Star Trek: Insurrection (PG)

Directed by Jonathan Frankes
Starring Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, LeVar Burton,
F Murray Abraham

The ninth movie is another predictable hit. Once again directed by Number One himself, Jonathan Frakes, this is very much like a standard Next Generation episode. A good plot, nicely handled effects, and more of the crew than in the previous - but more exciting - First Contact. This one involves the crew of the Enterprise helping a group of peace loving people, the Ba'ku, who are being chased away from their idyllic home by a nastier and uglier group led by F Murray Abraham. The reason why becomes clear when the crew of the Enterprise start getting all young and frisky again. Troi and Riker rekindle their old romance in a bubble bath, Worf gets Klingon acne, Geordie's eyes are regenerated. It turns out that the planet the Ba'ku live on is a sort of fountain of youth, and Abraham and his uglies want it. