Chances are, if you are buying this movie, you have already formed an opinion on it by now. As the reviews suggest, it is not an outright success story, but it has to be said it does miss the mark on a lot too.
This re-release as a special edition gives a chance to re-evaluate what seems like it will be the last in the Next Generation movies. In viewing again, long after the excitement of a new Trek movie has passed, and the disappointment of something less than was hoped for or hyped has faded, Nemesis turns out to be not such a bad movie after all. The plot revolves around the Romulan Empire, specifically its new leader who has taken power with the Remans, previously the dominated race. This new leader, Schinzon, turns out to be Picards clone, and when Schinzon summons Picard and the Enterprise, the question is - what are his motives. Well, predictably after a period of cautious circling and meaning infused dinners, the motives turn out to be domination and destruction, and our heroes have to save the day - however, along the way the writer (John Logan, also writer of Gladiator) infuses much subtext of families and the dilemna of facing the evil within yourself, and aspiring to become something better - very much the stuff of Trek.
For the movie, the writing is not bad, the effects fantastic, and this version boasts a wonderful dts mix as well as 5.1. However, as comfortable as the leads are in their roles, and Tom Hardy fills out his part well also, there is a nagging feeling of tiredness about it all. It's refreshing to see the characters move on - one of the excellent deleted scenes has Picard discuss with data the passage of time marked by occasions such as weddings and funerals, not just without but within too, and it's this sort of character growth that helped inject so much humanity into the classic trek characters - shame they cut that scene. However, the attempt to find a 'personal' villain for Picard does not hit the mark - we never do feel that passionately involved, as the characater is so completely new to us. How much more resonant it might have been if the character was from Picards past, and featured in the TV series, such as Khan was for Kirk.
If you already have the movie and are debating whether to get it for the extras, I can only say - do it. The second disc is heaving with extras on all subjects possible. The deleted scenes last almost 30 minutes, and almost all genuinely add something. One can understand the need to trim a movie down, but honestly it feels like this could have been a richer movie with some of these scenes intact. The production, the music, the director, all are featured with extensive interviews. There are two commentaries on the disc, plus one text commentary - if you think you can really watch the movie that often! While mostly interesting, the extras do show less honest heart-searching on the end result, as it does sound like PR plurb, but that's a minor quibble.
In short, for a Trek movie this would not be a first choice, but well worth buying to complete the Star trek movie experience. As a special edition, this is well worth it for the extras on display. 7/10
on 16 August 2003
When I went to see Star Trek Nemesis at the cinema I went with fairly low expectations - the reviews the film had received were poor to say the least. But I thoroughly enjoyed it. Good story, great special effects, great action sequences and all in all a damned enjoyable way of passing 1 hour and 45 minutes.
But the reviews were dreadful. Had I got it wrong? Were my expectations so low that Nemesis couldn't help but exceed them and prove a pleasant surprise? Would I be disappointed when it came to watching it again on the small screen and realise that my initial impression was wrong - it really wasn't all that good afterall? (another Attack of the Clones?) Had the critics got it right all along?
No. When I got the DVD and found that Paramount had quoted from a review by Paul Ross in the News of the World I admit I was was a bit worried. Was that the only favourable review they could quote from? Paul Ross? I was ready to concede I'd got it all wrong there and then. Having watched the DVD a few times now I have to stand my my initial first impression. Good story, great special effects, great action sequences and a damned enjoyable way of passing 1 hour and 45 minutes.
I won't recount the plot - its been done ably by the other reviewers - though I will add that when the film opens you could be forgiven for thinking you've stumbled across a strange mix of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (what with all the talk of the Senate, Viceroys, etc.) and Neighbours (Alan "Jim Robinson" Dale crops up as a Romulan who bites the dust!).
Perhaps Nemesis is a bit of a rehash of The Wrath of Khan - but it is still one of the best Next Generation films to have been released and is certainly up there with First Contact. The film does lack some of the genuine humour of Insurrection (though Picard and Data's little exchanges are great). But whereas Insurrection, as good as it was, felt more like an extended episode from the TV series at times, Nemesis not only has the intelligent dialogue/issues you'd expect from Star Trek TNG (ok- there is some technobabble!) it also has the feel of a blockbuster action type movie which can be enjoyed by both Trek and non Trek fans.
DVD extras? There are over 40 minutes worth of interviews with the cast and director, a director's commentary, half a dozen deleted scenes and a gallery of photos and drawings. Quite a package really - and all on the one disc. I had a few problems when I tried to play all the deleted scenes in a continuous run (sound and picture started skipping for some reason) but stopping the DVD and starting again seemed to solve the problem. There's also the usual irritating pause in the film you tend to experience with most DVDs (unless it's my DVD player that's at fault!)
Basically a great film to end the adventures of the TNG crew. If it really is the end...
In this fourth 'Next Generation' film there's a popping of champagne corks as Captain Picard fulfills his role as best man at the dinner celebrating the marriage of his first officer and ship's councillor; Will Riker and Deanna Troi. It's also a farewell as the happy couple are due to leave the ship and start duties on the USS Titan. But their last few days on the ship are interrupted by the chance discovery of a positronic signal from a nearby planet which is deemed worthy of investigation.
The trip down is more eventful than expected - after discovering Data's slightly backwards twin they find themselves escaping a hostile reception in action packed style. No sooner are they back on the ship with their new visitor, the crew are required at Romulus to attend the scene of a mass political assassination. The film gives us some interesting insights into Romulan culture, or rather 'Remus' culture. Remus is a neighbouring planet where the native Remans are forced to live on the constantly dark side of their planet, they are viewed by Romulus to be a lesser race and considered nothing better than slaves. However, it appears they have a saviour in the guise of a vaguely familiar human, Picard's clone "Schinzon".
Nemesis turns into a very personal battle between Picard and his younger genetically matched adversary. The two debate on how they are the same, and Schinzon states how if given the same upbringing, Picard would be just like him. The battle of wits is often quite compelling and at first it looks as though the film is going to take the easy option and see the young 'Picard' have an epiphany and accept that he can use his influence for more altruistic means, but thankfully he remains a twisted, dark soul. Tom Hardy plays Schinzon with a manic lust for power which comes through strong, he's a fine nemesis with a dramatic delivery not seen since Khan showed his wrath.
The Enterprise here looks fantastic at times, there's a scene where it collides and the ensuing carnage looks superb. The bridge interior is stunning with the dark hues maintaining the nod to the original cast films. But some of the other scenes look a bit ropey, many of the locations are obvious studio shots and have a made-for-TV look which detracts from the film.
Also, the make-up sometimes looks poor, we can see where the Romulan face make-up begins and ends in one instance, it's the sort of thing you accept on TV but high definition is less forgiving. The Remans would be a scary looking bunch if it weren't for the fact the make-up isn't that convincing.
Nemesis seems to lack something, there are plot holes which make the whole film feel a bit weak and the tension never builds because you aren't convinced by any real peril. The Enterprise seems a little too easily held to ransom by Shinzon and Romulan assistance appears to be too convenient. It doesn't help that the film was heavily edited, the additional material may not have filled in the gaps, but it might have made for a more satisfyingly developed film. Deleted scenes can be found on this Blu-Ray release but they are in standard definition. It would have been nice to have had an option to watch a longer cut of the film rather than simply browse these scenes as extras. Also, a brief appearance by Admiral Janeway is a tie-in with the Voyager TV series but feels a bit unnecessary and simply shoe-horned in believing that the fans would like it.
There are efforts made to inject humour, once again Data is used as a source of funny lines - and thankfully they aren't as cheesy as they have been in the past (personally I enjoyed Picard's subtle quip with the newly wed Riker: "Mr Troi!"). As another reviewer here has pointed out, the most comic moment may have been unintentional and involves Doctor Crusher musing on how Picard was cloned: "They probably used a hair follicle or a skin cell" - my money's on the skin cell.
In a nutshell: This Star Trek film is better than Insurrection and its poor box-office performance isn't a true reflection of it (it was up against Lord of the Rings). Yes, it has flaws and isn't among the best 'Trek films but it's still a decent watch. Too much effort was made to get action scenes in, but they do look good and can be enjoyed for what they are.
on 11 February 2009
This was the Star Trek film that bombed - and, in tandem with the flaccid final spin-off 'Enterprise', all-but killed the Trek franchise. Many of the fans are vitriolic in their hatred of Nemesis and, as for the general public, judging by box office figures hardly any of them bothered to see it. Personally, I was surprised at the amount of scorn that was heaped upon Nemesis. I actually rather enjoyed it when I went to see it, although I was of course very much aware of its flaws, of which there are a great many.
It has some major pluses, to be sure (and for which reason this review has just scraped a three star rating and not a two). Stuart Baird's directing is excellent and he does a good job with the material he's given. The action sequences are brilliantly executed and there's an intensity and darkness reflected in the lighting and cinematography. The cast give their all and the effects are a distinct improvement over Insurrection. When Nemesis is good it's enticing, creepy, dark and intense.
The problem can be summed up in one word: the screenplay (or, OK, two words!). It might have sounded like a good idea to hire an Oscar-winning screenplay writer who happened to be a Trek fan, but sadly Logan's script is a meandering, unfinished mess. There are some good ideas at the core, but sadly the execution doesn't do them justice: the script is patchy, unfocussed and meandering, with about as many plot holes as there are stars in the sky. The notion of Shinzon as a Picard clone is inspired, but it doesn't quite work thanks to the patchwork script: their interaction lacks punch and is exceedingly repetitive and unfocussed. Tom Hardy does a decent enough job as Shinzon, but as a villain he doesn't quite cut it: he comes across as more of a sultry adolescent than a dangerous villain. His quest to destroy Earth seems totally without motivation and, as a result, falls utterly flat. A Borg cube or a Dominion assault force heading toward Earth would elicit some degree of tension, but Shinzon in his Scimitar? Yeah, whatever. The fact it takes the Scimitar SEVEN MINUTES to load up its supposed superweapon is just laughable and immediately all tension flew out the window. This is a serious storytelling error and could have been easily fixed if Logan had put a bit more thought into it.
Brent Spiner also had a hand in the script and a rather self-serving one at that: the B4 storyline is rather pointless and, like many aspects of this film, is recycled from previous storylines (I can't believe no one even mentions Lore). While Data gets to make a heroic sacrifice, in a virtual remake of The Wrath of Khan's climax, the end result is disappointingly unemotional. Witness the weak memorial scene and compare that with Spock's heartbreaking funeral scene in Star Trek II. The final scene, which uses B4 as a potential reset button is just an insult and, all in all, this is a lousy send-off for the Next Generation characters.
The more I think about Nemesis the more I get annoyed by all its many deficiencies; deficiencies that could easily have been corrected had someone taken Logan, given him a firm shake and told him to brush up his half-baked screenplay. Somewhere inside Nemesis is a great film struggling to get out. There are flashes of greatness: as I noted, the directing, production, effects, performances and music are all first-rate. To begin with the pace is quite well-judged: but sadly, like a struggling old car that's ready for the scrapheap, every time it musters some speed, it abruptly chugs to a halt again: and in this case that's due to Logan's meandering script. If the script had been reworked, tightened and resequenced and the dialogue polished, Nemesis would have actually been a pretty darn good film. But it's futile to dwell on 'if only'.... As it stands, this is not a bad film by any stretch and is more or less entertaining throughout but, considering how good it could (and should!) have been, it's deeply disappointing. 3 stars seems quite generous for such an unceremonious departure for the Next Gen crew after 15 years. But, it could have been worse I guess and thankfully this film, while one of the most disappointing of the Trek films, is still massively better than Star Trek V. Thank heaven for small comforts.
on 8 February 2006
As the opening credits roll on ‘Nemesis’ an immediate distinction is made between this latest film in the Star Trek catalogue and all those that came before, because unlike the other nine films in the series- the opening credits don’t roll. As the director explains in his commentary this was because he wanted to jump straight into the action and the sacrifice was the cast list that I personally have always enjoyed creatively sliding across my screen in previous films. But thankfully this is one of only a handful of deviations from what has proven itself again and again a winning formula in Science Fiction, because for me this is an extremely faithful and worthy Next Generation film. But ‘Nemesis’ is not without its faults and unfortunately, that’s what most critics and fans seemed to have focused on.
It’s very hard to pin-point exactly where ‘Nemesis’ is lacking in comparison to the more successful films of the franchise, but I think it has to be put down to a combination of very minor factors. But the good points far out-weigh the bad in my opinion- the most admirable of which is that the writers have discovered not just plausible, but also thrilling new depths of character to explore (e.g. the Riker-Troi relationship and the extent of her empathic gift, Picard’s ancestry and troubled youth and Data’s quest to be more human) and after seven years in television and 3 forays into film I find that an incredible achievement. But other good points that must be noted are the original and visceral battle-scenes, the stark cinematography and that pervasive uneasiness that Star Trek rarely achieves- the feeling that this time things may not all come good in the end. But ultimately, ‘First Contact’ (the film ‘Nemesis’ attempts to emulate) remains the unrivalled Star Trek cinematic experience and the one for future films to best. But ‘Nemesis’ is still an absolutely spectacular film- hugely entertaining and chilling, effortlessly juggling humour and emotion and extremely well-written.
While it’s very unfair, I can’t help but wonder how ‘Nemesis’ would have turned out with Jonathan Frakes at the helm instead of Stuart Baird. Because even though I can’t fault the direction, I do wonder if the more experienced Frakes would have not only injected a little more style into the proceedings, but also a little more heart and in the process crafted a more cohesive whole. And the commentary by Baird on this DVD does not convince me otherwise, because it’s the dullest commentary I’ve ever, EVER heard- his lack of passion for the film and the absence of any anecdotes or fond recollections from his time on set are very telling indeed. The other extras (of which there are many) are all excellent, as are the menus and packaging, and at such a low price this Star Trek DVD is an absolute steal.
on 29 March 2004
Like other reviewers of this film on Amazon, I too agree that this is a good film. It has a good script, good acting, excellent SFX, twists and turns in the plot....so why is it so maligned?
I suspect that viewers are expecting bigger and better everytime a new ST film comes out.
Nemesis has all the good stuff a Star Trek film should have in it, and is thoroughly entertaining. If the "critics" continue to show their disappointment as they are doing, they may be no more for them to critisize, be warned...
on 4 March 2004
I have a confession to make. I have to turn in my Trekkie credentials. It took me two years to watch the last Star Trek film, Insurrection. Now, it's taken me almost that long to watch the latest (and probably last) Trek movie, Nemesis. I hang my head in shame...
Last night, though, I rectified that by watching it on DVD. Was it worth the wait? Was it worthy of the name Star Trek? How did our illustrious Enterprise crew acquit themselves? And just what is it with bald men in the 24th century? The answers to all of these questions is: yes, yes, reasonably well, and bald is sexy (not to me, of course, but some women seem to like it). It's probably the second best Next Generation movie out there, after First Contact. It's a bit rough around the edges, a bit "been there, done that," but overall it's entertaining.
When I first heard about Nemesis, my first thought was: COOL!! ROMULANS! Then, I watched this movie, and was a bit disheartened. There were hardly any Romulans in it! Instead, Nemesis introduces the Remans, a slave race from the Romulans' sister planet, who have decided that they've had enough. The make-up for the Remans was really cool, but I want my Romulans!!! I had to make do with a couple of iffy military types, Donatra and Suran (Dina Meyer and Jude Ciccolella). They got a few lines (Meyer more than Ciccolella), were able to sound suitably haughty, but that was about it. Neither had the chance to really stretch themselves (though Meyer was able to sport some interesting green bruises on her face when her ship was damaged).
A lack of pointy-eared enemies was not my only problem with this movie, however. The whole android sub-plot with B4 seemed shoehorned into the film. Yes, he is part of Shinzon's plan, but it just seemed like an excuse to get Spiner some more screen time and to give Data and Picard a way off of Shinzon's ship. While the whole B4 sequence can be defended, the execution of how they find him was ludicrous. It smacked of "we're 30 minutes into the film and we haven't had an action sequence! Quick, go find Michael Bay!" The whole dune buggy chase scene was completely ridiculous. The "inventive" way that they are able to escape was even more ridiculous (it's hard to be more than completely ridiculous, but this sequence manages it). Not to mention that it's against Starfleet policy of interfering with a pre-warp civilization. Just imagine what would happen if, in the early 20th century, a bunch of US soldiers were chasing a car and that car jumped into a floating spacecraft and took off. What would be the reaction? Yet our intrepid crew ignore other possibilities (sure, transporting a crew down there might leave them stranded, but how about beaming the sources of the signals up instead?).
My final complaint (just to get them all out of the way) is the fact that most of this stuff has been done before in Trek. Sure, there hasn't been a clone of one of the major characters done before, but the issues explored (identity, nature vs nurture, etc) have been. Nemesis seems like a souped-up Toyota Tercel. Sure, it's a sleek looking, motor-revving Tercel, but the old Tercel was just as good and besides, it's still a Tercel! Give me something new with my extra money.
After all that, you'd expect me to give this movie a really low rating. Right? Ok, no fair...the rating is at the top of the review so you've already seen it. 4 stars? Really? Why? It's simple. I was entertained by Nemesis and I love these characters. Patrick Stewart is simply wonderful with the material he's given. Tom Hardy makes a pretty good adversary for him, and I didn't have much trouble feeling like this was a Picard who had a horrible upbringing and is ready to lash out at everybody. He has the same sense of drama as Picard can have at times. Brent Spiner folds himself in his Data persona but also does a wonderful job with the naïve B4 (despite the fact that I don't think he was necessary). The other regulars don't get a lot of screen time, but they are also perfectly in character and bring a warm, cozy feeling to the whole thing (though I don't think Sirtis did the greatest job in the mind-rape scene).
