‘STAR TREK: INSURRECTION’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
The Battle For Paradise Has Begun
One of the finest ‘Star Trek’ movies ever made!
‘Star Trek: Insurrection’ is the ninth film made in the ‘Star Trek’ movie series. It is also the third film to feature ‘The Next Generation’ team of ‘Star Trek’. I had this as a second birthday present in May 2005 with ‘Star Trek: First Contact’. I enjoyed every minute of this amazing film of drama and action!
This film was made in 1998 and was produced by Rick Berman. It was also directed by Jonathan Frakes, who plays Commander Riker in the movie. This was Jonathan Frakes’ second contribution to the ‘Star Trek’ movie series as a director, following his amazing success with directing ‘First Contact’.
As I said, I had this film to watch on my birthday after enjoying the previous ‘Star Trek’ movies and the TV shows of ‘The Original Series’ and ‘The Next Generation’. I was studying my GCSEs at the time and it helped to ease the stress. I now have ‘Star Trek: Insurrection’ on the 2-disc special edition DVD.
The 2-disc special edition DVD has the following contents. The movie is on Disc 1 with the bonus features on Disc 2. This is a more traditional ‘Star Trek’ movie, harking back to the classic storytelling from ‘The Original Series’. It’s a ‘Star Trek’ movie that creator Gene Roddenbery would have approved of.
Many have criticised this film over the years since it was released at the cinema. I can’t understand why there’s this criticism as I found ‘Insurrection’ a really good ‘Star Trek’ film to watch. It’s not as great as ‘First Contact’ with the Borg featured in it, but I still enjoyed the film when I saw it on DVD.
The movie is about a planet with a race of people called the Ba’ku living on it. These people have lived on the planet for over 300 years. They have the luxury of living with the fountain of youth on their shoulders, as the planet’s rings provide metaphasic radiation to allow them to live and not age.
But there are some who want the planet for themselves and will do anything they can to get their hands on it, even if it means relocating the Ba’ku. That’s exactly what happens when the Son’a, with the Federation’s help, attempt to relocate the Ba’ku off their planet and colonise it for themselves.
Captain Picard of the Enterprise-E, is horrified that the Federation is allowing this to happen as it goes against the Prime Directive of non-interference in other alien cultures. With his protests ignored, Picard decides to lead a rebellion against Starfleet so he can save the Ba’ku and their home.
The Ba’ku are an interesting people, as they’re a highly evolved humanoid species but live a simple life and prefer not to use technology. Seeing the Ba’ku’s way of life is admirable as they can live long and never die and is truly a peaceful paradise. Somehow, it put me in mind of ‘This Side of Paradise’.
The Son’a are a total contrast to the Ba’ku. Picard describes them as ‘nothing more than petty thugs’. They’ve ignored their former ways and now travel the stars with technology and spaceships. Now they’ve come back to the Ba’ku home-world, which could mean relocating or killing the Ba’ku.
In order to keep themselves looking…’youthful’, the So’na have skin-stretching techniques and toxins injected into their bodies every day. This is an aspect of the So’na that’s quite horrific, although you can see why they’d want the Ba’ku planet for themselves, as they don’t want to be old.
What I like about this movie is how it shows Picard at his moral best. Usually Picard goes by the book of Starfleet regulations and is always sticking to what he knows with the Prime Directive. But now in this movie, his ideals are put to the test. He has to sacrifice his career and starship to save the Ba’ku.
But Picard doesn’t have to do it alone. I was thrilled that the rest of ‘The Next Generation’ team including Data, Riker, Deanna, Beverly, Geordi and Worf were willing to join him in his rebellion against Starfleet. They too want to save the lives of the Ba’ku and oppose this attack on their rights.
Director Jonathan Frakes has done wonders with the location sequences, the action, the drama and the visual effects in this movie. His directing talents make up for any weak points regarding the story, and they help to make the movie exciting, thrilling and enjoyable to watch for any moviegoer.
Patrick Stewart steals the show as Captain Picard in this movie. I enjoyed his character journey in opposing Starfleet and be willing to sacrifice his career on the line in order to help the Ba’ku. The effects of the Ba’ku’s planet rings’ metaphasic radiation affects Picard as it does for other characters.
