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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Thursday, September 18, 2014 - Edition No 915 
Reckoning

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STAR TREK NEMESIS

SYNOPSIS:
After years of travelling the universe, Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) is still at the helm of the intrepid Starship U.S.S. Enterprise, although the team is about to split up. After Officer William T. Rikerís (Jonathan Frakes) marriage to Counselor Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis), Chief Engineer George La Forge (LeVar Burton) detects an electromagnetic signature on the nearby planet of Kolarus III, which proves to be dismantled pieces of a prototype of android Lieutenant Commander Data (Brent Spinner). In the meantime, long time enemies of the Federation, the Romulans want to discuss a peace treaty, but it seems that their leader Shinzon (Tom Hardy) is a human replica of Picard.


Review by Louise Keller:
It may please some die-hard Star Trek fans, but I was rather disappointed by Star Trek Nemesis, the 10th feature of the franchise. Even though the special effects are as well executed as ever, the story doesnít excite or even allow us to really believe the premise. On paper it might have been a different story with its rather fascinating plot that explores cloning and canvasses what makes a human human.†

The crux of the story lies in the fact that Picard and Shinzon come from the same DNA, but although the filmmakers have gone to some lengths to make the actors look similar, thereís not much that can be done to change their features. Yes, Hardy has shaved his head to match Stewartís, and theyíre both English. But Hardy is a mix between Mike Myersí Dr Evil and a rather slight Vin Diesel. Besides, thereís nothing whatsoever that can be done to disguise his thick, luscious lips contrasting with Stewartís thin ones. Even with the prosthetic work creating a cleft in Hardyís chin, a prosthetic nose and chin, they donít look at all alike, and this is a fatal flaw in the plot. Why didnít they use Stewart himself as his nemesis? He is such an engaging actor, that I would have been very happy to have a double dose.†

Or could it be that the innovation has gone out of Star Trek? Has it outgrown its appeal? Of course itís good to meet up with all our old favourites Ė Jonathan Frakesí standfast Riker, Brent Spinerís cat-eyed charmer Data and the marvellous Patrick Stewart, who manages to make the most out of any scene, irrespective of how badly itís written.†

What a waste of talent. Whoopi Goldberg pops up in a cameo, as does Bryan Singer. Tom Hardy does a fair job of Shinzon, but he doesnít add up to being a convincing villain. Jerry Goldsmith seems to have misjudged much of the score, which, with its big orchestrations is at times positively tedious.†

I enjoyed the last Star Trek film - Star Trek Insurrection - with its splendid effects, compelling storyline spiked with humour and delectable villain played convincingly by F. Murray Abraham. But that was four years ago, and here we are in a new century. Maybe itís time for a new franchise.



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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 0

TRAILER

STAR TREK NEMESIS (M)
(US)

CAST: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, Ron Perlman, Tom Hardy, Shannon Cochran, Dina Meyer

PRODUCER: Rick Berman

DIRECTOR: Stuart Baird

SCRIPT: John Logan (story by Rick Berman, Brent Spiner)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Jeffrey L. Kimball

EDITOR: Dallas Puett

MUSIC: Jerry Goldsmith

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Herman Zimmerman

OTHER: MAKE UP: Michael Westmore COSTUMES: Bob Ringwood SF CO-ORDINATOR: Terry Frazee

RUNNING TIME: 116 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: UIP

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: February 6, 2003

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Paramount

VIDEO RELEASE: July 18, 2003







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