Star Trek: Nemesis (PG-13)
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Romulans and Remans and clones, oh my!
This is the fourth film based on the TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation, and the tenth "Star Trek" film overall. It came out in 2002, and I feel like I must have seen it in a theater at the time. I watched it again in 2023 as part of my summer of Star Trek. Before re-watching it, it was the movie I remembered the least, and I wasn't expecting to like it. After re-watching it, I'd still say it's the least memorable Star Trek film, and my least favorite. But it wasn't quite as bad as I remembered. Still, it was a box office failure that ended the run of Star Trek movies, until the franchise was rebooted in 2009.
It begins on Romulus, where the Imperial Senate is having a debate about whether or not to agree to an alliance with a Reman named Shinzon (Tom Hardy). They decide not to, and are promptly all killed. So Shinzon becomes the new Praetor. Meanwhile, the Enterprise crew are celebrating the marriage of Will Riker and Deanna Troi, who are soon to be reassigned to the starship Titan, with Riker as captain. But before that can happen, the Enterprise is assigned to go to Romulus to meet with the new Praetor. Oh yeah, and before that, they pick up the scattered pieces of an android that looks just like Data. I'm not sure why his brother Lore wasn't mentioned at all, but anyway, this android is called B-4, and was apparently a prototype created before Data and Lore. It's not as sophisticated as they are. Anyway, when they get to Romulus, they learn that Shinzon is a clone of Picard. (But the whole time I was watching the movie, I couldn't stop thinking of Dr. Evil, from the Austin Powers movies.) He was meant to replace Picard as a Romulan mole inside Starfleet, but before that could happen a new government came to power, and Shinzon was sent to live among the slaves on Remus. One of them raised Shinzon from childhood, and had now become his viceroy (an unrecognizable Ron Perlman). I should probably also mention that even though he's now the leader of the Romulan Empire, the only Romulan Shinzon (barely) trusts is Commander Donatra (Dina Meyer).
Well, at first Shinzon pretends to want peace with the Federation, but the Enterprise crew discovers that his ship, the Scimitar, has a powerful new weapon, and Picard believes he plans to use it to kill everyone on Earth. He's right, of course, but I do think that was a bit of a leap that we're just supposed to accept because of this whole plot point of Picard and Shinzon being mirrors of each other. Anyway, there's eventually a battle, and... a bunch of stuff happens that I don't want to get into. It seems like Worf has returned to serving on the Enterprise full-time. And um... I don't know what else to say. I didn't really like Shinzon as a villain, but I couldn't tell you why not. There's not a lot in the movie that I could actually point to and say "this is bad" or "this doesn't work". Maybe it all works on paper, I dunno. There are things I liked about the movie, such as the battle between the Enterprise and the Scimitar (plus a couple of other ships). But my overall impression is that the film is just barely okay.