In the late twenty-third century, the gala maiden voyage of the third Starship Enterprise (NCC-1701-B) boasts such luminaries as Pavel Chekov, Montgomery Scott, and the legendary Captain James T. Kirk as guests. But the maiden voyage turns to disaster as the unprepared ship is forced to rescue two transport ships from a mysterious energy ribbon. The Enterprise manages to save a handful of he ships' passengers and barely makes it out intact...but at the cost of Captain Kirk's life. Seventy-eight years later, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the Enterprise-D find themselves at odds with the renegade scientist Soren...who is destroying entire star systems. Only one man can help Picard stop Soren's scheme...and he's been dead for seventy-eight years...
Directed by: David Carson
. Starring: Patrick Stewart
, Jonathan Frakes
, Brent Spiner
, LeVar Burton
, Michael Dorn
, Gates McFadden
, Marina Sirtis
, Malcolm McDowell
, James Doohan
, Walter Koenig
, William Shatner
, Alan Ruck
, Jacqueline Kim
. Music by: Dennis McCarthy
Been home nursing an emergency tooth extraction over the past week and nothing was able to assuage the misery like wallowing in "Star Trek". I watched a bunch of the cartoon shows & made myself come to grips with THE FINAL FRONTIER (re: Shatner's movie), which managed to be fun when regarded as a study in applied narcissism. But boy how I dislike GENERATIONS, and won't be watching it, though I decided to try and deal with my feelings about it once and for all.
I think its a cop-out, a cheap sloughing off of responsibility that should have been handled with graceful dignity. This is not the way that I will remember Star Trek. I say that because for me the essence of Star Trek is James Tiberius Kirk, watching him grow & learn. I switched on the spoiler warning disgronifier in case you are not aware that Captain Kirk dies in this movie, and for absolutely no reason at all. It was as if to say his learning curve was arbitrarily being concluded in a re-write, even changing the way he died from the original script (two versions were filmed) for reasons that have never been explained to my satisfaction.
I had learned to like TNG and her crew by the time the film premiered, though I think that Tourette's Guy is probably right when he addressed what Brent Spiner is up to these days. Google it if you don't know what I mean, I always despised Data. He was a decent plot device and they did come up with at least one great episode where they got him a sweet girlfriend with nice legs, but enough with the emotion chip already, OK? It's clear that his model was incompatible for the input, they had long milked the gimmick dry, and it turned him into a jerk.
I did like watching the saucer section crash, which in a theater looked about as believable as Godzilla destroying Yokohama, enhancing the enjoyment. The producers knew we would get off on seeing it and were so kind as to show the mayhem twice, providing the film with it's two most interesting sequences, thoughtfully shot from different angles for variety. But the rest of the treatment left me cold. I didn't give a damn about the Nexus, which sounded pretty swell compared to graduate school. I went with my fiancée at the time, smuggling in a flask of blackberry brandy so we could drink a toast to Kirk when he finally bought the farm. Turns out the bottle was 34's empty by then due to the draining experience of watching the film. Which looked muddy and rushed, filled with subplots that went nowhere, cameos by assorted Next Generation personalities which distracted from the focus, and a forced sentiment that was at odds with my own feelings about the show.
Which was great, don't get me wrong! Heck the TNG episode "Tapestry" is one of Star Trek's finest hours, whichever series that turned up in rocked. It was just that the series run had come to an end with a superb show-stopper of its own. There was no unfinished business left to attend to, no need to "pass the baton" as producer Rick Berman put it, by having the Original Series crew and Next Generation crew appear in a film at all. The classic crew made a rousing, emotional exit in the very satisfying THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY. Kirk had said himself in the soliloquy that it was the final adventure for that crew, but by forcing the issue Shatner became the proverbial drunk who wouldn't leave after the party was obviously over.
Which in many ways turns out to be the case as Shatner used his studio muscle to not just get himself written into the picture but threatening to direct at one point. The whole subplot involving Kirk is a distraction from the rest of the story and feels superimposed, though yes, the horse riding scenes with Picard are nice. But if they had to happen at the expense of the dignity of Kirk's character then they were as unwelcome as his demise. Shatner also bullied himself into the film specifically to have his character killed off heroically, then posited himself to come back in the 2009 prequel film, as if. I now realize he deserved to be left out of that one, having cast his fate already. It was about time someone made Bill keep his place in the line after such an unnecessary curtain call.
Kirk deserved a better movie to go out in, or rather his own movie if it was that damn important. And I say it wasn't: Why kill off anyone in the Star Trek universe at all if there are an infinite number of ways to bring them back? Emotional death scenes suck, and it made the film perfunctory or formulaic in my eyes, trying to fix what wasn't broke in the first place. On its own the Next Generation crew's story was pretty good, and from what I've read a lot of what they would have been doing ended up being chopped out to make room for Kirk's scenes back when A-list talent movies at least didn't run three friggen hours. This crew was short changed, eventually coming back to make at least one good feature in FIRST CONTACT, though by then my heart just wasn't in it anymore in part due to GENERATIONS.
So I don't know. I thought maybe I had confused my feelings for the woman I had gone to see this with the film itself, which I have seen since on home video and didn't like any more. Actually less, wishing I'd had more of that blackberry brandy or at least a six pack of Romulan ale. Here is a Star Trek movie that will drive a classic series fan to drink, and that isn't ever a pretty thing.
Review by Squonkamatic from the Internet Movie Database.