not Reman and wants to get revenge on the entire universe. And he comes pretty close, but obviously the final
Next Generation film can't have Picard crash and burn, satisfying though that might be.

I'm not the biggest Next Generation fan. I hate Riker. I hate Troi. I hate Beverly Crusher. The worst parts of Nemesis are all of the scenes on the Enterprise or at the stupid wedding reception for Troi and Riker. When your major comic/heartwarming moment involves Data serenading someone, you know its time to give up. The only reason to watch Nemesis is for Shinzon, played by the up and coming Tom Hardy. Shinzon is actually very entertaining. He's evil, but sympathetic. Plus, he has that crazy costume and spends most of his time sitting in the dark. It's worth it just to see how nuts he gets when he's around Picard and also to see the amazing verbal beat down he gives a Romulan commander who feebly tries to seduce him. His second-in-command, the Reman viceroy that is inexplicably loyal to him, is actually Ron Perlman under a shit-ton of make up!

If anyone comments that Undiscovered Country is worse than Nemesis I will seriously look up your address on the internet, come to your house, and cut you with my Nemesis DVD that I will have snapped in half out of rage.

There are so many flaws that I'm only going to skim over them. First and foremost, the film really tries to nail home the fact that this is the end for Next Generation. It has a fake, sugary sentimental feel that doesn't go well with Shinzon's utter rage. Unsurprisingly, I prefer the rage. I don't care that people are married, settling down, leaving the ship, blah blah blah. Apparently about a third of the film was cut, including key character moments. Thank god or else we would have had to see Wesley, Beverly Krusher's son, who is the worst Star Trek character. I bet Shinzon would peel his eyeballs like grapes and make Deanna Troi eat them. Unsurprisingly, the film received poor critical reception. For some stupid reason the studio got rid of Jonathan Frakes (he directed First Contact and Insurrection) and replaced him with Baird, who had nothing whatsoever to do with Star Trek.

I'm reviewing the two disc collector's edition, which is out of print. If you want to punish yourself, you can buy the single disc DVD online, because I highly doubt any store has it in stock. You will, of course, be missing than ENTIRELY UNNECESSARY bonus disc.

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