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STAR TREK: INSURRECTION

SYNOPSIS:
Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) of the Enterprise learns that android Lt Commander Data (Brent Spiner) has run amok and taken a cultural survey team hostage. His first concern is to save Data, who will have to be destroyed if he cannot be repaired. Picard’s efforts lead him to the Ba’ku planet, where the Federation and their Son’a allies are conducting the cultural survey into the apparently simple race of just 600 Ba’ku who all live in a single communal, happy village. Through a Ba’ku woman, Anij (Donna Murphy), Picard gradually learns something extraordinary about her people – they live extremely long lives, due to the peculiarities of their planet. The Son’a leader, Ru’afo (F. Murray Abraham), wants that magic something for his own people. Picard discovers a conspiracy and goes to his superior officer, Admiral Dougherty (Anthony Zerbe) – only to be shocked by Dougherty’s response. Picard now faces a decision; either obey the order he is given, violating the Federation’s own Prime Directive never to interfere with another culture, or risk everything, from his crew to his ship and even his life.

"With its easily accessible story and recognisable moral dilemmas, this mission by the Starship Enterprise simply hums with the life force with which we are all familiar: the human condition. The main issues are about loyalty and friendship, honour and freedom, even love rears its blooming head. The central engine for the story is a moral dilemma that Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) has to resolve, and it’s one of those big questions that tiny humans sometimes face. In the process of answering the question, the film also touches on related issues in history and fundamental aspects of coexistence with each other. There is a distinct sense in this film that the alien life forms are merely symbols for various aspects of the human race. The action and adventure is also pretty high, and humour punctuates the excitement. Jerry Goldsmith’s throaty score is a pleasure in itself and there is even an excerpt from Gilbert and Sullivan in one memorable scene, perhaps the most unexpected sound in a science fiction film. But that’s the thing, this is not a narrowly focused movie for the fans. You don’t need to be a Trekkie to enjoy the trip, as long as you’re young enough at heart to enjoy adventure wherever you find it."
Andrew L. Urban

"Trekkie fans rejoice, and for the uninitiated, get ready to beam yourself up for an intergalactic ride into new worlds. Star Trek Insurrection is a winner – here is an example of a formula that just seems to get better and better. All the Star Trek team, lead by the enigmatic Patrick Stewart, is there and in fine form, plus some new faces, including the wonderful F. Murray Abraham, who brings pathos to his villainous character. Data, the lovable android with the endearing personality Data (Brent Spiner is terrific), is also back; with his mechanical mind we look at the most fundamental things through our eyes that are coloured by emotion. The interaction and relationship between the characters is one of the film's strong elements. And Jerry Goldsmith's marvellous score soars as high as the space craft. But the filmmakers haven't churned out more of the same, this new film is grounded by an excellent script which juxtapositions different cultures in a perceptive and delicately humorous way. The notion of genetic technology and controlling the aging process has always been a fascinating one, and this complex issue is interwoven into the story line in a compelling and thought provoking way. The effects are startling, the concepts intelligent, the characters engaging. Intergalactic travel certainly offers different opportunities for love stories, although it seems that the good old bubble bath and champagne is not beyond spaceship technology. Those interested in a face-lift may be interested in some of the skin stretching technology; all the concepts are within the realms of believability in the context. Star Trek Insurrection is a blast of a space ride – don't miss it!"
Louise Keller

"Let’s get one thing straight at the outset - I never was and most likely never will be a Trekkie. However I had the distinct advantage of seeing Star Trek: Insurrection with several of their number. Their general consensus was that this ninth instalment in the saga was "typical Star Trek". Now, if you’re a Trekkie, this will be music to your ears. For everyone else, it means that this film is not going to win any awards for originality. The plot is formulaic, the dialogue rather stilted and the characters largely underdeveloped. But the biggest disappointment for me was with the film’s technical aspects. Perhaps in a world where animatronics, CGI and animation have recently pushed new boundaries, we’re now looking for more in the way of special effects than we used to - but I found those offered in this film almost quaint in comparison. Even more fundamental, the editing left a lot to be desired, with many scene transitions clunky at best. The strongest character remains Commander Picard, played with gusto by Patrick Stewart. The supporting cast are generally solid without being spectacular. This includes F. Murray Abraham as the leader of the Son’a, although admittedly his one-dimensional role doesn’t give him much scope. Despite its problems, Star Trek: Insurrection is a fast-paced sci-fi romp. If you’re looking for sophisticated filmmaking, it’s not for you; but if you’re looking for an escapist action flick, you’ll probably enjoy it - and if you’re a Trekkie, you’re likely to love it."
David Edwards

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 2
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

STAR TREK: INSURRECTION(M)
(US)

CAST: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, F. Murray Abraham, Donna Murphy, Anthony Zerbe, Gregg Henry, Daniel Hugh Kelly, Michael Welch

DIRECTOR: Jonathan Frakes

PRODUCER: Rick Berman

SCRIPT: Michael Piller, story by Berman & Piller, based on Star Trek created by Gene Roddenbery

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Matthew Leonetti ASC

EDITOR: Peter E. Berger ACE

MUSIC: Jerry Goldsmith

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Herman Zimmerman

MAKE UP; Michael Westmore

COSTUMES: Sanja Milkovic Hays

SF CO-ORDINATOR: Terry Frazee

RUNNING TIME: 100 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: UIP

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: December 31, 1999

VIDEO RELEASE: July 23, 1999 (rental)
February 11, 2000 (sell-thru)

$24.95

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: CIC







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