Monday, September 17, 2018

Star Trek The Goth Generation

“Star Trek: Nemesis” is the last film related to the TV series “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. It's also the darkest one. The atmosphere occasionally feels downright Gothic! Captain Jean-Luc Picard discovers that the Romulan Empire has been taken over by a cloned version of himself (sic). The clone, named Shinzon, is leading a slave rebellion of Remans, a bat-like race previously oppressed by the Romulans. An earlier version of the android Data plays a certain role in the plot, as does ship counselor Deanna Troi. Unfortunately, slavery and outcast status hasn't turned the Remans into better men (or bats), with Shinzon himself turning out to be a distilled version of everything that was bad with Picard as a young man. The clone harbors genocidal plans for planet Earth, and the fate of humanity is at stake as Picard and his unnatural twin fight it out in deep space…

The first part of “Nemesis” is relatively good and interesting, but also somewhat unrealistic for those who crave strict in-universe logic (how could the Reman slaves convince the Romulan imperialist fleet to join their uprising?). The second part is more dragging, with the usual cat-and-mouse games inside the equally usual “nebula which makes all communication impossible”. The main actors are extremely good, so good I almost forgot they *are* actors, and the theme of the film revolves around the question “what makes us human”, with Data's android brother and Picard's clone as obvious talking points. It's intriguing that the slaves, rather than the imperial Romulan fleet, are the bad guys.

Even so, I prefer “First Contact” and even “Generations” to “Nemesis” due to the dragging second half, but perhaps it looked better on cinema than it does on TV, with all the annoying commercial breaks. Three-and-a-half stars to Star Trek the Goth Generation!

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