"Star Trek: Nemesis" is the 10th movie in the series that started as a
failed sci-fi sitcom in 1966, but has since grown to capture the hearts
and minds of three generations. One of the main reasons for its longevity
is its continuing reinforcement of the "humanity" theme. More precisely,
what it means to be human, even in a world full of non-human entities,
whether of alien origin, or of synthetic design.
Click to recommend this page:
While this universal theme has reached many audiences around the
world successfully, one has to be a faithful follower of the specific
characters within "The Next Generation" series to understand or be
entertained by this new movie. Make no mistake, "Nemesis" is definitely
good movie material to be sure. It's just that it is so dependent on
the knowledge of the existing characters and ongoing plot lines, that
without that background, you may feel, well... "lost in space."
Here, let me demonstrate by explaining the plot line (as obtained from the
Internet Movie Database):
On their way to Riker's and Troi's honeymoon, the Enterprise is sent
near the neutral zone to Romulan space, and picks up a prototypic twin
of android Data. Immediately they are further sent to Romulus, where a
new praetor, Shinzon, a half-Reman cloned from Captain Picard, appears
to want peace with the Federation.
See what I mean? To any Star Trek fan, this is juicy stuff! To anyone
else, it might seem a little "out there." Fortunately for me, I love the
Trek series. If you do too, I can gladly report that this "episode" was
far more intelligent, well-scripted and acted, and exciting in all ways
than previous Trek movies in recent past. In fact, no other since Star
Trek II has been as true to the "spirit" of the series as this has. True,
Star Trek IV was a box-office smash, and appealed to even non-trekkies
with its universal "save the whales" theme, but it had to part a little
from the die-hard Trekkie stuff to accommodate the wider audience.
The drawbacks of "Nemesis" are that certain posited ideas aren't given
closure. For example, the morality of cloning is introduced. Accordingly,
this topical idea in today's current events is brought in as a main
theme of the film, as is standard practice for Trek stories. Here, both
Data, the android, and Capt. Picard are both "cloned", establishing an
excellent platform for the theme of self-discovery, and "what it means
to be human." Yet, while the initial conjecture of the dilemma is superb,
the questions it poses are not left with compelling and enduring thoughts
that force us to contemplate further. Also, subplots and new twists are
introduced that are clearly for the benefit of follow-on TV viewers. While
that's nice for promoting the series as a trademark, we movie-goers
shouldn't have to be subject to that. Movies should self-contained and
not require intertwining with TV for a sense of resolove.
Nevertheless, I came away from "Star Trek: Nemesis" as a very happy
viewer. I enjoyed the experience for what it was, and don't think it's
important enough to get too dramatic about its shortcomings. As William
Shatner once said to a group of surprised fans at a Trek convention
years ago, "It's just a TV show! Get a life!"
Click to recommend this page: