Top positive review
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Underated by many...
on 12 June 2005
I first saw GENERATIONS as part of a "Trek Marathon" at the local cinema - films 5, 6 and GENERATIONS back to back. It may not sound much but believe me it was murder on the backside...
Still, it was worth it. Given the moans directed at the film by many critics (and even a few cast members!) I feared the worst, so was doubly delighted with the quality of the movie I actually saw. Never one to subscribe to the "only the even-numbered ones are good" theory, I revelled in the big screen adventures of characters who I'd grown to care about over their 7-year televsion stint and the plot, while riddled with holes, was a clever way of uniting two casts for a true "handing of the baton". People seem to forget that in a series like STAR TREK plots are merely a set up to explore the characters and their interactions with each other. For every problem GENERATIONS presented (Why was it impossible for Soren to simply fly into the Nexus, when that's how he got there in the first place?), we get superb character exploration as Picard faces (for the first time?) the inevitable truth of his own death. Unlike some reviewers I found the scenes of Patrick Stewart weeping for his lost family & future profoundly moving, while the "family" inside the Nexus were his perception of "perfection". If that can be interpreted as 'sacharine' then that's more an inditement of us as a culture than the scene itself.
My critisisms are minor: I certainly agree that as a send off for the original series cast, GENERATIONS was lacking. Obviously THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY is the "official" final TOS movie, but Kirk should have been dispatched with a little more consideration (if he had to die at all?). The appearance of the Enterprise B was a nice touch (I loved the champagne bottle lauch/opening secquence) but thought Captain Harriman seemed a little too nervous for the job.
Ultimately the film is about accepting our lot and facing the future with dignity, a staple of TREK "messages" (see also THE FINAL FRONTIER for such an example!). The film delivers this statement with passion and some staggeringly good set pieces (The Saucer crash is extraordinary!), so how it can be considered a failure by so many is beyond me. To this day the very final moments of the movie, as Picard and Riker bid farewell to the Enterprise D with grace and optimism, makes me go all misy-eyed and serve to remind us that humans aren't such a bad bunch after all.