You probably know about the myth of the Star Trek movies, odd numbers bad, even numbers good. Well, Star Trek: Nemesis is movie number 10 and yes, it is good, very good. First, I would like to reassure you that when you see Wesley Crusher in the first scene of the movie that it is the only time you will see him. Unfortunately, it's also the only scene that Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg) is in. That scene is an engagement party for Commander Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Counselor Troi (Marina Sirtis) who are on their way to Betazoid for a wedding au naturel. Saving us from having to see the entire cast naked, the Enterprise is called away on an emergency mission to the fabled Romulan Neutral Zone, scene of the Kobayashi Maru among other famous Star Trek moments. There has been a Coup in the Romulan Empire and the inhabitants of the lesser known of the two planets, Romulus and Remus, have taken over. There are more surprises in store for the crew of the Enterprise. On the way, they stop off on a desert planet for a little off-road driving, and find that Data (Brent Spiner) and Lore were not the only products of Dr. Sung's laboratory. Once on Romulus, they find that the new Praetor (Tom Hardy) is neither Romulan nor Reman but a human clone of Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart). The Remans, themselves, bear an uncanny resemblance to Nosferatu. Anyway, I won't give away any more of the plot except to say that the Praetor and the Remans are not interested in peaceful relations with the Federation. And that for the first time, Counselor Troi actually employs her powers to do something useful!
Star Trek: Nemesis is very well put together. The usual jokey beginning among the cast members is funny and entertaining. Once the action starts, it doesn't really slow down until the end of the movie. You might want to see Star Trek: Nemesis soon before you hear too much about the plot. I was blissfully unaware of the ending when I saw it. Star Trek plots usually fall into one of two categories either Green, where the Enterprise tries to peacefully save the Galaxy or Red, where they are fighting to save the Galaxy from some evil attack. Of course, the Green approach often doesn't work and firing the phasers is necessary anyway. But Star Trek: Nemesis is Red all the way, including a protracted battle between the Enterprise and the Reman's nasty spaceship which is reminiscent of the bruising fight in The Wrath of Khan. There are other parallels with that movie as well. The usual Next Generation cast is back including, in addition to those already mentioned, Dr. Crusher (Gates McFadden), Worf (Michael Dorn), and Geordi (LeVar Burton). Patrick Stewart is great as always as Picard, the best of all the Star Trek captains. There is a small cameo featuring Janeway (Kate Mulgrew), the worst of all the Star Trek captains. The rest of the cast, particularly Data, is in fine form. Although Crusher and Worf don't get to do much this time.
It is always good to see the
Star Trek characters again, but Star Trek: Nemesis benefits from
a good script, good direction, and some good bad guys. The fact that
the director, Stuart Baird, has never done Star Trek before adds some freshness.
Tom Hardy does some good overacting as Picard's evil twin. And Ron
Perlman continues his successful career that includes Quest
for Fire, The Name of the
Rose, and Beauty and the
Beast where he plays characters that render him unrecognizable.
Here, he plays the Reman Viceroy. The Star Trek movies are often
best when they don't try and get in touch with their feminine sides.
And this is a boy movie through and through. The evil genius doesn't
measure up to Ricardo Montalban as Khan but then no one can. The
Wrath of Khan remains the best of the Star Trek movies but Star
Trek: Nemesis is a lot of fun. They are saying that this is the
``Final Journey" but let's hope that like James Bond, Star Trek goes on