Yeah, it’s pretty much as bad as it sounds.
I remember there was some hope when it was announced that John Logan was writing STAR TREK: NEMESIS. He was fresh off the Oscar-winning success of GLADIATOR, but everyone forgot that he also penned the awful remake of THE TIME MACHINE and the equally horrendous BATS. I’m sad to say that NEMESIS is more akin to the latter two. Every plot device has been done over and over again—the cloning duality, the political betrayal, the race against time to find a cure. It would be easy to see the “twists” coming a mile away, if Logan didn’t all-but announce them ahead of time. In addition, there’s the Philosophy 101 crap that gets way too much screen time (Data has feelings! Picard’s fate is fated! Shinzon believes in destiny, too!). Oh, how could I forget Shinzon—the most physically unthreatening and mentally obtuse villain I can remember. Seriously, Dr. Evil is more of a badass than this guy.
I like Patrick Stewart and he tries his best, as does the rest of the Enterprise cast, but there’s just nothing that anybody can salvage from such a bland script. Even Ron Perlman, who you can always count on to deliver at least a few memorable scenes, is given zilch to do (and with make-up that looks like it’s from Buffy: The Retarded Slayer).
Is there any glimmer of good in the movie? For one, there’s a real sense of camaraderie between the cast. The actors have been doing these roles for 15 years and it shows. The visual effects are also pretty decent. And the ending has some surprising balls (at least for one scene) and ties everything together nicely.
Nevertheless, it’s not a very good movie. And Data sings. Twice. ‘Nuff said.
Audio Commentary by Director Stuart Baird: Baird comes off as a likeable guy, but he tends to whisper a lot and trail off with his thoughts. Nothing too insightful, mostly just obvious observations about the plot and production (“Here they’re talking about Shinzon.” or “This is a crane shot!”).
Audio Commentary by Producer Rick Berman: I may not know much about Star Trek, but I do know that a lot of Trekkies blame Rick Berman for his “mishandling” of the franchise. That being said, Berman, despite being achingly monotone, provides a decent commentary with lots of behind-the-scenes trivia and an honest look at the film (i.e. willing to admit when it sucks).
Text Commentary by Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda: Occasional tidbits about the production from the Video Supervisor (?)and the Scenic Art Consultant (??). Pretty pointless.
NEMESIS Revisited (25:44): The actors talk about re-teaming for this final film. Even Patrick Stewart seems surprised it was made.
New Frontiers: Stuart Baird on Directing NEMESIS (8:42): Baird admits to never seeing a Star Trek movie before making this one. Well, we know how that worked out.
Storyboarding the Action (3:37): Exactly what it sounds like.
Red Alert! Shooting the Action of NEMESIS (10:08): A decent look at the filming of various action sequences. Jonathan Frakes admits that they’re all “too old to be action heroes.” (Which might explain why all the action is so unrelentingly boring.)
Build and Rebuild (7:45): A short clip on production design and building the sets.
Four-Wheeling in the Final Frontier (10:13): Patrick Stewart totally flipped his futuristic dune buggy. The man never ceases to amaze me.
- Shinzon Screen Test (6:29): Tom Hardy can actually hold his own to master thespian Stewart. Too bad his dialogue makes me want to phaser myself.
The Star Trek Universe
A Star Trek Family’s Final Journey (16:17): The crew reminisces about working together one last time. A lot of it is rehashed from the Production special features.
A Bold Vision of the Final Frontier (10:17): Another feature on Baird’s vision for the movie. Again, most of it is repeated from other segments on the disc.
The Enterprise E (11:37): How they designed and built the Enterprise, as well as some of the other ships in the film.
- Romulan Lore (11:51): Want to know all about the Romulans throughout the history of the series? You’re in luck, because I now officially know too much.
Shinzon and the Viceroy (10:00): Everyone discusses how scary the villains are. Perhaps they watched a different movie than I did.
Romulan Design (9:05): Learn about Romulan architecture, make-up, and etiquette. Seriously, my life was plenty complicated before all this.
The Romulan Senate (8:56): More on that Romulastic architecture.
The Scimitar (13:13): It’s apparent that a lot of time went in to designing the Romulan spaceship of catastrophic death and I’ll admit, it looks pretty cool.
In addition this wealth of extras, we also get additional Storyboards, Production Photos, Prop photos, and a few Trailers. Whew!