Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Star Trek Nemesis

* (1 star out of 5)
Uh, the "R" in your title is backwards, guys. So is your "E". What gives? Poor literacy is KEWL!

That martial theme and pan down on Romulus was brilliant. But does Quark do the tailoring for the Romulan military now? Good-bye, dowdy grey... hello, gaudy spangles!

Somebody called Senator Tal'aura unleashes the Green Poop Rain from the climactic final scene of the cinematic classic Spaced Invaders and it has the desired effect of "dissolving the Senate permanently". What was her motive? Don't bother looking, it's not in here!

Picard marries Riker! To Troi! Oh, I couldn't resist. "Ladies and Gentlemen and Invited Transgendered Species"- the wedding reception is the best part of the entire film. And... then ten minutes in, the good times fade away. Guinan's 23 marriages and divorces. Worf's hangover. Blink-and-You'll-Miss-Him Wesley. Is Wesley still a Traveller? Writer John Logan seemingly told Wil Wheaton he "hadn't decided" and "it didn't matter". Who cares about these characters?  Not director Stuart Baird, either! He thought Geordi was an alien! So, let's get to the story... such as it is.

Kolarus III is near the Romulan Neutral Zone and it's got a bunch of positrons, I hear! Picard is itching to try out the Argo, which turns out to be a run-of-the-mill shuttle. It drops them into a run-of-the-gin-mill action sequence where Picard tools around in a dune buggy. Why, there's chunks of Zombie Lore everywhere! No, sorry for almost being interesting, it's not Lore. It's the B-4, named by Dr. Soong, age 8, while hopped up on a Lost in Space marathon.

Picard is ordered on a diplomatic mission to Romulus by Admiral Janeway. Easy to get a promotion when you deliver 48 (terrorists/beloved friends) to (jail/freedom) and a spanking new Borg girlfriend to the Federation President!

Out of nowhere, a Romulan underclass of jacked-up telepathic Wizard Werewolves called the Remans of Remus are in charge. Never heard of 'em? Wonder why they deserve their own movie? Me too! We never got a proper Romulan finale with Sela or Spock's underground, so let's ignore all that and invent some other junk. Reman Viceroy Hellboy gives scalp massages to Praetor Shinzon, a clone of Captain Picard who thankfully doesn't garble-talk through a respirator the whole time. He's a sickly bug from some abandoned wacky scheme to replace Jean-Luc. The new government's chosen method of execution for the unwanted boy was ten years of starvation and brutality in a mine. After which he became strong enough to kill the government! Exactly like Bane, come to think of it...

Thalaron radiation consumes organic material at the sub-atomic level. Isn't that interesting? Let's talk about it some more! Shinzon packed his ship, Scimitar, with the stuff. It's a lovely "Spaced Invaders" excrement green! But first, a little bit of telepathic rape. Viceroy and Shinbone assault Troi over long distance. This somehow allows her to rape them back later on. Only with torpedoes!

"Remember him?" Picard asks Crusher, holding up a picture of Shinzon, retconned in the wrong era uniform and anachronistically bald. I always expect Bev to say "No. Some cosplayer?"

Because the B-4 has no "aspirations", Data copies his own mind into his brother. To make the guy smarter? Maybe? Anyway, this doesn't work (why would it?), and despite B-4 having committed no crime except for being a dummy and a dupe, Data deactivates him. Boy, if they'd shut Data down every time he got everyone in trouble, he'd never have made it out of season 2. Fratricide gets easier and less necessary every time, huh, Data?

(Thankfully that leaves us a back-up for Data should he, god forbid, suddenly get the urge to die heroically. Raise your hand if you're not disgusted at the mere idea of the noble Data we love usurping Brother Gump's identity like some kind of twisted creep. Like, well, Lore.)
Heroism! Today's "heroes" are Romulan hottie Donatra (the Starship Trooper turncoat who trades sex faces at Shinzy so we know their space battle is serious), Riker kicking his wife's rapist to death (in a scene clearly imitating Captain Kirk from Treks VII and III), and Picard viciously impaling his genocidal "son" after a tepid rehash of the countdown ultimate weapon scuffle from Insurrection.

Sooo... lessons learned? Another ship wrecked, the enemy are coming to dinner again, and the band's breaking up forever until next time. Nothing to do now but drink! Because Riker can't remember the song anymore.

When do we get to the Naked Wedding, already? Will Kate Pulaski be there? What do you mean, past their prime?

"Star Trek Nemesis" is, in Shinzon's words: "The victory of the echo over the voice." If the voice was Roddenberry, then this is the faint, final echo. All the colours faded. All the heart crushed. Technology-fetishist exploding bunkum. Bleak, unfunny, and devoid of meaning beyond a momentary "Hey, look over here! Stuff you used to like!". In the words of another Romulan character with no motivation whose name I couldn't bother to look up. "You promised action, and yet you delay." Sorry, writer of Rango. Sorry, editor of Demolition Man. You guys Troi'd that saucer right into Veridian III at last. TNG is dead. Star Trek itself... comatose. You'll find any leftover scraps of your beloved characters being kind or having feelings in the deleted scene bin. Time to take up reading.

1 comment:

  1. Not the best of times for Star Trek Mike! When Star Trek VI was released in 1991, one month after the Next Generation's 5th season episode Unification Part II with Leonard Nimoy as Spock the guest star, and within the next three years they launched two new series and brought the Next Generation cast to the big screen (such as it was), that was a much better time for Star Trek. A short time later, they added Worf on Deep Space Nine, made that brilliant episode Trials and Tribble-ations, added Seven of Nine on Voyager, and released the best Next Gen movie by far, Star Trek: First Contact! That was an even better time. But then came Insurrection, and this movie, and the second season of Enterprise. Blah! This is a textbook case of how you kill a franchise!