Sunday, May 16, 2010

Star Trek: Insurrection

All of these movies based on The Next Generation's cast have their issues, but Insurrection's fatal flaw is the most egregious - it's totally boring. I'd say the only thing stopping it from being a mediocre two part episode of the show is the budget, but frankly, even that isn't apparent when you're watching it. There's almost no scope at all to the story, and in fact the plot is cribbed pretty directly from one of the episodes, with the difference being Picard completely flips his ethics because he wants to get some immortal alien strange. At least that was the only difference I saw. Starfleet has teamed up with some aliens on a mission to relocate some non-native people called Ba'ku who are living on a planet whose rings could be harvested for their healing and anti-aging effects, but which would leave the world uninhabitable. Picard believes this is against the prime directive of non-interference with cultures not advanced enough to have discovered warp drive yet, except that the Ba'ku already are capable of that technology and in fact used it to reach this planet, they've just chosen to live without it. So really he has no ground to stand on and starts a rebellion for no good reason. I mean yeah, the antagonist is a murderous jerk and should be stopped. But the movie just kind of glosses over the fact that he commits treason without cause.

Anyway, all this sounds like it could lead to something interesting at leach, but the actual "insurrection" of the movie doesn't have a lot going on. They basically run around some hills, hide in a cave, and shoot down some drones that chase after them with transporter dart things. Action! Adventure! Intrigue! Why was so much effort taken anyway to keep the mission a secret? Very unlike Starfleet. The movie's just poorly considered and not entertaining to watch. They try to have a bit of fun with the rejuvenating effects of the rings, fixing Geordi's eyes, putting Worf through puberty, having Deanna talk about how her boobs have gotten firmer, but none of it is as funny or interesting as the lighter character stuff on the show. Also Data learning how to play from some dumb kid was pretty excruciating. Some of the stuff with Riker fending off enemy ships with the Enterprise was okay, and I enjoyed a switcheroo pulled near the end, but that's about it for fun. Even the stunt work in this movie is garbage, not convincing at all. The best thing I can say about Insurrection is that it's better than the one Shatner directed, but that's the definition of faint praise.

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