I watched Star Trek: Nemesis this evening and largely enjoyed it. MetaCritic gave it just a 47 (out of 100), so I was a bit concerned. But it turned out all right.
I enjoyed it more than Insurrection, though I haven’t yet decided how it compares to First Contact. Nemesis was directed by Stuart Baird and, if you look at his history explains much of the film’s feel. Baird edited Tomb Raider, Mission Impossible 2, and Lethal Weapon 2. As a friend of mine remarked, “The scene where they’re racing around in a dune buggy, that wasn’t very TNG-like.”
Still, its action sequences are some of its strongest points (and I say that as a good thing). The last third of the film was especially quite a ride. And for you visual-effects buffs, I was quite impressed with some of the particle effects in particular. (Particle effects of what? The answer is in the Spoilers section below.)
Spoilers follow. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, you may not want to read further.
The ending was a bit of a waste. It was very similar to the ending of The World is Not Enough (aka Bond 19) where the hero finds himself in a bit of a jam, finds a spear-like piece of metal, and impales the bad guy. The end. No cleverness, but mostly luck. Had that piece of metal not been there, the good guy would likely have died (but, lucky for him, it was just within reach).
The visual effects were very good throughout. As with most of the recent Star Trek flicks, all the ships were pure CG. And, though lighting is one of the most difficult aspects of computer generated effects (the human eye can spot lighting mistakes easily), the lighting was excellent and matched the non-CG elements well.
Ah, on to the particle effects. As you recall, the Enterprise is rammed into the Shinzon’s ship. As it makes impact, the Enterprise splinters apart and its shards break off into space. The effects crew could have chosen to do this over-dramatically, but the disintegration was almost tastefull (if that can be said of a such an event).
(End of spoilers.)
Wil Wheaton appears (as Wesley) in a non-speaking role, but his role was originally much larger. In the editing process, his role was cut away (Wil talkes about this on his blog). There were some scenes that could have been cut (to make room for Wil), including a hokey fight that Riker has (it doens’t advance the story much). With any luck, perhaps some of Wil’s scenes will make it onto the DVD.
In all, I had a good time, though I would probably only recommend this to people who are already Trek-fans. To be sure, it was good enough to see once, though I don’t think I’ll be buying the DVD (though if Wil’s scenes make it to the DVD, perhaps I’ll borrow it from someone to watch once through).