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Star Trek: Nemesis (DVD)

Starring: The usual suspects and Tom Hardy

Rated: 12

Story: The crew of the Enterprise is sent to negotiate with the mysterious new Romulan leader. The main characters constantly tease and smirk at each other. There are frequent fan-pleasing references to Star Trek lore. It all ends with a lengthy space battle.

Comments: The Star Trek movies involving the original cast all had long, ponderous titles like The Search for Spock, The Voyage Home & The Undiscovered Country. The Next Generation movies have opted for punchier monikers like First Contact & Insurrection. Even the recent games are called meaningless things like Armada and Legacy. I think it's some desperate attempt to keep us interested and make sure we don't fall asleep before the end of the opening credits.

To be honest, I stopped watching the TV series after Babylon 5 came along. Star Trek seemed a bit shallow and tiresome after that. Still, I've seen the other movies and enough TNG to follow this without a problem. There's the odd reference to Voyager and DS9 which I haven't seen but nothing important. If you don't know what TNG stands for, however, you're going to struggle. This is a by-the-numbers sequel for fans and hangers-on. If you've been stuck in a Chinese prison for a long time and missed out on the new Star Trek then don't start here. Go and rent the series on DVD but make sure you watch B5 and the re-made Battlestar Galactica first. (Yes, they've re-made Battlestar Galactica and it's good. What were the chances of that? No cure for cancer yet, though).

Assuming you haven't had a Jack Bauer experience, you know the characters, you know the set-up and you pretty much know what's going to happen. It's still entertaining, though - certainly more so than any of the new Star Wars films. (Oh yeah, there's new Star Wars. It's rubbish). There's some exploration of whether it's nature or nurture which makes us who we are but it doesn't really go anywhere. Nemesis is not out to challenge - it's comfort viewing. It's one to watch when you're too tired to play a game but can't quite be bothered to go to bed. Grab a beer, lie down on the sofa and let it slip past your eyes.

As far as the cast is concerned, it's business as usual. Patrick Stewart is very professional about it all and his opening piece reminded me of playing Oblivion, which is always good. Most of the rest of them are going through the motions and dreaming wistfully of the big, fat cheque. Jonathan Frakes has turned into the Cheshire cat.

Amazingly, Star Trek XI is in production. They haven't decided on a title yet but they're going to have their work cut out making anyone care. Personally I'm looking forward to Star Trek: Food Fight, Star Trek: !!!!!!!!!!!! or Star Trek: Must Die. I'd stay awake for those.

Conclusion: As familiar and comfortable as a pair of old slippers.

Explosions: Some.
Smug first officers: One.
Ludicrous action sequences: At least three.
Fond memories of 1987: Plenty.

Rating: 3/5

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