Star Trek: Insurrection

on December 11, 1998 by L. J. Strom
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   Going where "Star Trek" has already gone before, this ninth entry in the popular film franchise is a respectable and enjoyable, though hardly ground-breaking, adventure. "Star Trek: Insurrection" finds starship Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and his crew from creator Gene Roddenberry's television series "Star Trek: The Next Generation" risking court-martial in order to save a peaceful, Zen-like race of people, the Ba'ku, from forced relocation. Picard's government is so beleaguered by war that it has joined forces with the morally shady, cosmetically challenged Son'a race in order to exploit the Fountain of Youth qualities of the Ba'ku's planet, and it falls to Picard and the Enterprise crew to make a stand for what's right. A pinch of romance, a dash of good-natured humor, and some serious alien butt-kicking--by fisticuffs, phaser, and flaming interstellar gas--as well as a touch of philosophizing and a ticking bomb round out the story.
   Stewart wears his role as the noble, dignified captain like a second skin by now, and he and his fellow cast members have developed an enviable rapport that's a joy to watch. But in trying to tag all the usual "Star Trek" bases--except, oddly enough, that old "sense of wonder"--the story doesn't leave much room for character moments, and the moments we do get have a glossed-over quality, for the pacing is rapid and the general feeling of the film somewhat perfunctory.
   This is made all the more ironic by the presence of Picard's love interest, played with disarming serenity by Donna Murphy; she shares with him the wisdom of slowing down and living in the moment. With assets like the seasoned but still frisky ensemble cast and breathtaking locations in the High Sierras, it's unfortunate that the filmmakers didn't pay closer attention to their own advice. Starring Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, F. Murray Abraham and Donna Murphy. Directed by Jonathan Frakes. Written by Michael Piller. Produced by Rick Berman. A Paramount release. SF/Action. Rated PG for sci-fi action violence, mild language and sensuality. Running time: 103 mi
Tags: Starring Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, F. Murray Abraham and Donna Murphy. Directed by Jonathan Frakes, Written by Michael Piller, Produced by Rick Berman, Paramount, SF Action
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