‘Star Trek: Nemesis’ (Film)

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‘STAR TREK: NEMESIS’

Please feel free to comment on my review.

A Generation’s Final Journey Begins

I was saddened that the series of ‘The Next Generation’ films came to an end in ‘Star Trek’!

‘Star Trek: Nemesis’ is the tenth film made in the ‘Star Trek’ movie series. It is also the fourth and final film to feature ‘The Next Generation’ team of ‘Star Trek’. My Dad purchased the original DVD of this film whilst I was studying for my GCSE exams in 2005. It was a nice distraction for me back then.

The film was made in 2002 and was produced by Rick Berman. It was also directed by Stuart Baird, who makes his first and so far only contribution to the ‘Star Trek’ movie series. Stuart Baird was apparently the editor of the first ‘Superman’ movie with Christopher Reeve. Isn’t that interesting?!

From this movie, I didn’t think that this would be the last instalment of ‘The Next Generation’ cast in the ‘Star Trek’ movie series. I felt their run of movies was short compared to ‘The Original Series’, since they made four films instead of six. I now have ‘Star Trek: Nemesis’ 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 movie certainly has a sense of finality to it with ‘The Next Generation’ cast and it’s certainly a darker, grittier and bolder film compared what was in previous films of the series.

However, I will say that I felt this film left me on an anti-climax with ‘The Next Generation’ team’s series of movies and I received mixed feelings about the film’s conclusion. But my mixed feelings with ‘Nemesis’ aren’t as similar to ‘Generations’, since this is a very well-written and directed movie.

In fact this movie is somewhat underrated, as it has potential promise and merit of guaranteeing a sequel with ‘The Next Generation’ cast. I had hoped that there would be a fifth film with ‘TNG’. Sadly that wasn’t the case, since the movie series was rebooted again with a new ‘Original Series’ cast in 2009.

Director Stuart Baird delivers a fresh and bold look in making this ‘Star Trek’ film. ‘Nemesis’ is certainly unlike any ‘Star Trek’ film that I’ve seen before and Baird brings in some ideas of his own to make this film work. The action sequences and visual effects in this movie are mesmerising to watch.

There are some pretty horrific and gruesome moments in this movie, especially with the opening scene on Romulus. The Romulan Senate gets killed by a small version of the thalaron radiation weapon and seeing the Romulans deforming and disintegrating as they die was so gruesome indeed.

In ‘Nemesis’, it’s been four years since the last time we saw the ‘TNG’ cast in ‘Insurrection’. There’s been a wedding, as William Riker and Deanna Troi are now married! I supposed those two did do well together in their relationship since ‘Insurrection’. Many of the ‘TNG’ cast are moving on with their lives.

Later on in the film, the Federation receive a peace summons from the Romulan Star Empire. The Enterprise-E, captained by Jean-Luc Picard is sent to Romulus as an emissary to initiate peace negotiations. But it turns out to be a trap, since Shinzon of Remus wants the Federation destroyed.

I enjoyed this movie as it features the Romulans. The Romulans haven’t been seen in ‘Star Trek’ for a while since their latest TV appearance. They made their first appearance in ‘Star Trek’ in ‘Balance of Terror’ and were major enemies for the ‘TNG’ series. Now they appear at last in this ‘Star Trek’ movie!

We also get to see the Remans for the first time in ‘Star Trek’, since they have been talked about with the two planets of Romulus and Remus in close proximity to each other. The Remans are unlike the Romulans, as they’re more goblin-like and are pretty vicious and ferocious warriors in this.

The movie’s title is so-called because Captain Picard faces an enemy that has a personal link to him. The enemy of course is Tom Hardy as Shinzon of Remus. Shinzon happens to be the leader of the Remans. But he’s not a Reman at all. He appears to be human and looks exactly like…Captain Picard.

In a way, he is Picard but at a much younger age. Shinzon of Remus is similar to Picard in more ways than one. But he’s actually a clone of Picard and was once used as a war weapon by the Romulans before he got forgotten and abandoned. He was taken in by the Remans on Remus at a younger age.

