Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Villains of Star Trek, Part II: The Middle 3

The middle of the pack of Star Trek's villains are the ones who aren't all that bad but are flawed enough in their own right to not be too great, either. They're the ones who had the potential to be great but just couldn't quite get there. The order is fairly interchangeable, depending on how you feel about a certain villain at the time.

6. Kruge / Christopher Lloyd / Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
It'll be tough for anyone to be the villain that follows Khan, regardless of how great you. Though Christopher Lloyd gives it his best shot, he doesn't quite measure up to Ricardo Montalban. Not that he's really all that bad or anything, it's just that Kruge's power-hungry grab for the secret of Genesis doesn't have much motive behind it. The part is underwritten and, overall, Kruge just isn't a very enticing villain. But Lloyd's ruthlessness and cold-heartedness when it comes to the execution of Kirk's son does set the standard for all Klingons to follow in the years ahead.

5. Shinzon / Tom Hardy / Star Trek: Nemesis
Star Trek has proven throughout its history that some of the best conflict comes with one's self. A clone of Jean-Luc Picard, Nero is certainly a threatening villain and Tom Hardy does stand his own against Patrick Stewart. There was plenty of potential with the concept but what undermines the character (and ultimately the movie itself) is that the writing of Nero is inconsistent as he shifts from wanting to get to know Picard, to wanting to kill Picard, to destroying Earth, to destroying Picard, to destroying Earth, then back to Picard and back again. There was a wonderful opportunity there, unfortunately it was squandered.

4. Nero / Eric Bana / Star Trek (2009)
Eric Bana gives a solid turn as the bald tatoo-faced Romulan from the future who manages to not only kill Kirk's father, but also Spock's mother and the entire planet Vulcan as well. Despite this, though, his backstory is rather lacking and his motives are never explained well within the context of the movie. Of course you can find all of that if you read the four-part Star Trek: Countdown comic book series that leads into the movie. But who besides a die-hard Star Trek fan is going to do that?

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