Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Star Trek Movie Reviews, Part II: The Mediocre Tier

The mediocre tier of the Star Trek films are those that had potential to be something more but missed the marked in some form or another.

Star Trek: Insurrection
If there was an award for Most Overstated Title, it would go to Insurrection. While The Search for Spock was a strong entry in the shadow of The Wrath of Khan, Insurrection is less-so against First Contact. It plays like a two-part episode of the series more than a feature film, with production values that are noticeably lower as sets from the various series are redressed. The visual effects are cartoonish at times, not measuring up to what's seen in the rest of the series.

The cast of The Next Generation gives it their all but most of them are given very little to do, some even being relegated to comic relief. The less that is said of F. Murray Abraham's Ru'afo the better. The film is fun and well-directed but Michael Piller's script is lacking in scope. There's not a lot that is worthy of a feature film here. Full review

Story: 1 / 2
Characterization: 1 / 2
Acting: 1.25 / 2
Entertainment: 1.25 / 2
Music: 1 / 1
Visuals: .5 / 1

6.0 / 10

Star Trek Nemesis
Nemesis is far from the disaster many fans make it out to be, but it's also far from being great. There's plenty of potential here with some good ideas in John Logan's script. Unfortunately, a lot of that potential is squandered due to Stuart Baird's uninspired directing that results in snail-pacing which led to a lot of the best character-driven elements being left on the cutting room floor. A lot of what's wrong with the script could've probably been overlooked had the cast not been going through the motions. There's a serious lack of heart in Nemesis which makes the film's flaws even more noticeable.

The visual effects are top-notch but that doesn't help save the battle sequences which are slow and not very thrilling as one's left with the feeling that we've been here before and better. You can tell that Logan was inspired by The Wrath of Khan but Nemesis by far misses the mark for which they were aiming. Perhaps a better director could've pumped some energy and inspiration into it to make Nemesis the send-off the crew of The Next Generation deserved. Full review

Story: 1.25 / 2
Characterization: 1.25 / 2
Acting: 1.25 / 2
Entertainment: 1 / 2
Music: .5 / 1
Visuals: 1 / 1

6.25 / 10

Star Trek: Generations
The cast and crew of Star Trek: The Next Generation makes the leap to the silver screen with mixed results. Ronald D. Moore and Brannon Braga's script has plenty of ambition and big ideas that could never have been executed on TV at the time but it's in their execution that it's lacking. The script is bogged down by plot holes and the technobabble that riddled the franchise through most of its run in the 90s. The villains (found in Dr. Soran and the Duras sisters) are underwritten, with the Duras sisters' plans never clearly presented.

The first meeting of William Shatner's James T. Kirk and Patrick Stewart's Jean-Luc Picard should've been epic and exciting! Instead, it's the movie's low-point where everything grinds to a halt. It doesn't help that Shatner acts laps around Stewart who is by far the superior actor yet is no match for Shatner's charisma. Dare I say that their meeting is actually boring? As a result, Generations peaks too early; with the thrillingly realized destruction of the Enterprise-D. If you want to learn how to crash a ship in a movie, look no further than here.

Generations manages to capture the feeling of The Next Generation series better than any of its other entries, including the far superior First Contact. There's plenty of potential here and this could've been a great film debut for TNG. Unfortunately, it's a mixed bag. Full review

Story: 1.25 / 2
Characterization: 1.25 / 2
Acting: 1.5 / 2
Entertainment: 1.5 / 2
Music: .5 / 1
Visuals: 1 / 1

7.0 / 10

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