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Star Trek: Generations (rewatch)

Posted by martinteller on March 6, 2015

Carrie and I have been rewatching all the episodes of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” as they came out on Blu-Ray.  When we finished the final season, we knew the next logical step was to revisit the movies.  I haven’t seen any of these since they were in the theater, so I’m going back into them with pretty fresh eyes.

Much like Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the leap to the big screen means a lot more grandiose shots of the ship.  Especially in the early scenes, you can tell they’re really trying hard to instill you with a sense of awe.  It comes off as gratuitous, but I must say for the most part, the special effects hold up really, really well for a movie that’s over 20 years old.  There’s also quite a lot of action, with slo-mo and stunt guys flying around and what has to be The Longest Crash Scene Ever in Motion Picture History.  And one of the weakest aspects of the series is how bland the visual style usually is, so it was kind of a treat to see these characters with good lighting for once.

The premise is pretty good and as much as the film feels like an extra-long TNG episode, it’s a decent one.  I was grateful for a villain (an acceptable but not especially interesting performance by Malcolm McDowell) whose motivation isn’t profit or power, but the pursuit of pure joy.  However, the concept of the Nexus as Guinan (nice to see Guinan again) explains it isn’t executed all that well in actuality, and leaves some nagging questions.  Speaking of nagging questions, if Kirk and Picard can go anywhere in space and time, why the hell didn’t they go back to when they still had Soran on the Enterprise?  It’s not like they need to worry about changing history, it was only a few hours earlier.  Throw him in the brig, disable his missile thingy at their leisure, done.  I wouldn’t call it a plot hole necessarily, but it’s the kind of thing that merits explanation, even if it’s just a half-assed one.

I was also annoyed at the MANY shots of the children when the ship was in peril.  The children, the children!  This is so much more tense because children are in danger!  It just felt incredibly cheap.  But, I was very relieved to learn that Spot was okay.  Yay, Spot!  That scene put a little lump in my throat, and was actually a nicely-written resolution to the Data/emotion chip subplot.  I suppose I should mention Kirk.  I’m not a big fan of the original series, but I must admit I kinda enjoyed Shatner here.  I guess I like him most when he’s not called upon to be so serious about stuff.  Is putting Kirk in this movie nothing more than fanservice?  Maybe, but I didn’t mind.  I don’t think Kirk + Picard makes a particularly compelling duo (they just don’t mesh) but I enjoyed seeing it happen anyway.

Some glaring flaws (here’s another one: why the hell is everyone so uptight about Data pushing Crusher into the water? that was genuinely funny), but fun.  Rating: Good (72)


2 Responses to “Star Trek: Generations (rewatch)”

  1. mountanto said

    Ah, yes. This movie. The one Mom refused to watch as long as William Shatner was alive (the ending, at least). As I remember, Kirk’s demise (is that a spoiler? I feel like everyone knows that) was handled in a nicely understated fashion, even if his teaming with Picard is fairly perfunctory.

    I have to say, though, that Data’s “life forms” song…pretty damn cringe-inducing.

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