Review: Star Trek: Nemesis

Here it is, as spoiler-free as I dare make it.

Star Trek: Nemesis

Cast & Crew

Directed by Stuart Baird
Story by John Logan, Rick Berman, and Brent Spiner

Patrick Stewart as
Captain Jean-Luc Picard
Jonathan Frakes as
Commander William T. Riker
Brent Spiner as Lt. Commander
LeVar Burton as Lt. Commander
Geordi La Forge
Michael Dorn as Lt. Commander
Gates McFadden as Dr.
Beverly Crusher
Marina Sirtis as Counselor
Deanna Troi
Tom Hardy as Praetor
Ron Perlman as Reman Viceroy

Dina Meyer as Commander

Full IMDB Listing

Original Release Date

December 13, 2002


After the Enterprise is diverted to the Romulan planet of Romulus, supposedly because they want to negotiate a truce, the Federation soon find out the Romulans are planning an attack on Earth.


So, here we are my friends. Four years. Four painfully long years. The critics have trashed it and (gag) “Maid in Manhattan” beat it at the box office. So what’s the real scoop?

Simply put: It’s a great Star Trek movie. In short, the first half of the movie pushes it down, where the last half is absolutely awesome (sound like another Sci-Fi flick of 2002?).

The reviewer at MSNBC accused it of having “a case of the cutes.” I only saw that in the opening sequence, the Riker-Troi wedding. And even then it’s not that bad. We’re getting to see some old friends for the first time in four years. We’re allowed a little schmaltz.

Now, I’m not going to defend the movie from all of the negative reviews it has received. That’s disingenuous to you all. John Logan is obviously a Star Trek fan, perhaps too much a fan. There are way too many places where he’s done an homage (that’s Hollywood-speak for ripping off) almost every Trek film that’s been made before Nemesis. To be fair, that may not be his sole doing, since Spiner and Berman also get writing credits.

High Point

Personally it was when the Enterprise makes a run straight at the Scimitar. My wife turned to me and said, “Playing chicken?” and I reply “Not…exactly.” Bless her for not paying any attention to the commercials that showed the sequence over and over and over…

The entire battle sequence at the end was just awesome. If you thought the one in Star Trek II was something, just hang on to your seat for this one.

Low Point

It’s not so much a spoiler, since every freaking preview shows it: Data’s flying leap from the Enterprise to the Scimitar was just too freaking cheesy. I almost closed my eyes so I wouldn’t have to watch it.

The Scores

Originality: It’s a mixed bag here. Some stuff is new, with some topical bits about cloning thrown into the mix. 4

Effects: Damn! I mean, daaaaamn! From the first establishing shot of Romulus to the final battle, the details are awesome. One thing I’ve always liked aboutStar Trek is its attention to the smooth, simple beauty of space and its starships. 6

Story: A little too easy to guess what would happen next. 4

Acting: Stewart is king! Whether he’s tooling about the desert or having a heart-to-heart with his friends, he’s probably the most gifted actor to grace the name Star Trek. 5

Emotional Response: There’s a piece at the end that left me moved, I won’t say what it is, but if you’ve read any of the leaked material, you know what I’m talking about. All in all it was great to see a group of favorites together again. 5

Production: Every set is stunning in it’s realism and detail from the Romulan Senate to the interiors of the Scimitar. 6

Overall: Star Trek fans I have but one thing to say to you: It’s an even numbered film. Go on and enjoy! 5

Total: 35 out of 42



13 replies on “Review: Star Trek: Nemesis”

  1. ST:Nemesis Is The Best George Lucas Movie In Quite A While…
    [Item originally submitted as a story idea by rickyjames, but I felt it was better suited here]

