First off, I’ll definitely have to say that I did enjoy the movie quite a bit. For you space battle fans, I would have to say that this version has the absolute best battle scenes ever (even when compared to The Wrath of Khan). Actually, now that I think about the whole movie, it’s Wrath of Khan: Part II done Next Generation style. However, I did like watching the Picard / Shinzon interaction much more than watching the Kirk / Khan interactions in Wrath. The movie was done in a darker setting and tone like in First Contact, which I actually perfer when it comes to creating a Trek movie.
Nemesis could have very easily been the best Star Trek film of all time, however, I had one major problem with this film.
The director Stuart Baird.
He’s directed such crappy hits as Executive Decision and US Marshals in the past, so why bring someone with such a mediocre directing background to direct this film? Any failings about the movie I blame entirely on him. It was much too short, (roughly an hour was cut) so it moved at a much faster and choppier pace to make up for that lack of film time. Good character development was thrown way out the window (again because it was too short) and I didn’t like guessing stuff about the new race (Remans) brought into this film. That “family” feel of the show was there in the beginning crew sequence and at the very last crew sequence, but throughout the rest of the film, it was lost entirely. That’s what happens when you bring a director that does not understand the subtle nuances to make a good Star Trek movie. I think it could have been better if Jonathan Frakes directed it, since his job directing First Contact was quite good. First Contact felt like a longer episode than a movie, which is what I believe makes a good Trek film. Levar Burton directed some pretty damn good episodes of Voyager, so he may have been a good candidate as a director for Nemesis as well.
Without spoiling it for everyone who wants to watch this in the future, I’ll write about the rest of the stuff which bothers me (spoiler alert) in white text. Just highlight the text (I think Scott did this with a movie critique he did a while back and thought it was a neat idear) and you’ll see what I wrote. Remember, if you do not want me to spoil the film for you, just skip to the text below this white space.
Sadly (and I so called this in my entry about the trailer) Data dies in this one. Though his death was honorable and heroic, (that’s right Worf, your ass better guide him well into StoVoKor) it would have had a much more visceral effect if it was done in a “better” way. Data’s death was similar to the way Spock died in Wrath of Khan. The big bad weapon is about to go off so you offer your life to save the rest of the world (“The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few…”) and all is well. In Wrath, at least freagin’ Kirk, Bones and Scotty were there and you could feel the despair and pain for the loss of their great friend. In this version, there was like a 3 second dialogue between Picard and Data as Data transported him off to safety. Then he says “Goodbye” and he blows up to smithereens saving the Enterprise. I would have loved to watch a better interaction between Picard and Data during their last seconds together before he was forcefully beamed off. Perhaps even a valiant effort by Jeordi to get the transporters back, but failing to beam him off in time or something.
The funeral scene is what really ticked me off. It was nice seeing the crew members there toasting his life, but everyone could have said something about him, especially Geordi. Riker brought up the first mission (Encounter at Far Point episode) where Data was whistling a tune he forgot (it’s “Pop Goes the Weasel” dammit) and that’s pretty much it. It all faded into the next scene when Riker disembarks to his new command on the Titan. I mean for such an important (and arguably the most loved) character to the series, I felt he needed a better funeral to properly to the job. Hell, Tasha Yar’s funeral was infinitely sadder to watch than Data’s! At the very least, perhaps they could have added show snippets to add to the feeling of loss they were trying to convey. Of course, the lack of movie time may have had something to do with this all.
It wasn’t mentioned in the film that Beverly was also leaving the Enterprise for a new command/post aboard a new ship as well. Actually, I think she had like 3 or 4 small speaking parts. For that matter, what in the world was up with the lack of speaking roles for Worf, Geordi, Beverly and Guinan? Wesley’s marriage to Robyn Leifler as well as Geordi’s marriage to Leah Brahmms was not mentioned at all as well. It was a surprising pleasure seeing Wesley there in the wedding scene. It was also a nice touch having Janeway give Picard the orders to head off to Romulus at the beginning. I liked Janeway’s half joking manner with regards to Picard having the easy species to fight.
Also, we didn’t get to see the new crew coming on board at the end of this movie as well. I would have enjoyed seeing the next crew reporting for duty at the end in preparation for the next Trek film.
Riker however, did leave an interesting plot for the next film if they choose to make it as well. A sort of like “Undiscovered Country” type of film where the Federation makes peace with the Romulans. Picard and his new crew in the Enterprise E and Riker and his new crew in the Titan off to Romulus…
Don’t get me wrong, the film itself was quite good. The acting was very impressive on all counts, especially Patrick Stewart’s and Tom Hardy’s. Their acting was brilliant, to say the least, as opposing equals. It was truly a pleasure watching them go back and forth with each other. From what I understand, Mr. Hardy got a hold of all of the series tapes and movies to be able to emulate Picard so well in this movie.
The action sequences have never been this good in any Trek film IMHO and my god those battle scenes made me want to cheer in my seat. :drool:
The telling of the story (directing) was definitely not up to par as compared to some of the earlier Trek films. With a much more capable (and in tuned) director, it would have been a truly great film and the tagline of, “A Generation’s Final Journey” would have had much more meaning.
At least to me.