Star Trek: Nemesis (2002)

Rating: ***
Release Date: 12/13/02
Music: Jerry Goldsmith
Special Effects: Digital Domain
Cast: Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Levar Burton, Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, Gates McFadden, Michael Dorn, Tom Hardy, Ron Perlman, Dina Meyer

From the trailer and the first five minutes of the film, you know something tragic is going to happen, and while your first instinct is probably correct, the film does an admirable job of trying to twist your suspicions several times along the way. The crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise (model E now) reassembles for some nostalgia and good times, but they get called into action when a political coup leaves the Romulan Empire in an interesting state. While outwardly suing for peace, the new Romulan leader (Tom Hardy) has other sinister plans up his naughty little sleeves, which leaves the Enterprise a sitting duck in Romulan space. An extremely well directed space battle ensues, the likes of which we haven't seen since the tremendous "Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan" (1982).

It's nice to see the old crew in action again, and they are definitely in action in this film. There's a warm and friendly familiarity about everything, which is quite comforting if you're a "Star Trek" fan. And even with all of that alien makeup, Dina Meyer is still really hot. Unfortunately, the pacing of the film is tedious and the dialog seems a bit drawn out. Even the normally perky music seemed to drag, like the musicians were on sedatives. Apart from the ultra-lame opening credits, the special effects in the film are spectacular. The choreography of the battling warships is awesome and quite a visual treat, unlike several of the previous films. While battling cloaked ships is dramatically interesting, it's not very visually interesting, but they manage to pull it off. The scenes of battle damage are also quite breathtaking. But I have to question the use of the terrestrial dune buggy - that doesn't seem to be the best or most discreet way to handle a first contact situation, but it certainly was exciting. With Earth and the Federation safe from the Romulan threat once again, the crew retires to reflect on lost comrades and ponder their next adventure.