    …and it had all the stuff we’ve come to expect. The action scenes that are setups for the video games and the props that are the setups for the toy lines and the action figures. Robot parts scattered across the bleak desert landscape. Shootouts at point blank range with blasters in crowded hallways. Sets with a larger than life aspect to them as big as the epic figures that plod thru them. Endless techno-tubes that form a dizzying void that you know sooner or later somebody is going to fall into. Alien races intertwined in deadly political intrigue as they struggle for control of an Empire. Evil villians with the flesh falling off of them in command of bulky, plodding spaceships that can destroy entire planets, crewed by anonymous minions that are oh so easily fooled by any blabbering robot that comes thru the door. Concerns of saving one’s own soul or saving the entire galaxy, in the same scene no less. Jumping into the garbage pit, er, Jeffries Tube. Han, er, Riker proving his manhood. Luke, er, Troi using the Force to hit the target…. Hey, wait a minute…this was supposed to be a Star Trek movie, right? At one point Shin-Zen or whatever his name was says something about the echo replacing the voice or something like that. Pay attention, that’s the key point of this movie. It’s an echo of what a Star Trek movie should be, which should basically be about a team of heroic astronauts so close they’re like family having some kind of adventure in outer space aboard a ship called Enterprise that is their home. This movie is some kind of mess about everybody going off in their own direction intruding on somebody else’s adventure on his world and his ship. The Enterprise is reduced to a place that nobody wants to be. You take control of the bridge so I can go off and do my thing…no, YOU take control of the bridge so I can go off and do MY thing…NO, YOU take control of the…thank GOD they cut Wil Wheaton’s part to a non-speaking background presence or Wesley would have wound up the ranking officer on the bridge by the time it was over with! The budget went into loving CGI rendering of every tiny piece of metallic debris that gets sheared off and sent flying away in glorious spinning detail. It sure didn’t go into any light bulbs for the sets, you’d think even the Enterprise was Mammoth Cave. The Star Wars vs. Star Trek debate is now over in my mind and Star Trek just won. Too bad it took replacing the last shot for a decent Star Trek movie with a Star Wars wanna-be to make the point.

  2. This was a good ST Movie.
    I don’t know what movies some of these reviewers watched, especially the fat guy at Ain’t it cool news. He trashed all over this film. I went to the matinee on Friday and really enjoyed the movie. The only part I didn’t like was the ‘band o light’ across Troi’s eyes in the ‘hunt the cloaked ship’ thing was a bit hokey to me, but other than that overall this was a good trek film.

    But I liked insurrection as well. So if you hated that film, there’s your measurement for whether or not to take my opinion.

    Overall, a good Trek. I’d like to see more, but maybe use some of the DS9 crew. I’d like to see some of the ‘New DS9’ novels that are out post Sisko be made into a movie, I’ve found those very good and interesting. Who knows.

  3. I saw it last night. …
    For me the part that was a bit over the top was the hunt for beta-pieces at the beginning of the movie. I kept thinking “pre-warp civilization, prime directive, KILL EM ALL WITH PHASERS?!” The teststerone-charged away team did all this for a few anomalous signatures on a sensor scan. Ya know, Galaxy Quest may have been my undoing as far as being able to take a Trek movie like this one too seriously. I kept thinking of Sigourney Weaver screaming “THAT EPISODE WAS POORLY WRITTEN!”

    I noticed that the sound track/foley work seemed off. They missed a lot of chances to deepen atmosphere and heighten tension by leaving silence where there should have been sound. I kept thinking that there’s a gem of a movie in front of me, if only the right editor were to come along to set it free.

    Even with its problems I really enjoyed this movie: they had a great premise, a very well-written script, and the actors fell back into their parts like tired feet revisiting a favorite slipper. I thought it was better than Treks 1, 5, and 7, and I don’t think it deserved the hypercritical bashing it took over the weekend.

    • More notes

      For me the part that was a bit over the top was the hunt for beta-pieces at the beginning of the movie. I kept thinking “pre-warp civilization, prime directive, KILL EM ALL WITH PHASERS?!” The teststerone-charged away team did all this for a few anomalous signatures on a sensor scan.

      Actually, by the time they got attacked, they had the head, so they knew it was a Data-bot. That warranted some caution (remember, they’ve run into Data-bots no less than three times in the series, and it has meant nothing but trouble.)

      At first, I thought that it was the Remans attacking… that they hoped to capture Picard there, but I guess that doesn’t really make sense. That scene felt forced, like an excuse to show the dune buggy flying into the ship (which was pretty cool).

      Anyway, I liked the movie as a whole, except the ending, which was 10 minutes longer than it needed to be. Also, I seem to remember that the song that Data was whistling in “Encounter at Farpoint” was “Pop Goes the Weasel”. Do these two song have the same tune and I missed it, or am I remember incorrectly. I was just confused at the end.

