Originally posted Dec 20, 2002. I dug this one up in my main blog, and thought it might go better in the Film section.
So we ended up going to see “Star Trek: Nemesis”. God, that movie sucked. I’m not a religious person, but GOD, that movie sucked.
And I’m a Star Trek fan, too. Not a big, obsessive fan that gets all dressed up and goes to the cons, and whatnot, but I’ve seen most of the episodes — of all the series, not just the original Trek (I’m not a big fan of Enterprise, mainly because of the theme music). Here’s how much of a fan I am: I knew “Nemesis” would suck, but I went to see it anyway. And it wasn’t an unredeemable suckiness either, there were some really good parts. Some really good parts. But much of it was bad — too much of it was bad.
And don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t just because of the “Trek Logic”. The logic and science used in Star Trek is pretty bad, but is pretty believable most of the time. In this case, though, they violated their own logic. They did this so many times, that it started pissing me off. Here’s my top 10 list of gripes. Note: contains spoilers, but who cares. It’s Star Trek.
- Basically, it’s a rip-off of “Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan”: The captain’s equal gets a ship and tries to kill him, even though there are countless other possibilities for revenge. The villain also has a weapon of unspeakable power, capable of destroying a whole planet. They finally have a showdown in a large nebula cloud, and play a stealthy game of cat-and-mouse. Finally, the villain activates the weapon, gets killed before it goes off, and the Enterprise escapes before the weapon can kill everyone.
- Early on in the film, Picard and his team fly down to a planet to track and retrieve some positronic signatures. The planet is pre-warp (as stressed prior to them leaving), so doing anything in full view of the inhabitants is a direct and flagrant violation of the Prime Directive. Yet they treat it like an extreme sports vacation. They drive around in a suped-up dune buggy, fly their shuttle around a lot, and shoot phasers at everyone.
- Data got fat. It’s not that big a deal, but there are two of him in this flick. Think they could have toned Brent Spiner up a bit before stuffing him in a jumpsuit?
- There are two Datas. I don’t know why, and it wasn’t explained sufficiently for me, but why go through the trouble to get a second Data, then use it to bait Picard into visiting a planet by the Neutral Zone anyway? They’ve got the Enterprise in Romulan space already, they’ve got superior cloaking technology, and are planning on destroying Earth. Why not just take the ship and be done with it?
- I still don’t think you can ram two ships into each other, then back one out and separate them. I don’t think the laws of physics work that way, even given that these are two massive ships.
- The Enterprise is without shields at one point, the Romulan ship (Reman ship, whatever) has 73% shields remaining. The Enterprise tries to RAM the other ship. What do you expect to happen? Personally, I think the Enterprise gets destroyed, while the other ship is fine. But no….
- Both ships are without weapons. Both ships are essentially defenseless (except the Romulan ship which should have had shields left). But the Enterprise still has this Ship’s Yacht, the Argo. Presumably it still had weapons. The Romulan ship has dozens of fighters too. Why weren’t any of these being used? We see them getting destroyed? Could no one pilot them?
- Where the hell was everybody? It seemed as if Picard killed everyone on the Romulan ship. And what’s he doing taking on the bad guys by himself anyway?
- The villain is a CLONE of Picard, but is genetically engineered by the Romulans to age rapidly and die unless he gets a “complete transfusion of Picard’s blood”. I’m not making this up. If he’s genetically predetermined to die, how does a transfusion save him? And apparently he needs to actually have Picard there to get all of his blood, or it won’t work. OK, we see him earlier replicating a cup of tea, and also getting a sample of Picard’s blood. Why doesn’t he just clone all the blood, and replicate 20 gallons of the stuff? Why does Picard have to be there?
- Finally, Data has this personal emergency transport beacon, not unlike several other kinds of transporter enhancers we’ve seen in the TNG series. However, he makes it plainly obvious that he only has one of them in a situation where two are required. Later, he’s in the exact same situation, with the same person (Picard), but still only has one of them. Why wouldn’t he just take two? Also, it’s an “emergency transport device”, but probably still requires the transporters to be working, right? Right? We’ll the transporters are broken on the Enterprise, and it still works. Why didn’t they use the Argo to transport? Why not any of the shuttles? They all have transporters, don’t they?
There are about a dozen more things which irk me about this film, the worst being this: it could have been cewl. It was a dark film, pretty creepy for a Star Trek film; The villain was cewl; Wesley Crusher had no speaking part; Data only sang once (well, he hummed later on). So much potential, so little effort.