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STIX:I-Neither here nor there
Star Trek: Insurrection (DVD)
Member Name: jonnyfun06
Star Trek: Insurrection (DVD)
Advantages: ST:TNG at its best
Disadvantages: ST:TNG at its best...but this is a movie!
The ninth in the Star Trek movie franchise, and the third featuring the Next Generation cast, Star Trek: Insurrection could conceivably have been blighted by the odd number curse. Fortunately that is not the case here as Insurrection is an enjoyable 100 minutes.
The crew of the Enterprise E are in the middle of diplomatic negotiations when a disturbing communication from the Briar Patch region of space alerts them to problems. Commander Data is on a special assignment with a joint Starfleet and Son'a mission to observe the primitive Ba'ku planet when he appears to malfunction and reveals the observers presence to the unaware Ba'ku. When the officer in charge, Admiral Dougherty requests Data's schematics, Picard and the Enterprise abandon their mission and set course for the Briar Patch to investigate and if possible, rescue Data.
Upon reaching the Ba'ku world and repairing Data's malfunction, they find a deeper conspiracy. The planet's unique position in the Briar Patch subjects it to a form of rejuvenating radiation. The Ba'ku are to all intents and purposes, immortal. Admiral Dougherty and the Son'a, commanded by Ru'afo are willing to go to any lengths to obtain this fountain of youth for themselves, including displacing the innocent Ba'ku. Picard and his crew are faced with disobeying Starfleet orders and going up against Dougherty and Ru'afo in an attempt to safeguard the Ba'ku.
The film is presented in a 2.35:1 anamorphic transfer that is crystal clear. One thing I have noticed about the Next Gen movies is that they really have upped the stakes in the visual department. Jonathon Frakes takes the helm again and directs ably. The lighting is always atmospheric and the locations used in this film have been stunning to say the least. The Ba'ku homeworld is depicted as a pristine paradise and the locations certainly match. The mountain vistas are shown off to best effect on widescreen. The effects are top notch and the battle scenes as stunning as you would expect from modern Sci-fi cinema.
The sound is given an impressive DD 5.1 treatment. The music is supplied by Jerry Goldsmith and is suitable to the film, if not particularly memorable. The dialogue is always clear and the action is conveyed vibrantly.
Once again don't expect much in the way of extra's from Paramount, two trailers and a 5 minute featurette.
It's a family reunion as the cast of the Next Generation reunite for their third big screen outing, another plot contrivance allows Michael Dorn as Worf to visit from Deep Space Nine and all the regulars are there. Patrick Stewart leads from the front as Captain Picard. Jonathon Frakes and Marina Sirtis rekindle the romance between Riker and Troi. Brent Spiner as the android Data gets in touch with his inner child and LeVar Burton as LaForge sees his first sunrise. Gates McFadden as Dr Crusher does some stuff too. It really looks as if this cast are having fun and their collective performance is a delight.
Co-starring in the film are F. Murray Abraham as Ru'afo, Anthony Zerbe as Admiral Dougherty and Donna Murphy as the Ba'ku, Anij. Unfortunately the supporting cast don't really get a chance to shine, Abraham, hidden behind, layers of latex is little more than a token villain, necessary to provide Picard with an antagonist. Zerbe's Dougherty is a pathetic figure, who is in way over his head, yet has to convince as a Starfleet Admiral, the dichotomy is hard to believe.
There is a good deal wrong with this movie. For one thing, the story is wholly unimpressive. The Enterprise goes to help a backward people against a Prime Directive violation, encounter dodgy Starfleet brass and a non-descript alien villain. The whole feel of the story, despite the widescreen picture and the movie budget effects, harks back to the TV series. This really does feel like a 2-part episode. Mind you, after killing off Kirk in their first outing and facing off with the Borg in the second, it would have been hard for the story to have gotten bigger and better.
The second problem as I have already mentioned is the supporting cast. They really don't have enough meat and you're never worried about what the bad guys might do. The ending seems identical to Generations, with Picard alone, fighting the bad guy and setting the big bad doomsday device to self-destruct.
The Insurrection of the title is bad advertising. No such insurrection takes place. Picard disobeys the orders of a rogue admiral and upholds the ideals of the Federation. When Kirk disobeyed orders in Star Trek III, he assaulted Starfleet security, broke his friend out of jail, stole a starship and then travelled to a quarentined planet and destroyed the starship. Now that's breaking the rules. Insurrection is piddly compared to that. Not forgetting Riker's able piloting of the Enterprise using only a joystick.
That tirade done with, this film is rescued by the cast performances. They so obviously enjoyed making this film that you can't help but join in and share their fun. The film is filled with moments, like Worf's acne or Troi and Riker's playful relationship, Data's flotation device and even Picard dancing in front of his mirror, all this is a gift to the audience and turns a run of the mill adventure into a fun movie.
Insurrection may not be the greatest Trek ever, but it is by no means the worst, and thanks to a rescue by the cast performances, it is an enjoyable affair.
Summary: A good film, but not a great one