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5/9/13

STAR TREK: INSURRECTION - REVIEW


And then things took a weird turn...

Star Trek: Insurrection, the ninth film of the franchise, is quite probably the least respected of all Star Trek films, and although it's much more watchable than most would give it credit for, it's easy to see why it is often last on people's Top 10 Star Trek Movies lists.

Look out for mine on here very soon, by the way.

First Contact gave the Picard team solid ground to build on with a respectable outing full of action, gross leathery Borgs and time-travel. With Insurrection, the idea was to go for more of a Voyage Home vibe: a lighter, more one-setting based, more personal story. Problem is, Shatner and co. could indulge in such a holiday flick after three iconic, more serious efforts but The Next Generation peeps only had the vastly uneven Generations behind them and First Contact, their first decent movie. No time to go on holiday, surely! Time to nip it in the bud, I would say. Alas, right off the bat, Insurrection feels more like an episode of the TV series than a full-blown movie. Star Trek: The Motion Picture gets a lot of crap but as Original Series-like as its plot was, it still felt like a big, full-scaled movie. 

Insurrection's plot revolves around a peace planet where a bunch of boring people live and where you can actually get younger/healthier just by staying there. When a bunch of stretchy-faced, youth-obsessed members of the Federation learn of the planet's healing properties, they decide to somehow move the people living there somewhere else to use it for their own gain. Of course, Picard rebels and goes head-to-head with the Federation. Meanwhile, we're treated to some truly perplexing subplots: Picard getting laid, Data befriending a small boy and learning the art of playing (not even kidding), Riker shaving his beard (still not kidding) and Worf undergoing puberty (I wish I was kidding...). Pretty hard to take the rather political plot of this movie seriously when all this goofy nonsense is going on in the background! Besides, it's not like Picard's mission is really one to get behind 100%, it's so inconsistent and morally debatable that whatever his plan is feels less heroic and important than it does forced. Plus the movie's villains are mostly forgettable.

I'll give the movie that, though: it has its moments.

Insurrection suffers from a truly snooze-worthy second act but you'll find yourself staying awake just to see what more crazy stuff the Enterprise crew can throw at you. Whether it's Picard dancing the mambo, psycho Data singing or 300 year-old people almost drowning because they've never bothered to learn how to swim, Insurrection keeps throwing the lols and ridiculous OTT moments at you so, like Star Trek V, it ends up being a pretty entertaining watch. For that reason, I can never hate Insurrection. As flawed and disappointingly cheap-looking as it is, it still managed to be unique in its own way and remain relatively enjoyable so I can't fault it too much.

Overall, yes Insurrection is quite possibly the least inspired outing for any of the Star Trek folks but even that one has its charm and its share of irresistible randomness so if the movie doesn't anger you, chances are it'll amuse you or... put you to sleep. 

A partly-fun, partly-boring mess. 

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