The special effects and the battle choreography were probably the best I've seen in a Trek movie. Everything had a greenish tinge, which matches with the greenish look that the Romulans have. I thought that was a nice touch. The collision of starships was simply brilliant (it's a wonder what you can do with computers!). By battle choreography, I'm speaking of the starship battles. I couldn't believe it when they all actually moved in 3 dimensions. Other than Wrath of Khan (where they make special mention of it), no other Trek movie (and only an episode or two that I can think of) has actually had ships zooming in different directions, over and under ships, etc. Everything's always been in two dimensions, and it's been annoying. It was a wonder to see in this case.
All in all, I found Nemesis to be an entertaining time-waster, even more so if you're already a Trek fan and have something invested in the characters. It felt nice to see old friends again. If I wasn't a Trek fan, this would probably be only 3 stars (or maybe even 2), but since I enjoyed it, I'll be generous.
on 13 February 2016
Easily the best of the NG movies. The actors were superb, and Gene Roddenberry's philosophy was prevalent throughout. There were some amazing moments that were victim to the editors cut however. Watch some of the excellent deleted scenes. It helps the movie make a lot more sense - especially the one with Picard and Data in Picard's quarters - that should NOT have been removed from the final cut. Watch the scene at the end where Picard and Riker say their goodbyes. You can se, feel and hear the years of respect the two men have for each other - a brilliantly scripted and acted scene, with a fantastic, moving piece of accompanying music. Great film - watch it.
Patrick Stewart - 'Jean Luc Picard'
Brent Spiner - 'Data/ B-4'
Johnathan Frakes - 'William Riker'
LeVar Burton - 'Geordi La Forge'
Michael Dorn - 'Worf'
Marina Sirtis - 'Deanna Troi'
Gates McFadden - 'Beverly Crusher'
Whilst investigating signals on an unchartered planet, the Captain, Data and Worf , shuttle down to the surface,
much to their supprise they find several robotic parts, it's a double of Data.
They become under attack from a number of the planets occupants, they escape along with 'Data's' double, ....
Enterprise and it's crew are ordered to 'Romulus' to act as an escort to the new 'Romulan' leader 'Preator Shinzan'
'Jean Luc' is in for a supprise when realizing the new 'Romulan' leader is a 'clone' of himself, perhaps his most
dangerous adversary yet.
The 'Clone' has an agenda, as well as conquering the entire 'Romulan' empire, the destruction of earth and the death
of 'Jean Luc'
The Enterprise Captain has to battle himself.
It becomes a battle against superior odds for the crew of the Enterprise, ultimately a heavy price will be paid for the
encounter with ';Shinzan'
(The film gives us a glimpse of the series's future, our first, if but brief sequence with 'Kathryn Janeway')
For me - This is probably my favourite 'Generations' movie, equal to anything that had come before, this having the
benefit of some impressive Special-Effects and Battle sequences.
Special Features -
* Commentary by - Michael and Denise Okuda.
* Reunion with the Rikers HD
* Todays Tech Tomorrow's Data HD
* Robot Hall of Fame
* Brent Spiner - Data and beyond - part 4 HD
* Trek Roundtable - Nemesis HD
* Starfleet Academy - Thalaron Radiation
Blu-ray Exclusives -
* Library Computer
* Star Trek IQ - (BD-Live)
* Plus over 3 hours of previously released content
on 23 April 2003
.....but not for everyone. The film may have been touted as 'A Generation's final Journey', and it does look distinctly likey that this will be the final outing for the Next Gen Crew on the big screen.
'Nemesis' at all bad though. First of all, it poses the question - are we defined by nature or nurture. This is brought into question when Jean-Luc Picard is faced with a clone of himself who has led an intirely different life indeed, and thus his goals in life are erm...destructive.
However Nemesis doesn't spend enough time to answer some of the more minor - yet significant questions, focusing on the spectacle. The space battles are at least impressive, and cover over some of the cracks left by the script.
There have been many parallels made to the second Trek film, The Wrath of Kahn. It is true that some elements tat have been sampled (Which have angered more than a few Original Series fans), but to a more casual viewer this won't be a problem.
Nemesis will certainly be of interest to anyone who enjoyed the previous TNG outings on the big screen. 'Non Trek' fans may also find it enjoyable, but it still falls short of matching 1996's first Nex Gen film First Contact.