I liked the romantic relationship Picard forms with Anij in this movie. It’s a rare opportunity to see Picard having a romance in ‘Star Trek’. Picard is also very good as the action hero, when stopping the Son’a’s harvest machine. I also liked it when he’s persuading Gallatin, one of the Son’a, to help him.
Brent Spiner is very good as Data in this movie. At the start, Data suffers a malfunction and becomes violent when he reveals the Son’a-Federation’s hideout on the Ba’ku planet and when attacks a Son’a ship in space. Fortunately Picard and Worf find a way to stop and save Data when chasing him.
I found it funny when Picard with Worf sing ‘A British Tar’ from ‘HMS Pinafore’ by Gilbert and Sullivan to get Data distracted out of his malfunction whilst recovering him via shuttle craft. I liked the relationship Data forms with the Ba’ku boy Artim and how he’s taught how to play and have fun.
Jonathan Frakes is great as Commander Riker in this movie. Riker seems to have reformed his romantic relationship with Deanna Troi in this movie, as they both decide to get back together again. He also shaves his beard off in the film that returns him to his original look from Season 1 of ‘TNG’.
Riker also gets to take command of the Enterprise when they’re trying to head back to warn the Federation Council of what’s happening with the Ba’ku. They get attacked by a Son’a ship in space. Riker and the Enterprise fight back within the Briar Patch and he gets to use the ‘Riker Manoeuvre’.
Marina Sirtis is lovely as Counselor Deanna Troi in the movie. It’s interesting that Deanna is the one who starts getting her and Riker back together in a romantic relationship. It was amusing when Deanna had never kissed Riker with a beard before. She also gets to be the action girl during this movie.
Gates McFadden is equally lovely as Dr. Beverly Crusher in this movie. I do get a sense that Beverly doesn’t have much to do in these ‘Star Trek’ movies as she did in the ‘TNG’ TV series. But I liked it when she gets to use a phaser rifle to save the Ba’ku and when she discovers the truth of the So’na.
Michael Dorn is equally good as Worf, who is on temporary leave from ‘Deep Space Nine’. I enjoyed the links of Worf from ‘DS9’ in the movies with ‘TNG’. Worf gets affected by the Ba’ku planet’s metaphasic radiation as he goes through Klingon puberty and has these very aggressive tendencies.
LeVar Burton is great as Geordi La Forge in this movie. Previously in ‘First Contact’, Geordi had implants in his eyes to make up for his blindness without his visor. Now in this movie, Geordi gets his eye-sight back when he’s on the Ba’ku planet and manages to see a proper sunrise for the first time.
F. Murray Abraham guest stars as the villainous Ru’afo, leader of the Son’a and is a good match to Patrick Stewart’s Captain Picard in the movie. Ru’afo is clearly a madman and blames the Ba’ku ‘did’ to him and his people. He’s had too much skin stretched and many toxins to make him look ‘young’.
Ru’afo is also someone who gets easily frustrated and impatient, during his alliance with the Federation and when they’re trying to relocate the Ba’ku. He soon takes the distract step of killing the Ba’ku completely and he’s gone nuts when he puts Admiral Dougherty in the chair and kills him.
Donna Murphy guest stars as Anij (pronounced Aneesh), Picard’s love interest in the movie. I’ve seen Donna Murphy before as she played Rosie Octavius, Doc Ock’s wife in ‘Spider-Man 2’. It was nice to see her in this ‘Star Trek’ movie and to share some nice scenes with Picard where they seem to be in love.
At first, Anij is suspicious of Picard and his motives when he visits the Ba’ku planet. But gradually, the two form a close bond and Anij becomes fascinated by Picard when he’s showing his good nature. I found those moments intriguing when both experience these ‘perfect’ moments in time together.
Anthony Zerbe guest stars as Admiral Dougherty, who is working with Ru’afo in this Federation-Son’a alliance and is Picard’s boss in the movie. Dougherty is like a proper politician, who insists that the relocation of the Ba’ku people is on behalf of the Federation Council which appals Picard greatly.
