Movie Review – Star Trek: Generations

1994 Paramount Pictures

Two and Half Star

“They say time is the fire in which we burn.” – Dr. Soran

In this movie we bid adieu to the original cast yet again and welcome The Next Generation onto the big screen but unfortunately the transition is not a smooth one.
Starting in the original series timeline Generations throws consistency out the window and has the newly commissioned Enterprise-B trying to rescue some survivors of the Borg whose ships have become trapped in a temporal Nexus or big cool looking energy thingy to the layman. The writers don’t seem to remember that the Federation had no knowledge of the Borg before the second season episode Q Who but who cares about stupid little details like that? During the rescue we run into Guinan and a fellow El-Aurian named Dr. Soran. We also witness the apparent death of James T. Kirk who bravely gets sucked into space when the hull is breached. Flash forward 78 years and the Enterprise-D runs into Soran again as he casually destroys stars and planets in a not well thought out attempt to get back into the Nexus (ever hear of a thruster suit you moron?). It seems the Nexus is a special place where you can fulfill your fondest dreams in an unreal kind of way like spending time with your dead family, riding horses, or spending Christmas with odd children. Picard and crew must stop Soran before he wipes out several million life forms to fulfill his dream of cheating death.
Beyond the continuity and logic problems this is a mostly entertaining movie. Unfortunately the inclusion of Kirk, Scotty, and Chekov is not a good fit; it feels tacked on and gimmicky. The scenes onboard the Enterprise-B are not bad and if Kirk had to die then a least he went out in a heroic way. Actually on the whole the scenes with three members of the original crew are okay and the scenes with the Next Generation crew are okay, it’s when Kirk and Picard meet the movie kind of gets blah. The two crews and series in general have a different dynamic and I don’t think they mix well. I would have preferred a prologue with the original crew setting up a story that the Next Gen crew needed to finish without needing a face to face meeting. If Paramount had so little confidence in a movie with only the Next Generation cast then perhaps they should’ve not made the movie at all? Generations is not great Trek but not the worst I have seen either. Worth watching and adding to the collection.

The good:

Malcolm McDowell is very good as Soran and has some great exchanges with the grieving Captain Picard.

McDowell plays crazy very well. Great lighting in this scene (it’s not too dark).

The destruction of the Enterprise-D is well done and for me highly satisfactory seeing as I never really liked the ship that much anyway.

Oh my god a UFO over the jungle. Must be a Predator…

Nope it’s just the Enterprise-D skidding to a halt.

“Well at least we survived. What’s that a dust storm coming our way?”

I like the additional stations added to the Enterprise bridge. That was always one of my complaints with the bridge all throughout the series is that there was just too much empty space. They added new consoles just in time to destroy them, awesome timing.

Let’s add some stations and wreck ’em. What’s that guy doing?

The not so good:
As usual for The Next Generation the music score is pretty bland and uninspired.
The whole Nexus thing cracks me up. The way they set it up it’s apparent that nobody can resist the lure of eternal bliss within the Nexus yet Kirk and Picard get over it pretty quickly. Boy those starship captains are incredible.
Odd children try to lure Picard to a life of domestic doom. Is that Tiny Tim?

Odd children try to lure Picard to a life of domestic doom. Is that Tiny Tim?

The end battle is pathetic and reuses the special effects from Star Trek VI.  Did they really think no one would notice it was the same damn sequence? How cheap can you get?

You gotta be kidding. They couldn’t build another model and blow it up?

The Data story line makes no sense since the emotion chip was supposedly destroyed during the series, again nice continuity by the writers. Even if the chip had not been destroyed the scenes where Data struggles with his new emotions are none too subtle.

The emotion chip got bigger…and works again…

Well it sorta works again...

Well it sorta works again…

Random thoughts and observations:

As you are watching be sure to note the lighting or should I say lack of lighting on the Enterprise-D in certain scenes. Very strange to change the look after 7 seasons, it doesn’t work. Subtle changes would have been okay but it looks like all the lights burned out.

Commander Riker enters the darkness that is the bridge.

I think this beam was in a lot of Next Gen episodes.

There it is again.

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