STARRING: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, F. Murray Abraham, Donna Murphy, Anthony Zerbe

1998, 103 Minutes, Directed by: Jonathan Frakes

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Description: This time out, Picard (Patrick Stewart) and his executive crew must transport to a Shangri-la-like planet to see why their android crewmate Data (Brent Spiner) has run amuck in a village full of peaceful Ba'ku artisans who--thanks to their planet's "metaphasic radiation"--haven't aged in 309 years.
It turns out there's a conspiracy afoot, masterminded by the devious, gruesomely aged Ru'afo (F. Murray Abraham, hamming it up under makeup resembling a cosmetic surgeon's worst nightmare), who's in cahoots with a renegade Starfleet admiral (Anthony Zerbe, in one of his final screen roles). They covet the fountain-of-youth power of the Ba'ku planet, but because their takeover plan violates Starfleet's Prime Directive of non-interference, it's up to Picard and crew to stop the scheme.

I have always considered myself to be a "casual" Star Trek fan. That is, I don't pore over schematics of how the fictional Starship Enterprise is supposed to be constructed, but I did watch all the big screen movies.

Whenever I can catch a rerun of either the original 'Sixties series or an episode of The Next Generation I go to the trouble of setting the VCR. To be honest I don't care much for Voyager and/or DeepSpace Nine feeling that political correctness has largely blunted the impact of the whole formula. Besides, it is becoming rather formulaic and the Trek franchise can learn from other shows such as Babylon 5, which is superior to most of the current Trek output.

"The so-called 'inertia dampeners' never seem to be working properly!"

So there you have it. I can hack most the technobabble in Star Trek, although I still don't understand why they don't have safety belts on the Enterprise. Sure I know they have something called "inertia dampeners" (I think), but they never seem to be working properly. In almost every movie or show crewmembers go flying all over the place whenever something hits the Enterprise. And, of course, the same happens in Star Trek - Insurrection. I'd really consider putting in some seat belts . . .

Like I said, I can hack the technobabble about "particle emissions" and the like; but to be honest, I got a bit lost at times in Star Trek - Insurrection. I could follow the overall plot but there is no way I could have explained plot specifics or even plot logic if you had asked me. (If you applied logic to some plot details, then you'd realize that it doesn't work out all that well . . .) Towards the end of the movie in particular the technobabble (involving holodecks and such) threw thick and thin and although stuff got blown up real good I was feeling a bit lost . . .

Did I enjoy it? Heck, yes. More character-driven (and less action-packed, alas) than the previous Star Trek - First Contact entry, Insurrection is definitely recommended to fans of the show. I would however not recommend the movie to non-fans or even "less than casual" fans - Insurrection is not a good place to start. For that I'd rather recommend you go see First Contact, Star Trek IV - the Voyage Home or some of the better Next Generation TV episodes first. However, Insurrection boasts all the show's strengths (and its weaknesses unfortunately) and if you're a fan or even a "casual" fan then you'll have a fun time watching it . . .

Plot? Something to do with rings around a planet that regenerates the humans living on it (think a veritable fountain of youth and you get the idea) and a plot by the Federation along with some shady partners to relocate the planet's inhabitants. By the way, I have a problem with the film's moral conviction that it is wrong that the needs of the many should NOT outweigh the needs of the few - the plot just leaves too many questions unanswered in the end. But you'll see what I mean . . .

Followed by Star Trek - Nemesis in 2002.



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