      The common complain that I *agree* with was that this seemed to be like several shows strung together and intermixed. But they were good shows… Troi mind rape, the various Data-bot finds, Romulan treachery and counter-treacher. It’s clear the writer had a good sense of the characters and they did things we’ve been waiting 16 years to for them to do.

      Of course, they did miss out on a few opportunities. Gates McFadden was criminally underused, per usual. Riker and Troi actually got some real meat to their parts this time. There is a scene with Worf at the wedding that could have been so much more (remember, he was in LOVE with this woman, and has quite recently lost the other love of his life.) Instead, they played it for drunk laughs.

      Still, Tom Hardy and Patrick Stewart were nothing short of incredible in this film, throughout the entire thing. In the end, I would rank this showing less than 8, but only barely. It still very much lived up to the even-numbered hype.

      Okay, and did anyone else crack-up when Picard said “On screen” towards the end? It was a nice break in the dramatic tension, but very few people in my audience laughed at it.

      As for Data flying out of the ship, one quick-minded person shouted “It’s a bird, It’s a plane” when he did that. It was probably the funniest part of the whole movie.

      • Re: More notes
        I hope this isn’t too much spoiler, the details I mention are small parts of the movie, save one clue to a possible ending that wasn’t…

        I saw it twice (that’s what happens when you have friends 30 miles apart who won’t cross town to see a movie). The second time was on the techie/Intel side of Portland, and it really showed, especially in the first part where there were a lot of in jokes — the audience there was drowning out parts of the dialogue, and I think they missed Worf’s “Irving Berlin” complaint ;-) My favorite line was Worf’s lament that “…should be illegal”, though Picard’s “on screen” was good later too.

        The show did manage to surprise me in one major way: I’d seen the extended preview with the briefing room scene between Shinzon and Picard. Combining that with the critics panning it in the way they did had me certain Picard was going to convince Shinzon to leave the Dark Side and turn good.

        On of the two lowest points for me was Deanna searching for the bad guy: what, is she telepathically linked to the Enterprise as well as people? How does holding Worf’s hand on the control help identify where in space what she’s feeling is located?

        The other was Data’s superman leap; not so much for the leap itself — it’s in character for him to be able to set his aim to get to the other ship, but how very convenient that he’s able to aim directly for a handy access panel practically designed to allow an enemy infiltration on a ship no one’s ever seen before, even the Romulans.

        Overall, however, I have to agree that it was a good, albeit not great, movie, and the special effects are some of the best in the Star Trek series. Immediately in the first shot of the Enterprise, you can see major improvement, and the end battle… Well, that just has to be seen…

  4. Great one for Trek
    One thing I can definitely say is that Trek movies are never blockbusters, but they ARE good. This movie left me deeply satisfied and happy that the best cast of any Trek show wasn’t bound for cheese-land. The sets… are superb. That Romulan Senate chamber was spectacular, it looked real (especially the floor), as did all of the sets. The whole plot was very believable. The predictability was there, especially at the end where someone is gone and yet I flashed back to the download and said “Ahh ha, it’s all setup for another movie!”. maybe another “Search for Spock” type movie.

    Patrick Stewart is just an incredible actor. Picard has been such a HUGE trek main character, even more believable than Kirk in most ways.

    I could go on and on.

    If you’re a Trek fan, this is definitely movie #10, which is an even number and fits the stereotype perfectly. You won’t be let down. I paid $3 to see it and I will probably go again.

    • Re: Great one for Trek
      Whoa, back up the ship. Where can I go to see a new movie for $3.00????

  5. Damn the previews
    I knew the main villian was a clone/son/future-past self/transporter dupe of Picard. I knew the enterprise would crash into something. I knew Data would find or create a another Soong-type droid. I knew Data would make a leap through space. I knew the dune buggy would make the jump into the shuttle. Nearly every important built-up action or plot bit was ruined by the previews… as a result I went to the movie with high hopes and was left feeling gyped.

  6. Yes, with a “But”
    I was a bit dissapointed, quite frankly. Yes, the effects were amazing, the acting was good, there were scenes that made me want to get down on my knees and thank God for giving us Big Screen THX-Equipped theatres.

    The plot was… well.. for the most part it was ok, but frankly for something that has been building for years and years, and is supposedly the last TNG Trek movie, I expected the bad guy to be a bit badder and more formidable. I wanted the damn Weapon from Hell to be 2 seconds from destroying the Earth, not the Enterprise.

