Review for Star Trek: Nemesis
On the way to the second part of Will Riker and Deanna Troi’s wedding, the Enterprise picks up a positronic signature. Someone’s left bits of android scattered around a Dune Buggy planet, which isn’t suspicious at all, not in the slightest. It seems everyone on the Enterprise have forgotten about Data’s evil brother Lore, as they reassemble this android, who turns out to be another of Data’s siblings, B4, only this one is a moron, and not even a mindmeld with his smarter brother will help.
All of this essential plot development is forgotten, as it turns out that the Romulans cloned Picard, and then had a change of heart, and dumped his clone, Shinzon, in a dilithium mine on Remus. Shinzon got mad, did a Spartacus, and with the freed Reman slaves, built the baddest starship in the galaxy, and has just assassinated the Romulan senate. He now wants to be friends with the Federation, and has requested a peace envoy. This isn’t suspicious at all, not in the slightest. The Enterprise gets the mission, but of course it turns out that Shinzon has revenge in mind, against everyone, for everything, and he’s got a doomsday weapon and he isn’t afraid to use it.
Nemesis gets a 2.35:1 widescreen 1080p transfer, and it is really quite splendid. The image is clear and sharp, properly filmic with a nice natural level of film grain. Detail levels are excellent, and other than the odd hint of digital banding in a couple of effects scenes, is as good as you might hope for, even with the bleach-bypass planet. Of course sometimes the Blu-ray highlights the budget for the film; you can see the Alaskan mountains fluttering in the breeze at the start of the film. This final classic-era Star Trek movie comes to high definition with the minimum of post-processing and HD enhancement.
You have the choice between Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Surround English, DD 5.1 Surround French, German, Italian, and Spanish, with subtitles in these and many other languages. Nemesis’ audio really kicks behind, once you turn the volume up. It resoundingly immerses you in the action, putting you in the middle of the photon torpedoes and phasers, the explosions, and another iconic score from Jerry Goldsmith. The dialogue isn’t up to much, but when it comes to giving the speakers a workout, Nemesis is the Blu-ray equivalent of Mr Motivator.
So many extras on this disc! That’s once you get past the rather generic animated menu.
There are three audio commentaries that I will never listen to, from director Stuart Baird, from producer Rick Berman, and from Michael and Denise Okuda.
There’s a pop-up trivia track thingy I will never enable.
There are over 3 hours of featurettes for the film, divided into three sections, Production, The Star Trek Universe, and The Romulan Empire. That’s 21 featurettes running to an exact time of 205:52. Most are in SD and are taken from the DVD release, but there are some HD featurettes created for this Blu-ray too. None of these I will ever watch.
There are 13 deleted scenes presented in SD, running to a total of 27:13 with introductions. I watched the Wesley Crusher one, and then gave up.
The archives contain image galleries covering Storyboards, Production, and Props.
The Teaser and Theatrical Trailer are here in HD.
There are also BD-Live features, listed as Coming Soon on my player, which probably means that they’ve turned the servers off by now.
Star Trek Nemesis needed none of this. It would have been better served by a 30-second mea culpa.
Nemesis was the movie that killed Star Trek for me. I never bought another DVD, spent money on any books, wasn’t invested in the franchise at all after I saw this. Star Trek Voyager had set the rot into the franchise, Nemesis killed it, and the corpse kept on twitching for another couple of years with Enterprise before it finally gave up the ghost. It took Abrams’ reboot of Star Trek to make it watchable again, although ironically those reboot movies are even dafter, more action oriented, summer popcorn flicks than the last few classic Trek movies. The reason why they are more fun to watch is that the new characters don’t have any pomposity or intellectual weight to them. They are action movie stars in action movies. You couldn’t do that with The Original Series cast, and especially the Next Generation cast, as they had the weight of a long running franchise behind them. Watch Star Trek: Nemesis, and you’re not just watching a movie, you’re watching the latest instalment of a story that began in 1987, and that has grown and developed through 178 television episodes, and four feature films. And when it comes to Star Trek, these are characters that fans know like family, a world that they know like the back of their hand. Fail to do that continuity justice, and you will reap the whirlwind.
Perhaps that’s why the Abrams reboot movies succeed. They have jettisoned 10 movies, and 703 television episodes of creaky, heavy, and occasionally contradictory continuity. Nemesis had to work within the confines of that continuity. It couldn’t even do that, with a story that failed to recognise the history of the characters, and wound up insulting the intelligence of the hardcore fanbase. Much of the blame for this has been laid at the door of director Stuart Baird who had never seen Star Trek before, but he manages to direct a competent action movie. Nemesis does deliver on action in spades. In my opinion, as much blame should go to writer John Logan, apparently a lifelong Star Trek fan, who turned out a daft piece of plot-hole ridden nonsense. For this film to work on an intellectual level, it requires the main cast to lose about 50 points of IQ and develop selective amnesia. It shows, in characters that don’t feel right, that seem like parodies of their television series incarnations. That began in Insurrection, with Data the flotation device, but it spreads across the whole crew here.
The story itself is daft, from the B4 nonsense, to Shinzon’s unmotivated revenge; this is a film where stuff happens because it needs to for the movie to work, not because it makes any narrative sense. Worf spends his time hungover, Crusher delivers one line of exposition, Troi gets mind-raped, Riker kicks a villain in the face (villains that would have been better dealt with by Buffy the Space-vampire slayer), and what did Geordi do again? It’s the Data and Picard show, which is what these Next Generation movies quickly became. The original Star Trek was always the triumvirate, Spock, McCoy and Kirk, and that carried through when they made movies. The Next Generation was always an ensemble piece on television, and that was lost. That loss is most apparent in the final movie.
Nemesis would probably be watchable if it wasn’t a Star Trek movie, just a random b-movie space opera. But it left fans asking too many questions. After Lore, why did they do the same thing again with B4? Why is Shinzon after revenge? Who is Shinzon avenging himself upon, everyone? Why didn’t Data jump over with two personal transporters instead of one? Why didn’t they use a shuttle’s transporters? Why didn’t they use the Scimitar’s transporters? Why did they make another Wrath of Khan, with another lunatic with yet another doomsday weapon? Since we’re asking that, why in the first place did they make this piece of...? Nemesis stinks. This was the first, and last time I will ever play this Blu-ray. Crap! I just remembered, I have to screen cap it. Second and last time!