Here we stand, ready to talk about one of my most disliked films of the franchise of Star Trek. Yup. We've gone from one of my favorite films, to a film I really don't like that much, but unlike Star Trek: The Motion Picture which I don't like due to absolutely atrocious pacing, or Star Trek V, which I don't care for due to poor editing and forgettable story, Insurrection gets a stamp of disapproval from me for much more technical reasons. It is the one movie out of all the Star Trek movies out there, that feels like it doesn't belong. And I hear some of you already asking me, "Oh yeah? Well what about those reboot films?" Yes. Even the reboots have more to do with Star Trek than this film does. There. I said it. Shall we begin?
Now a few things I will say regarding this film that are actually well done, are the environments. I cannot, and will not deny that the imagery of space in this movie is absolutely gorgeous to look at. No other Star Trek film has portrayed the Enterprise going through a nebula so beautifully. So I will give credit where credit is due. The scenery in space is absolutely gorgeous. Heck, I'll admit it, even the scenery on the planet the movie focuses on is good, there's just nothing that really stands out about it like the Nebula does. The Enterprise is looking good as ever (though....whoever was the design genius behind the idea that the Enterprise should be controlled by a joystick in an emergency has been playing too much Atari), and even the enemy ships (who belong to this race called the Son'a) look visually appealing. There are a few effects during the film's action that appear slightly out of place if you ask me, but overall, the ships are beautiful in this film. And that is about all the good I can say of this film. That's not a good thing, movie.
The film's main plot focuses on a race of "aliens" called the Ba'ku, and I put quotes around that word, because they look human in every way possible (they couldn't put a little effort into the make-up department to make these guys look a bit more alien?), who have very much decided to isolate themselves from using....machines....despite using machines in their daily lives. I mean, they straight up say in the movie, "We believe that when you create a machine to do the work of a man, you take something away from the man." Well that's just lovely...but the thing is...as Linkara expertly points out in the excellent review he does with the Nostalgia Critic of this Ba'ku use machines everywhere, from dams to irrigation systems, and likely to sewing machines. "It's almost like machines are helpful or something." I'll rant a bit more about this later, but another thing I cannot accept in this movie is the fact that the Ba'ku, a race we are told has forsaken technology, knows how to...fix...an android.....
Bullshit. Just pure, simple, bullshit. Normally I'm pretty open to Star Trek explanations for certain things, but Insurrection managed to be one of the few things of the franchise that just pressed all the wrong buttons. How does this race know how to fix an Android when throughout the series, almost all life that sees Data, looks upon Data as a technical marvel and revolutionary figure? No one knows how to make another like him, and his creator is dead. Heck, Data has to personally instruct Geordi a lot of the time on routine maintenance. And this race that has forsaken machines and technology can just pull off miraculous repair work? That's........just stupid! They go on to reveal that they know the secrets of Warp travel and other things and, it just....doesn't fit. And I say this because the villagers look at Data like he's some kind of monster. More on their behavior shortly.
Another thing that kinda gets to me, a point that Linkara points out in the mentioned review, is the fact that apparently, the Dominion War is going on during this movie. For those who don't know, the Dominion War is a war the Federation is involved with against the mentioned Dominion, particularly during the series Deep Space Nine. And the Federation was losing pretty badly, with predictions that if the Federation loses, BILLIONS of people will die. And we are told that the unique radiation or whatnot that the planet can give off can help....say it with me now...BILLIONS. Yet Picard says, how dare you try to relocate this small group of six hundred people, who aren't indigenous to the planet. It's like the needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many.....oh wait... Yeah there's a generic bad guy plot behind it all, but if you don't know that, you'd think Picard wasn't thinking straight. That and the whole fact that Picard has been involved with numerous relocations in the past...really doesn't seem to fit the overall picture here.
But with everything wrong with this picture, from Picard's overall thinking, to just...overall...strange scenes with Data (like how he can be used as a floatation device or how they sing to...gain control of him?), and from overall rushed plot elements, to plot elements that make absolutely no sense (I still don't get why the Ba'ku could do half the crap that they do in this movie), there is one thing I've been waiting to talk about as to why I dislike this movie so much, and it revolves somewhat around the Ba'ku and technology. As I said up above, the Ba'ku don't like machines or technology so much (despite using machines...and having knowledge of technology...as stupid as it sounds). And I've said how this movie goes about depicting it, from the village basically looking to Data as this...abomination almost. Kids run away from him, the people distrust him, the movie hammers in the point that they look at technology as a bad thing. And ironically...TECHNOLOGY SAVES THE DAY! Yeah, I can't help but wonder what the Ba'ku were thinking of Picard's crew who were shooting down drones and erecting force fields to protect the 600 villagers. I like a certain line from that review I keep mentioning (sorry I bring it up a lot, it's an excellent review). "Thanks for saving us with your technology, by the way, we hate technology." But that's not even what gets to me. Star Trek is about how we as humans have evolved through the centuries up ahead, to better ourselves as a species with the help of relations with aliens, and the advancement of...say it with me now...technology. Technology is a CORE ASPECT of Star Trek. Now I understand that Star Trek is a broad series, and honestly, I would have welcomed this concept of the crew coming across a culture that has rejected machines, but the way it was executed here, it literally felt at times like the moral of whatever story they were telling was that we shouldn't rely on technology...and while some may say this to be true...technology is just a tool that we use in our daily lives. And the people of Star Trek know it. While yes, some people shouldn't spend so much on technology nowadays, the philosophy of Star Trek stands for how much our advancement in technology has done us good. I mean, good God, it's inspired inventors to actually make so many things from the show for the past fifty years! And this is what I mean when I say that this movie feels like an anti-Star Trek movie, it rejects this core aspect. You may argue that the reboots may not be in full spirit of Star Trek, But at least they stuck with the basic principles for the most part. This movie straight up turned its back to it.
Star Trek: Insurrection easily earns a one star out of four. If the improbable plot elements and ideals don't get to me, the overal themes do. What could have very much been at best, a mediocre episode perhaps, ends up taking up an entire feature film, which only leaves me rubbing my head, and asking myself "How could Jonathan Frakes, the guy behind First Contact, come up with this?" How could this movie...which has such gorgeous scenery, and at least...a followable plot, get so much wrong? How could Final Frontier end up entertaining me more than this? These are questions I will likely never get an answer to. While the first Star Trek film got a lot of dirt from me for pacing and boring story, this one just...nearly infuriated me for it's themes, and that's another bad sin to come from Star Trek. I'm pleased to say that no other Star Trek film has ever tested me on this kind of level, but...we still have three more Star Trek films to go...and they all have their critics.
Please feel free to suggest a movie for me to review down below. Leave a comment about your own thoughts and feelings about this film, and as always, thanks for reading.
Final Verdict: 1/4