Movie Review – Star Trek: Insurrection

1998 Paramount Pictures

Two Stars

If you have read any of my other Trek reviews you will probably have noticed that I am not a big fan of adding humor into Trek at the expense of the characters or plausibility of the story or individual scenes. Of course I was overjoyed to notice all sorts of these nausea inducing transgressions in the ninth movie of the franchise, Star Trek: Insurrection.

Insurrection starts off okay with Data flipping out and revealing a hidden Federation observation outpost to the Ba’ku, a peaceful race living happily on a gorgeous world surrounded by tacky looking CG gas formations. Meanwhile the rest of the Enterprise crew is on an important diplomatic mission and we get to look in splendor at the new dress uniforms that make them look like waiters at a fancy restaurant. Everyone acts all happy and fake and my stomach churns. Once we get to the main plot of Insurrection we find it concerns an ass of a Starfleet Admiral trying to make the galaxy a better place while stepping all over the Ba’ku who he wants to relocate to another world. It seems the rings around their planet have special properties that make you live longer and healthier lives and Starfleet along with the evil Son’a want control of it. It’s up to the brave crew of the Enterprise to stop the nefarious baddies and bring peace and order to the galaxy once and for all.
There is a bad tendency in this movie to overplay the character traits and crank up the villain factor. The series was very popular and lasted seven years so you would think they would keep most of the elements of the series intact but that’s not good enough for a movie I guess. This movie simply has no energy and no focus. It’s too bad the momentum of First Contact was squandered on this bit of fluff.
The good:
The subplot with Troi and Riker falling in love again is handled nicely.
The scene where Geordi watches a sunrise for the first time is also nicely done
The not so good:
The whole “everyone feels younger” plot line is handled poorly with Worf’s acne and Picard’s mamba scene being especially ridiculous.
Data as a floatation device? Ha ha freaking ha.
Picard, Worf, and Data singing Gilbert and Sullivan?. Did they intentionally try to make this lame?
I didn’t buy the plot of this movie at all; I don’t believe that anyone in Starfleet would have approved of this plan. It totally destroyed my sense of disbelief and took me right out of the Trek universe.
What is with the invisibility suits? Why didn’t they use those to sneak around in other movies or the series?
The villain is a whiny wimp.
Why is Dr. Crusher shooting at the flying probes with a pleasant smile on her face like she is watching a play? Nice acting and direction.
As usual in the Next Generation the crew figures out alien technology in seconds. Is every piece of equipment in the Next Gen universe that easy to use?
Riker piloting the ship with a joystick is just plain silly. The fact that the joystick is an off the shelf item is very unimpressive as well.
Picard’s headdress is silly.
I didn’t care for the Enterprise in CG form, I actually like models.
Random thoughts and observations:
Out of any of the Next Generation movies this one feels most like one of the episodes.
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