Review: “Star Trek: Insurrection”

With the exception of the last film “Nemesis”, the famous “Trek curse” has proven to be accurate. That curse being that all the odd-numbered films of the series (1, 3, 5, 7) were average or bad films, while all the even-numbered ones (2, 4, 6, 8) were simply great pieces of entertainment. “Insurrection” is the ninth entry in the series and sadly it doesn’t break the curse. In fact in many ways, at least until the utterly awful “Nemesis” came along, this is rightfully considered the weakest film in the series.

After a dull starting credits, the opening sequence involving an unstable Data is quite imaginative and well-conceived. After that though, much of the film does lag and delves of into numerous pointless subplots and very forced attempts at humour.? There are also moments which, like Anij says, seem to last forever – because they’re long, slow and uninteresting. It does feel a bit like a two-part episode of the TV show stretched out and one would’ve hoped for something a bit more epic, but still it raises the moral issue of ‘ethnic relocation’ and works it to an interesting degree.

The cast as always are superb, Picard (Stewart) and Data (Spiner) stealing the screen. Donna Murphy makes a nice love interest though they concentrate too much on her rather bland characterisation. Admiral Doherty (Zerbe) and Ru’afo (Abraham) are a great villain duo and sadly don’t get much airtime till the second half of the flick. Many of the other regular cast are, as usual given the short shrift. Frakes and Sirtis have some fun by-play but much of that is offset with a young villager child and Data having insipidly dull talks.

The completely computer FX are for the most part superb. They’re not photo-realistic but they’re just as good and sometimes better than doing the same shots with models. The only times where they occasionally looked blatantly fake were scenes in the daylight on the planet’s surface. There’s some twists which work quite well, certain elements like the holodeck are used more effectively than they previously were. As for the music, none of it is memorable at all – a very disappointing score.

There’s an attempt to make this film appeal to non-Trekkers, but it went in a direction that has alienated both non-Trekkers and hard core fans. There are still a lot of references to “The Dominion”, “warp cores”, etc. which non-fans will be confused as hell over. Its still a watchable entry to the series, but only really hardcore Trekkers will find appeal here. This has gone where Trek hasn’t gone before on the big screen – into the realms of consistent boredom.