Star Trek Generations3

If there were a point along the reverse-viewing-Star-Trek-films-are-getting-better axis where the Star Trek finally became actually passably good cinema and not just dross for the nerdy fans who it seems, based on the quality of the last couple of Next Generation films, will like/ accept pretty much any junk so long as it’s dressed up in a Trekky one-piece tracksuit; then the location of that point would be part way through Star Trek Generations. It’s, unfortunately, not that easy to put a specific yet capricious and fanciful axis upon the Star Trek reverse filmic canon and sadly this, the seventh instalment in the film franchise, starts off poorly but picks up quickly, and aside from a couple of hiccups, finishes well.

The plot surrounds some sort of energy ribbon called the Nexus, which manages to destroy stuff (like ships and buildings) whilst also sucking people into an alternative reality that caters to the individual’s every subconscious need/ fantasy. The film opens with a well-passed-use-by-date original Star Trek Kirk (William Shatner), Scotty (James Doohan) and Chekov (Walter Koenig) acting as guest passengers (notable absences of the rest of the crew – Spock, Sulu, McCoy, etc.) on the maiden voyage of the ‘Enterprise [some letter that denotes sequence but I can’t remember which: c? d? e?]’ but accidentally running into the Nexus and causing the disappearance/ death of Kirk. A bajillion years later (or maybe only 50 or 100 – I really don’t know my Trekky timelines) Guinan (an uncredited Whoopi Goldberg from when she was clinging to the last sliver of her dignity) explains to Picard (Patrick Stewart) that she was on the Nexus for a while with Soran (Malcolm McDowell) who is now destroying entire solar systems to try and bend gravity and thus alter the course of the Nexus so that he can get back into it and live happily ever after. Then Kirk and Picard meet (which is actually pretty awesome and fun, and even though the metaphorical passing of the torch is a lame idea that is obvious and trite, it’s pretty hard not to get caught up in it) and team up.

Star Trek Generations

Thankfully, the rest of the boring Next Generation team don’t feature too heavily in this film, – although there is still an arbitrary and totally ridiculous and annoying scene where Data tries to become ‘more human’ again[1] and learns humour or something by pushing someone into the water when the crew are on a ‘holodeck’ recreation of a seventeenth-century boat named ‘The Enterprise’ for no apparent reason.

Star Trek Generations2

The special effects and scope are good and in tune with each other and my expectations, and for once, the pacing and dialogue are actually all very reasonable. The director and DOP are competent, which compared to the next three films is a welcome surprise and a total outdoing of my increasingly low expectations for this series.

I’m not in the habit of rating films, but it is the best indicator for this particular film – a solid 6.5 of 10… and a renewal of my will to sit through the rest of them.

[1] I know I am watching these backwards, but it feels like his entire character can be reduced to the bad scripting of a supposedly emotionally bereft robot that is constantly displaying human emotions anyway and asking stupid questions about human emotions – as though he didn’t understand them – to all his long-suffering yet incredibly tolerant crew members, and the even worse acting by a human that is trying to pretend that he is not human even though the script and action are so human-like anyway that his terrible acting skill is moot. It’s like the character is only there to teach emotionally retarded nerds about proper emotional responses in certain social situations.