I liked that scene where Picard confronts Dougherty in his ready room aboard the Enterprise and he asks him ‘how many people does it take before it becomes wrong’ when relocating the Ba’ku. Dougherty is blind to Picard’s protests, until he discovers the truth of the Ba’ku and the Son’a’s feud.
The rest of the cast are as follows. There’s Gregg Henry as Gallatin, one of Ru’afo’s Son’a friends; Daniel Hugh Kelly as Sojef, another one of the Ba’ku leaders with Anij and Michael Welch as Artim, the Ba’ku boy who first distrusts Data because he’s a machine, but gradually befriends him later on.
The location sequences in this movie are lush and lovely to watch. The use of locations in ‘Insurrection’ for the Ba’ku homeworld is wonderful and it is amazing how director Jonathan Frakes and his crew managed to find exotic locations such as Lake Sabrina in the Sierra Nevada in the USA.
I liked how the use of holographic technology is made in this movie, especially when there’s this holoship to relocate the Ba’ku people. Picard and Data with Anij discover the holoship for themselves. They soon use it when they try to prevent the Son’a from destroying the Ba’ku planet.
It gradually transpires that the Ba’ku and the Son’a are of the same race. This becomes interesting as to what the Son’a attack has been all about, as it’s more personal than ever. Picard describes it as a ‘blood feud’ when he tells of this discovery to Dougherty and when the Ba’ku reveal on their history.
Like I said before, the visual effects of this movie are amazing! I love the sequences with the Enterprise travelling through space into the Briar Patch. It was also good to see the Enterprise-E ship fighting the Son’a in space with Riker in command and when rescuing Picard from the harvester ship.
The musical score for ‘Insurrection’ is provided by Jerry Goldsmith, who again delivers some wonderful incidental music for the movie. Goldsmith provides another beautiful melody for ‘Insurrection’ that echoes the Ba’ku and their planet as well as provide his classic ‘Star Trek’ theme music.
The DVD special features on the 2-disc special edition are as follows. On Disc 1, there’s a text commentary by Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda to enjoy.
On Disc 2, there’s a ‘Production’ section that contains the seven documentaries ‘It Takes A Village’, ‘Location, Location, Location’, ‘The Art of Insurrection’, ‘Anatomy of a Stunt’, ‘The Story’, ‘Making Star Trek: Insurrection’ and ‘Director’s Notebook’. There’s also ‘The Star Trek Universe’ section that contains the two documentaries ‘Westmore’s Aliens’ and ‘Star Trek’s Beautiful Alien Women’. There’s the ‘Creating the Illusion’ section with three scenes from the movie and the making of those scenes. There are also seven ‘deleted scenes’ that were cut from the final edit of ‘Insurrection’, now featured on this DVD disc. There’s also an ‘Archives’ section that contains ‘Storyboards – Secondary Protocols’ and a photo gallery. There is also an ‘Advertising’ section including a teaser trailer, a theatrical trailer and an original promotional featurette for ‘Insurrection’. There’s also a ‘Borg Invasion’ trailer, which was a ride that was running during ‘The Star Trek Experience’ exhibition in Los Angeles.
The special features on the 2010 DVD of ‘Star Trek: Insurrection’ are as follows. There’s a commentary by Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis, ‘Westmore’s Legacy’, ‘Marina Sirtis: The Counselor Is In’, ‘Brent Spiner: Data and Beyond – Part Three’, ‘Trek Roundtable: Insurrection’ and ‘Starfleet Academy: The Origins of the Ba’ku and Son’a Conflict’.
‘Star Trek: Insurrection’ is one of the finest ‘Star Trek’ films ever made with ‘The Next Generation’ team! It’s not as great as ‘First Contact’, but I enjoyed both that and this film when I first saw them. I have very happy memories of seeing these two ‘Star Trek’ films on DVD for my birthday in May 2005.
‘Insurrection’ is a more traditional ‘Star Trek’ film than usual, but I enjoyed it and was getting into ‘The Next Generation’ team in the movies. But as it turned out, this was their penultimate instalment, as we would see a generation’s journey come to an end with Picard facing his ‘Nemesis’.
‘Star Trek: Insurrection’ rating – 9/10
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