Sunday, December 15, 2002

Star Trek: Nemesis (IMDB) (Netflix)
The latest, and if you believe the promos, the last Star Trek film. The Next Generation crew is aging nicely (couldn't say that about Kirk and company), and Riker is about to finally assume command of his own vessel. But wait, there's trouble on Romulus, which is all of a sudden missing a Senate, and a new player has emerged, who wants something very dear to Captain Picard. We're also introduced to the Remans, the Romulans' red-headed step-children, who have notions of upward mobility.

This installment has its own ambitions–it's darker, more thoughtful, less glib–but they're not fully realized. Picard and Data each are confronted with questions about their identity and what it means to be unique, and there's a nature/nuture thread, but it doesn't really explain the bad guy's motivation. The action generated a host of "why don't they just...?" reactions, and frankly, I was hoping we were past the days of weapons of mass destruction that took seven agonizing minutes to deploy. Picard's Patrick Stewart seems to have recognized these holes and taken his performance in as somber and introspective direction as possible; a heroic effort to counter-balance the script at the same time he's saving humanity.

As with the recent Bond film, Nemesis upholds the tradition without raising it to a new level.