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Star Trek: Generations

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Star Trek: Generations

Starring: Patrick Stewart, William Shatner
Director: David Carson
Rated: PG
RunTime: 117 Minutes
Release Date: November 1994
Genres: Action, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Review by Dragan Antulov
2 stars out of 4

From time to time almost everyone experiences peculiar feeling of being born too early or too late. The author of this review is reminded of such phenomenon any time he thinks about STAR TREK phenomenon. I was too young to watch original series of STAR TREK. Afterwards, certain unpleasantness in this part of the world prevented me and most of my generation from enjoying STAR TREK: THE NEW GENERATION and STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE. As a result, the only incarnation of Roddenberry's universe I have complete insight belongs to STAR TREK: VOYAGER and STAR TREK movies. That probably explains why I wasn't particularly enthusiastic about STAR TREK: GENERATIONS, 1994 film by David Carson - project that was supposed to pass the torch from one generation of STAR TREK crew to another.

Plot begins in 23rd Century when legendary Starfleet Captain James T. Kirk (played by William Shatner) joins the crew of Enterprise B on their maiden voyage. But this routine affair turns into disaster because Enterprise B gets involved into rescue of two ships, endangered by mysterious energy ribbon called Nexus. Some of the passengers are saved, but Kirk disappears. 78 years later, crew of Enterprise D, led by Captain Jean-Luc Picard (played by Patrick Stewart), must also deal with Nexus, but their efforts are complicated by gang of renegade Klingons and activities of Dr. Soran (played by Malcolm McDowell), evil scientists whose plans include destruction of entire solar systems. Soran's schemes also cause interesting shifts in time-space continuum that would bring Picard and Kirk together.

Being the seventh film in STAR TREK movie series, GENERATIONS is another example of "odd numbers" malady that plagues this particular franchise. Screenplay by Ronald D. Moore is burdened with the need to depict "passing of the torch" between two generations of STAR TREK, so the film gets stuffed with references to the past glory of ST:TOS and ST:TNG - Romulans, Klingons, Borg etc. Unfortunately, many of those references are completely lost to those viewers who lack proper "trekkie" credentials and who are forced to watch rather uninspired and cliche-infested plot (including the mother all bad SF cliches - mad scientist, played by tragically typecast Malcolm McDowell) and heavy-handed attempts of humour. Luckily, the acting is more than satisfactory, especially in the scenes that combine talents and charismas of William Shatner and Patrick Stewart. The last appearance of Shatner as Kirk is probably one of the most memorable moments in STAR TREK history and even those viewers who were never fans of the original series could feel its effect. But this sentimental dimension can't ascend GENERATIONS from the levels of Hollywood's mediocrity and this film is one of those pieces of cinema that can be enjoyed and appreciated only in its proper context.

Copyright 2000 Dragan Antulov

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