    Plus, Ok, Data died, but nobody else has so much as a scratch! Ship was bouncing around, people smashing up against exploding consoles, Riker fighting Mr Bad Guy, not a drop of blood.

    Also… you’d think that when Data was pretending to be The B4, he could’ve quite easily strolled around the Scimitar and maybe unplug some stuff?

    I think Evil Picard could’ve been a bit eviler. They showed him pull off ONE supposedly brilliant tactic, but that was it. Two brilliant tacticians, I’d expect to see a MUCH more formidable battle. A much longer stand-off.

    I’m hoping that the Extended Scene DVD is a bit better. (:

  7. What the hey? [MAJOR SPOILERS]
    Have we become so desperate for decent Trek that Nemesis qualifies? Did no one else watch DS9? While some fun nods to the series aware audience are present, there are also a number of continuity errors. Is this the same Bureau 42 that trashes Enterprise regularly for making episodes that are on the level of this film?

    Worf rejoined the Klingon Empire and became an ambassador to the Federation. Also his rank before his leaving DS9 was that of Captain was it not? How the heck is he back on the Enterprise like nothing happened as a chief of security/weapons officer again?

    Why the need to introduce a poorly explained super weapon?

    Why the need to create a race of Remans that don’t resemble Romulans or Vulcans at all?

    What the heck was up with that terrible car chase at the beginning? Were the extras preparing for Mad Max 4?

    Why bring in a “new” Data prototype? Wouldn’t it have been more interesting for it to have been a somehow reconstituted Lor? Certainly it would have been a better parrallel to Picard and Shinzon’s relationship.

    For that matter how incredibly stupid was the death of Data? First off if they were going to let Picard beam over, why the heck didn’t Data give him the emergency transporter right then and there? Second we’ve seen characters put phasers on timers before, instead of pausing dramatically Data could have set the timer on his phaser and jumped back out of the ship.

    Why oh why did we have to have fist fights for Picard and Riker? There is no need for it. Star Trek II got along just fine without them, why can’t the others?

    This isn’t a horrible film, but it wasn’t all that great either. And I’ve still yet to see a TNG film that comes anywhere close to the second and sixth films in the series. Despite it poor third act at least Generations felt like a movie. The rest of the TNG films have been drawn out episodes (yes I include the over-rated and continuity destroying First Contact as well) at best.

    Nemesis ranks about equal to Insurrection in my mind.

    Overall I rank the films in order of best to worst like so:

    Wrath of Khan

    The Undiscovered Country

    The Voyage Home – (good though almost like its from a different series)


    The Motion Picture (Directors Cut)

    The Search for Spock

    First Contact



    The Final Frontier

  8. Something a little more entertaining…. yet
    This afternoon I decided to treat myself to a movie. I chose every Trekies current wonder. I was very entertained by what I saw. The movie actually had an original, dramatic plot with a few in jokes for Trek heads if you listened hard. Only a few things I noted slightly miffed me which I thought I’d share to give some of you a laugh. Hope it doesn’t ruin it for you.

    . For such an impressively large, technically advanced, and equipped ship the adversary’s sure had little crew to defend themselves against the one man boarding parties. Must follow that XWing Fighter thought process.

    . For such an great warrior race they sure couldn’t hit their targets, our heroes, or find cover. Reminded me of Star Wars storm troopers.

    . The bad guy blows out the view screen on the bridge which is really just a window into space?

    . Can a telepath really be used to target a ship moving around in the huge void of space?

    . Having next to no shields, an emergency shield active the bridge which is the only thing between you and space, and you decide to ram the ship in front of you while remaining on that selfsame bridge?

    . Because of one particular hit to the vessel, all 26 disrupter banks cant fire?

  9. Dina Meyer: Romulan Commander?
    I didn’t stay until the last credits but I seemed to recognize the Female Romulan Commander as Dina Meyer. If this a fact all you Dina Meyer fans? Gosh, she looked good in that makeup!

    • Re: Dina Meyer: Romulan Commander?

      I didn’t stay until the last credits but I seemed to recognize the Female Romulan Commander as Dina Meyer. If this a fact all you Dina Meyer fans? Gosh, she looked good in that makeup!

      Yeah, that’s her.

Comments are closed.