Directed by Stuart Baird
Screenplay by John Logan
Story by John Logan & Rick Berman & Brent Spiner
Yet again, the makers of Star Trek have pretended to offer us a movie when instead we've been presented with another two-hour episode. They have obviously given up on trying to appeal to an audience outside of the Sci-fi convention attendees (referred to hereafter as "Conners"). And this is too bad because Star Trek's strengths were in its storytelling. It used to reflect society and give us morality plays that all could identify with, but now they no longer can, no longer try or no longer care to go outside of what they think the Conners want to see when they finally crawl out of their parents' garages, so we are left with this mess.
The movie starts at a Romulan High Council meeting where everyone not in league with our villain is killed, allowing a new force to move in and take over. For some reason the Romulan populace either never notices the coup, does nothing about it or else they've all been placed in some sort of Phantom Zone because we don't see or hear from them, which is odd for a warrior race such as this to allow a coup to go unchallenged, but it starts off as a nice hook for the movie, so it doesn't have to make sense. The coup is a result of beings from the planet Remus, Romulus' twin. These creatures live on the dark side of the planet, which is supposed to explain why they all look like Nosefartu. It also helps to remind us that they are bad. And their leader is Shinzon whose big secret will be revealed soon...
Then the movie comes to a screeching halt as we attend the wedding of Riker and Troi. I used the watch ST: Next Generation in the middle years, but fell off towards the end. Anyway, maybe I'm completely out of the loop, which I'm sure I am, but I thought Worf and Troi were an item, so I'm confused about how Riker got back in the picture. Anyway, we get little cameos of Wesley Crusher and Guinan that all the true Conners already knew about from their subscription to Star Trek Communicator magazine. This would be a great time for the average viewer to run to the bathroom or get some refreshments.
At the wedding we get one of the many examples of what's wrong with having a cast this large. Data's gift to the happy couple is his rendition of Irving Berlin's "Blue Skies." Now, I get that writers are lazy so everyone in the future has an interest in 20th Century Earth, but can someone explain how Worf, whose other big scene was about having a hangover from Romulan ale, knows who Irving Berlin is? I am baffled by the need to always have the entire cast do glorified cameos. The producers should feel free to cut some of the dead weight. I know the actors like the paychecks, but is the Dr. Crusher fan club really so overwhelming of a force that she needs screen time to appease the masses storming the Paramount gates? And not to be rude, but Crusher and Troi are no longer the hotties they used be; they look like mothers. Shouldn't some new women have transferred to the ship by now to be the sex symbols? Please.