The opening scene in Star Trek Nemesis was quite strong. I have always been in the camp that said that the Romulans weren’t used enough in any of the Star Trek series and films, so I was looking forward to one that had them in it. Sadly, this film disappointed me.
In the opening scene, the Romulan Senate is assassinated and the Remans take over. Starfleet receives a message stating that the new leaders of the Romulan Empire wish to have peace, so Starfleet sends Picard and his crew to negotiate with the new Romulan/Reman leaders. Of course, it’s a trap.
Star Trek Nemesis wasn’t all bad. In fact, it was decidedly mediocre once you average out everything. On the positive side, Patrick Stewart was excellent throughout the film, despite some really bad dialog and Stuart Baird‘s weak direction. Tom Hardy—who plays Shinzon—did a good job, with only a few missteps here and there. I thought he pulled off a great “going crazy, but not quite there yet” character.
The real star of this film was the special effects. The practical effects (lighting, sets, costumes) were excellent. The scenes in the darkened room on the Scimitar were really well done. It was fantastic the way the lighting was used to obscure Shinzon’s face until just the right moment. I was a little surprised at how small the Romulan Senate chamber was, since the Romulan Empire is reasonably large and should therefore have a lot more people in the Senate. However, I liked the simplicity in the design of the Senate chamber.
The costumes—especially the non-Starfleet costumes—were very beautiful and striking. The Reman uniforms were as dark as the planet from which they came, and tended to reflect light in interesting ways, just as light is reflected in the darkness of their homeworld. The iridescent purples, greens, blues, and pinks, reminiscent of light reflecting off a film of oil on water, captured the spirit of the Remans nicely.
One of the more effective and interesting scenes in Star Trek Nemesis was the collision between the Enterprise and the Scimitar. ILM outdid themselves in making it look very real, in making the audience feel the immense weight of the two ships as they came together. If only the film as a whole was handled as carefully as this scene was, it would have been a much more enjoyable story.
The music was generally mediocre, like the film. There were moments where the music worked well, but it was overall very forgettable. In the end, despite a number of excellent parts scattered throughout the film, it wasn’t enough to rescue the film from mediocrity.
This film limped into theaters, and crawled out, being beaten out by Maid in Manhattan—of all films—for the top spot its opening weekend. In my personal ranking of all ten Star Trek films, Star Trek Nemesis was the worst of the bunch—even worse than The Final Frontier. It wasn’t an awful film, but it certainly wasn’t good.
Release Date: December 13, 2002 (USA)
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Alcohol/Drugs: 1 (minor, social)
Language: 2 (mostly mild, some stronger)
Sexuality: 1 (non-explicit bedroom scene, innuendo)
Violence: 3 (some brutal violence, mass murder, radiation poisoning, space battles, death)