Star Trek: Generations (1994)

Rates: * * * 1/2

Why Did I Watch It? I bought it on blu ray for $5 (!)

Cast, crew, etc.

During a routine demonstration flight, post retirement, Captian Kirk is seemingly killed when he is dragged into the impromptu rescue of a cilivian ship. But there are survivors, and two of these share a secret; the energy field that destroyed their vessel is the ‘Nexus’, a mystery realm where anyone’s every wish can come true.

Flash forward 78 years and The Next Generation crew tangle with one of these survivors; Zorin, a man who will stop at nothing to return to the Nexus, which, we learn, has also snared Kirk. All of these machinations finally allow the franchise’s two most famous captains to team up.

Reading the user reviews on here shows there’s not a lot of love for ‘Generations’, which is actually a bit of a personal Trek favourite. One of the knocks against it is that it plays more like an extended episode of the TNG TV series, and I think that is partly what I like about it. The most recent films, while fun, have been turned into something like every other sci-fi blockbuster; relying on visual spectacle, digital effects, and huge set pieces.

Classic Star Trek is slower and talkier, and that’s what we get here. The effects are actually pretty good for their day, but a lot of the movie is delivered via extended conversations, analysis, and ‘investigation’ (the investigation on the crippled space laboratory does seem to take forever: just what are they doing over there? Zorin: I feel you).

The movie also benefits hugely from Malcolm McDowell, who is one of the series’ best villains. With his popping out eyes and manic expression, you completely buy this character’s determination to get what he wants, and his motivation is well established. The time travel device they use also allows him to win, as well as lose, which is a nice touch.

And I dunno; Data getting his emotion chip turned on, freaking out, telling dumb jokes, singing a song, crying when he gets his cat back: this shit RULES. He was always one of my favourite characters, and this movie gives him the most to do. Also:

‘Yes, I think I hate this!’

‘More?”

‘Please.’

A transitional film on the way from the charm of the old shows, to a slick digital future.

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