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Star Trek: Nemesis (2003)
Director: Stuart Baird

review by Robin Landry

There comes a time when all good things must come to and end, and I'm sad to say, Star Trek is at the end of its illustrious run. The series started in 1966 and at the time was so cutting edge that it almost didn't get made. Now, 37 years later, the movie going public has moved beyond Star Trek. Our understanding of computers, and science in general makes Star Trek seem tired and old hat.
   Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek was a genius, and so far ahead of his time that even the copies made of his ideas seemed new and exciting or at least contemporary. I believe that the biggest problem of the new Star Trek movies is the lack of creative genius. Yes, the directors and writers of Star Trek: The Next Generation and the subsequent shows are good, maybe even great, but not on the level of Roddenberry. His ideas were truly a gift from the gods.
   If you look at the original Star Trek series you see universal truths being spoken in an entertaining way. What is reality? (The opening show of the original series with Captain Pike) What is God? (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country) Can mankind be improved? (Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan). While the new movie Nemesis asks the question of what makes a man, nurture or nature. That question has been explored ad-nauseam and everyone it seems has weighed in on the issue. Data (Brent Spiner) makes the ultimate sacrifice and yet leaves his progeny to carry on. Captain Picard wants to help his 'son' and is asked to explore whether his duties as a protector of Earth are more important. While a worthy question, we already know the answer. Is that because we know the characters in Star Trek so well? Have all the questions been asked so that now the series is predictable?
   The plot to this movie is the challenge of Picard coming to terms his nemesis Shinzon (Tom Hardy) his younger and less subdued self. Shinzon is a great bad guy because you can't help but sympathise with him even when he wants to wipe out your planet and has the means to do so. In all the truly great stories the bad guy would be good except for the bad things that happen to him early on in life, or so we're led to believe. Would Picard have turned out differently is he'd grown up in Shinzon's prison world? Herein lies the problem for me with the whole believability of the plot. I believe that what is inside of a person will always triumph. Why do some people turn out bad no matter how good their circumstances while others turn out good while trapped in bad circumstances? Is Nemesis telling us that it's all nurture or are they trying to say that though Picard and Shinzon share the exact same genes, they are different because of what's inside each man. In other words, because the two men have different souls, they will turn out differently because it's really the soul what makes a man who he is.
   While I enjoyed watching the movie, it held no mysteries for me. The acting was perfect as usual, the story interesting and the directing excellent. It was nice seeing Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Troi (Marina Sirtis) finally get together, in fact, it was nice seeing the whole crew again but it was more like a nice family gathering at Thanksgiving than a must-see movie. The Region 1 DVD edition includes special features such as a commentary by Stuart Baird, exclusive documentaries, deleted scenes, and a photo gallery.

Related item:
tZ  Star Trek: Enterprise - TV review
Star Trek: Nemesis

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