I know it’s a bit strange to talk about a movie you probably either already know about or don’t want anything to do with but here we are. Star Trek Nemesis is my favorite out of all the TNG movies and, more importantly, it’s a great stand-alone science fiction movie. This means that you don’t have to know anything about the Star Trek universe to enjoy it. Most of the story takes place in outer space, aboard gloriously designed spaceships. Since these are the early aughts, the CGI was quite good and it still holds up rather well.
I mean, I watched this movie a couple of nights ago, some twenty years after its initial release, and apart from just a few awkward scenes, the rest of it looked excellent. As a science fiction fan, I often simply forget about Star Trek movies. Mostly because television shows hold such a special place in my heart. It’s odd to think that Nemesis was the last Star Trek movie before the reboot in 2009. The new movies featured excellent special effects but lacked the story and the characters its predecessors had. So, you can look at this Star Trek Nemesis as one last hoorah before the franchise went to shit.
I did say that and I do think that but I still enjoy the new movies as a flashy distraction. I don’t consider them Star Trek movies but that’s a story for another time. Now, I will admit that some parts of this movie do feel like a “tv reunion episode of TNG” with aging actors trying their best to keep up with the demands of the story. However, the story moves along at a surprisingly brisk pace for the franchise. It’s not profound or elaborate but it will do just fine if you’re looking for a bit of space escapism. We will talk more about that later because the story of how this movie came to be is pretty wild.
On the planet Romulus, things start to get more and more complicated. Two warring factions are trying to seize control of the senate after failed negotiations. At the same time, the crew of the Starship Enterprise is preparing for a big wedding. They were on their way to a special planet for the ceremony when they received a strange signal. They stop to investigate not knowing that this would start a chain of events that will change their lives forever.
Apart from some very well-known faces like Stewart, Spinner, and Frakes, Star Trek Nemesis introduces young Tom Hardy as Shinzon. Just another little thing to push you toward watching this movie. A movie that was a commercial and critical failure at the time of its release. This is not surprising considering he was up against Die Another Day, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. All subsequent sequels and spin-offs were canceled because of this. And there were several of them.
This brings us to the story of how we ended up with this sort of movie. It was the first Star Trek movie not to finish number one at the box office on its opening weekend. I would attribute most of these issues to the fact that director Stuart Baird, knew nothing about the Star Trek world. He had trouble remembering the names of the main cast members and thought that Geordi was an alien.
Luckily, writer John Logan was a long-time fan so he wrote a pretty solid script. The script that was butchered when more than a third of the movie was deleted. Just to be perfectly clear, that’s about an hour of footage missing. Considering all of this, I think that Star Trek Nemesis turned out quite alright in the end. Plus, the main plot is very similar to Wrath of Khan, so you already know what to play next.
Director: Stuart Baird
Writers: Gene Roddenberry, John Logan, Rick Berman
Cast: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Tom Hardy
Fun Facts: Jonathan Frakes refused to shave his back for the love scene. The hair on his back was digitally removed by a special effects team.
IMDb Link: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0253754/