Tom Hardy delivers a stupendous villainous performance as Shinzon. His scenes opposite Picard are mesmerising and it was interesting to see what makes him tick and what drives him. Shinzon and Picard share many similarities, although Shinzon has taken a darker path unlike Captain Picard in life.

Despite being disturbed by him at first, Picard tries to find some good in Shinzon. Looking at Shinzon is like looking through a mirror. There are scenes when Shinzon is seemingly warmed to Picard’s ideals. But in the end, Shinzon is terribly plagued by his Reman upbringing to destroy the Federation.

Shinzon however is slowly dying during the movie, as he’s aging rapidly and his body is deforming on the way. It was disturbing the slow transformation of Shinzon from being perfectly human to becoming a monster. His deformity fits with his insanity to use his deadly thalaron radiation weapon.

Patrick Stewart steals the show as Captain Picard in this movie. Picard has become a much stronger character and fully-developed since his early days aboard the Enterprise in the ‘TNG’ TV series. For me, there’s no doubt in my mind he’s the captain of the Enterprise. He’s not Kirk, but he’s very good.

I enjoyed seeing Picard’s joy at wishing Riker and Troi well at their wedding and also his joy of driving the Argo jeep when he, Data and Worf are on Kolarus III. He’s also a good man in action, when he and the Enterprise take daring moves during their battle with Shinzon’s flagship Scimitar in deep space.

Working alongside Patrick Stewart, is Brent Spiner who plays both Data the android and the remarkably similar android called B-4. Data, with Picard and Worf discover the remnants of B-4’s android body across various locations on Kolarus III. But B-4 is a different android compared to Data.

When assembled, B-4 seems to be pretty clueless and dim. Even when Data tries to download his memories into him, B-4 is seemingly less-advanced. But B-4 turns out to be a trap for Picard and the Enterprise by Shinzon, when he accesses the Enterprise computers for the Scimitar to gain access to.

Data however soon discovers what B-4 is up to. He manages to switch places with B-4 when he’s beamed aboard the Scimitar in order to rescue Picard who also gets kidnapped by Shinzon. Both Picard and Data manage to escape, when they use one of the Reman shuttles to crash their way out.

I liked that scene between Data and Picard when they both talk about their similar counterparts in Shinzon and B-4. Data persuades Picard that Shinzon is not a mirror for him, since he compares himself to B-4. Data aspires to be more than he is. B-4 does not and neither Shinzon, as Data puts it.

Oh I mustn’t forget Brent Spiner as Data’s rendition of the jazz song ‘Blue Skies’ during Riker and Troi’s wedding. My Dad and I like our jazz music and hearing ‘Blue Skies’ felt so familiar and enjoyable to listen to. I was saddened only the opening of that song was featured in the movie. I suppose I’ll have get to the music CD for ‘Nemesis’ with Brent Spiner’s rendition of ‘Blue Skies’ on it.

Jonathan Frakes excels as William T. Riker, first officer of the Enterprise who is on his way to become the captain of the Titan ship with Deanna Troi. I like how he stands by Picard during this final mission together aboard the Enterprise. Riker gets to have a fight with Shinzon’s Viceroy in the Enterprise’s Jeffries’ Tube.

LeVar Burton is very good as Geordi La Forge, the chief engineer aboard the Enterprise. Although Geordi doesn’t have a major part to play in this movie, I like how his friendship with Data is touched upon in this movie. Geordi shows concern for Data, especially when downloading memories into B-4.

Michael Dorn is equally good as Worf in this movie. Worf gets to take part in the action with Picard and Data when driving out in the Argo jeep on Kolarus III. I liked that moment he shares with Riker, when he found that the Romulans fought with honour and he approved of that compared to previous ‘TNG’ stories.

Gates McFadden is lovely as Dr. Beverly Crusher in this movie. I liked that scene Beverly had with Picard in his ready room in the movie. It emphasises the close relationship Beverly and Picard have. I wish though that in these movies, more was explored in the romance between Beverly and Picard.

