Science fiction and fantasy
Star Trek: Nemesis
directed by Stuart Baird
Shinzon, in his pointy-shouldered shiny black getup, is surrounded by a gang of troll-like Remans. These are a race subjugated by the Romulans, and Shinzon has spent many years enduring harsh conditions at their side down the Romulan mines, dreaming one day of meeting the famous starfleet captain. He's Picard's stunted counterpart, brought up in the worst conditions, badly treated and fuelled by bitterness. So the question is, can he overcome his upbringing and turn out all right, or is he doomed to plot a path of destruction in which he goes crazy and tries to destroy everything in a blaze of burning angst?
As the story continues Shinzon starts to look more and more freaky. His face goes grey and is lined with streaky blood vessels, as if his wickedness is coming to the surface. I quite like the way Star Trek uses style and liberal applications of make-up to distinguish its characters and races, often going overboard with it. It's a legacy from its origins in a time when special effects were much harder to achieve otherwise. But this approach does tend to give the game away somewhat when the bad guys always have a certain look.
However there are some good surprises in store as the film moves towards its showdown and the crew discover treachery on the Enterprise. The battles are explosive and intense, and the effects pass muster. Star Trek: Nemesis isn't the kind of movie that changes the series radically, but it does leave you with the satisfaction of a meaningful story told well, with lots of excitement and some entertaining exchanges between the regular crew members. Shinzon is a little too unsubtle for my tastes. He might have been more believable if he were toned down and there was a little more doubt about which way he would turn. But then again, if he wore a suit and wasn't surrounded by crazy troll-men, and in possession of a flash fighting vessel and an apparent death wish, what would be the fun in that?
If you like this, try:Star Trek: Into Darkness by J.J. Abrams
Kirk and his crew face an adversary who seems to be better than them in every way. The second film set in the rebooted Star Trek universe.
Star Trek by J.J. Abrams
The crew of the Enterprise take on a genocidal Romulan in this reboot of the Star Trek franchise.
Galaxy Quest by Dean Parisot
Mistaken for a real crew of space adventurers, a group of jaded actors battle to save a friendly alien race.