Newest Review: ... Generations is watchable and certainly not a terrible film but it leaves something to be desired and probably should have been a lot b... more
STVII:G-Time for the baton to change hands
Star Trek: Generations (DVD)
Member Name: jonnyfun06
Star Trek: Generations (DVD)
Advantages: First Big Screen Ounting for the Next Gen Cast
Disadvantages: More a spectacle than a film and story
Captain Kirk is finding retirement tedious, and he reluctantly accepts an invitation to the launch of the third Starship Enterprise, under a new young Captain, John Harriman. Accompanying him to the launch party are old shipmates Scotty and Chekov. Facing up to the gathered media is a small challenge, but when a distress call comes in from two ships carrying El-Aurian survivors, the ill-equipped new Enterprise is the only starship in range. Captain Harriman reluctantly orders a hasty rescue mission, and when they find the two ships trapped in a ribbon of coruscating energy, the young Captain seems out of his depth.
Captain Kirk is itching to help, and when Harriman asks for his advice, Kirk and his friends jump into action as if they had never retired. Moving the Enterprise into the ribbon they manage to rescue some survivors, but get trapped themselves. Scotty as usual has a plan to escape the raging energy and Kirk dashes to the deflector room to implement it. But as the Enterprise breaks free, the energy ribbon lashes the ship and severely damages it. When Scotty and Chekov get to the deflector room, they find it open to space, with no sign of Captain Kirk.
Eighty years later on board a different starship Enterprise, a crew we know well is relaxing in the holodeck, celebrating Worf's promotion and enjoying the camaraderie. For Picard, this idyll is tragically interrupted by some distressing news from Earth. The rest of the crew don't relax much longer when the ship is diverted by a distress call from the Amargosa laboratory that is under attack.
When they arrive, Picard is too grief stricken to function and he delegates the investigation to Riker. Beaming over, they find a survivor, Dr Tolian Soran and the corpse of a Romulan. They realise that the Romulans were searching for a rare substance, trilithium. Soran is insistent that he be allowed to return to the station to complete his experiments and uses his charisma to convince Picard to allow this. Not long after, a trilithium weapon destroys the Amargosa star, and Soran escapes with Geordi as a hostage in a cloaked Klingon ship.
Riker soon finds that Soran was one of the survivors that were rescued by the Enterprise B and another survivor was the ships bartender, Guinan. Guinan tells Picard that Soran desperately desires to return to the Nexus, the energy ribbon that caught the Enterprise B originally where all is a paradise and time has no meaning. Soran is willing to do anything to accomplish this, including destroying stars. With Data's help, who is having emotional problems due to a faulty chip, Picard plots the course of the Nexus to Viridian III.
To get into the Nexus, Soran must destroy the Viridian star and kill millions of innocents. He has promised the Klingon renegades the weapon in exchange for their help and when the Enterprise catches up to them, he releases Geordi as an unwitting mole. Picard beams down to the planet to face Soran in exchange for Geordi's return, but the Klingons can see through Geordi's visor and determine the weakness in the shields. They mount a devastating assault on the Federation flagship while Picard futilely struggles against Soran as the Nexus inexorably approaches. But just as the Nexus means destruction for the Viridian system, it holds salvation as well.
Star Trek: Generations is presented in a 2.35:1 anamorphic transfer. The picture is very clear and sharp, with some strong colours. TNG veteran David Carson makes his feature film debut here and he warms to his medium. This film is an education in light and shade as the Enterprise D appears in warm lush colours. He uses strong 'natural' light to illuminate many scenes. The strong golds of the Amargosa star are reflected in the shipboard scenes, the strong light lights up Ten Forward and the Captain's ready room to dramatic effect. Likewise, when Geordi and Data are discussing his emotion chip, the powerful use of shadow and reflections shows the intimacy of the conversation. The locations are equally impressive, with venues switching from mountain scenery to the American Midwest, to the generic rocky crags where every Star Trek confrontation has taken place since Kirk faced of against the Gorn all those years ago.
The effects are strong as well, with the Enterprise D making the most of its first and last big screen outing. The transporter beams get a new 3D effect, and this is the first Trek movie to make use of substantial amounts of CGI. In fact almost all the effects are excellent, especially the stunning battle between the Klingon ship and the Enterprise which gets pummelled, but all this good work is let down by the destruction of the Bird of Prey, which is a stock shot used from Star Trek VI. While many of the sets were redressed for the movie, some appear better in widescreen than others. The Enterprise Bridge is a considerable improvement, but Engineering lacks the level of detail necessary for the big screen.
You get a choice of sound, DD 5.1 English and German, DD Surround Czech and DD Mono Hungarian. The surrounds really get a workout, as the effects are conveyed. Starship battles, warp drives, explosions and phaser beams, all this is an excuse to turn the volume up and let the sound of the 24th Century envelops you.
The music by Dennis McCarthy is good, if a little functional. The Nexus is suitably ethereal and otherworldly, and the incidental music complements the action well.
Hard to believe but there are no features on this disc...disappointing.
Great sound and a great picture are all well and good in a movie, Generations has even more, with characters from both eras making an appearance, but the story has to match also. And there we fall down.
Star Trek Generation was more of an event than a story, a means by which to pass the torch from Kirk to Picard and introduce cinemagoers to a new crew. The story may as well have been tacked on as an afterthought. While I have praised the director for the spectacle, the final story is a little disjointed and often contrived.
In fact this is symptomatic of a major problem in this film, the bad guy. Played by Malcolm McDowell, Soran has no teeth. He is portrayed as a motivated but ultimately pathetic character that wishes to return to the Nexus to escape his grief. There is very little malice shown and he ends up merely as a device to kill Kirk.
This film does give the chance to compare and contrast the two crews of the Enterprise and The Next Gen cast play their parts with accustomed ease. Most noteworthy are Patrick Stewart, who is impressive as always as Picard, and Brent Spiner finally gets to emote courtesy of an emotion chip for Data. Whoopi Goldberg is uncredited as Guinan, but her role is pivotal to the story.
A fairly disappointing and disjointed story is somewhat redeemed by the sheer spectacle of the first cinema outing for the Next Generation. The plot has holes that you can pilot a starship through, but the cast performances make up for the shortcomings. After seven years, certain people were tired of the Enterprise D and a spectacular crash results. There is an appropriate degree of big screen schmaltz as Data cries custard tears over his cat. And this is the film where Kirk dies, so that has to count for something.
Generations is a harmless bit of fun. Great sound and picture. It does the job as the Next Generation's first screen outing but thankfully better was to come.
Summary: Its part of the Star Trek Canon, so don't miss out