Marina Sirtis is equally lovely as Counselor Deanna Troi. Deanna is so happy, now that she’s married to William Riker, the man of her dreams. But she gets victimised when Shinzon deliberately violates her via his Viceroy. But Deanna may hold the key to weaken the Viceroy and to defeat the Scimitar.

As well as Tom Hardy as Shinzon, there’s also Ron Perlman as the Viceroy. Ron Perlman is well-known for starring in the ‘Hellboy’ movies. The Viceroy is a nasty piece of work. He’s a pure-blooded Reman who works for Shinzon. I found his voice pretty chilling to listen to when he spoke to Picard.

In the movie, there are Romulan characters like Shannon Cochran as Senator Tal’aura and Jude Ciccolella as Commander Suran. There’s also Dian Meyer as Commander Donatra who suspects Shinzon’s motives aren’t pure and leads two Romulan warbirds to assist the Enterprise in the battle.

Kate Mulgrew makes an appearance as Admiral Kathryn Janeway in this movie. It was so nice to see Janeway in this movie from ‘Voyager’. So ‘Endgame’ got it right with Janeway becoming an admiral in the future. She deserves it, considering she’d managed to get Voyager back home in seven years.

There’s Whoopi Goldberg who returns as Guinan in the movie and there’s a brief cameo appearance of Wil Weaton as Wesley Crusher. Bryan Singer (director of the ‘X-Men’ movies) also makes a cameo as a Starfleet crewman aboard the Enterprise and Majel Barrett voices for the Enterprise computer.

I really enjoyed the action sequences for this movie, especially the chase sequence of the Argo jeep on Kolarus III. The battle scenes in space between the Enterprise and the Scimitar are so spectacular and epic. I was so gobsmacked to see the Enterprise crashing into the Scimitar ship like that in space.

The Scimitar spaceship is extremely impressive and foreboding as it should be. It’s a more powerful ship compared to the Enterprise and it contains the deadly ultimate destruction weapon by Shinzon to destroy the Federation. Picard beams aboard the Enterprise in order to stop the deadly weapon.

I was pleased when in the movie; the two Romulan warbirds commanded by Commander Donatra come in to help the Enterprise to fight against Shinzon’s Scimitar. It felt so right to see the Romulans becoming friends with the Enterprise in that moment, and it’s hoped to be first of many friendships.

The fight scene between Picard and Shinzon was so gripping to watch, especially with the incidental music by Jerry Goldsmith in the background. Shinzon shows no mercy when he’s fighting with Picard, as he uses daggers and knives to kill. Very soon Picard manages to impale Shinzon with a metal strut.

The film ends on a rather sad note. Data saves Picard’s life with a transport device to the Enterprise and self-sacrifices himself by destroying Shinzon’s deadly weapon with a phaser. It was so sad when Data says goodbye and gets blown-up. The Enterprise crew mourn for Data once he’s gone forever.

This is where my mixed feelings for ‘Nemesis’ come into place. Seeing Data getting blown up was utterly depressing for me. Data had become one of my favourite characters from ‘Star Trek’ and to see him get blown up in this movie was a shock. It was similar to seeing Spock’s death in ‘Star Trek II’.

I wish that ‘Nemesis’ hadn’t ended on that sad ending note with Data’s death. It certainly was a dramatic moment, but it wasn’t an uplifting end to the ‘TNG’ movie series compared to the ending for ‘The Original Series’ cast in ‘Star Trek VI’. There should have been another ‘TNG’ movie after this.

Certainly the end of ‘Nemesis’ seemed to guarantee that there was going to be a fifth film, when Picard tells B-4 about Data at the end and B-4 was starting to become more Data-like in the closing moments. But sadly ‘Nemesis’ wasn’t so successful as it could have been when released at the cinemas.

The musical score for ‘Nemesis’ is provided by Jerry Goldsmith. Goldsmith impresses again with some wonderful action-packed music pieces and some beautiful melodic themes reflecting on the atmosphere of ‘Nemesis’. I liked some of the moodier aspects of the film reflecting the end of ‘TNG’.

The DVD special features on the 2-disc special edition are as follows. On Disc 1, there’s a commentary with director Stuart Baird. There’s also a commentary with producer Rick Berman. There’s also a text commentary by Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda to enjoy.

On Disc 2, there’s a ‘Production’ section that contains the documentaries ‘Nemesis Revisited’, ‘New Frontiers: Stuart Baird on Directing Nemesis’, ‘Storyboarding the Action’, ‘Red Alert: Shooting the Action of Nemesis’, ‘Build and Rebuild’, ‘Four-Wheeling in the Final Frontier’ and ‘Shinzon Screen Test’.

There’s ‘The Star Trek Universe’ section that contains ‘A Star Trek Family’s Final Journey’, ‘A Bold Vision of the Final Frontier’ and ‘The Enterprise-E’. There’s also ‘The Romulan Empire’ section that contains ‘Romulan Lore’, ‘Shinzon & the Viceroy’, ‘Romulan Design’, ‘The Romulan Senate’ and ‘The Scimitar’.

There are also thirteen ‘deleted scenes’ that were cut from the final edit of ‘Nemesis’, now featured on this DVD disc. Some have introductions from producer Rick Berman, director Stuart Baird, Patrick Stewart, etc. There’s also an ‘Archives’ section that contains storyboards, a production gallery and a props gallery.

There’s also a ‘Trailers’ section including a teaser trailer and a theatrical trailer for ‘Nemesis’. There’s also a ‘Borg Invasion’ trailer, which was a ride that was running during ‘The Star Trek Experience’ exhibition in Los Angeles. There are also some Easter Egg special features to look out for on this disc.

The special features on the 2010 DVD of ‘Star Trek: Nemesis’ are as follows. There’s a commentary by Michael and Denise Okuda, ‘Reunion with the Rikers’, ‘Today’s Tech, Tomorrow’s Data’, ‘Robot Hall of Fame’, ‘Brent Spiner: Data and Beyond – Part Four’, ‘Trek Roundtable: Nemesis’ and ‘Starfleet Academy: Thalaraon Radiation’.

‘Star Trek: Nemesis’ is a bold movie in the ‘Star Trek’ movie series! It’s sadly the final adventure in the ‘TNG’ film series and I’m saddened that it’s come to an end in this one as we could have done with a fifth film. I’ve enjoyed the stories of the ‘TNG’ cast, having watched them in their TV series and movies.

I’ve greatly enjoyed the original ten-movie series of ‘Star Trek’ with Captain Kirk’s Enterprise and Captain Picard’s Enterprise. I don’t believe that anything can compare to the quality of these ten ‘Star Trek’ movies. I hold fond and cherished memories of them all and do love revisiting them on DVD.

‘Star Trek: Nemesis’ rating – 8/10


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2 thoughts on “‘Star Trek: Nemesis’ (Film)

  1. Yeah i agree about it being underrated, not a bad film to finish the next generation crew on, i think it was made at a time when the love for the series was starting to wane.

    As ever Tim a great review of the movie.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Simon.

    Glad you enjoyed my review on ‘Star Trek: Nemesis’!

    It is an underrated movie and it’s such a shame that the TNG cast didn’t end their run of movies on a high matching to how the Original Series cast ended their run of movies with ‘Star Trek VI’. It would have been nice to have had a fifth film with TNG as I like that ‘Star Trek’ era as much as the original.

    Yes, I get the impression that ‘Star Trek’ was beginning to wane when viewers lost interest in the TV shows and films. This explains why the TV show ‘Enterprise’ only lasted for 4 seasons and not 7 like the other spin-off shows.

    Thank you Simon for joining me on my review series of these ten ‘Star Trek’ movies that I’ve enjoyed revisiting for my blog. I’m glad you enjoyed my reviews and I’ve enjoyed reading your thoughts on each film.

    Tim. 🙂

    Like

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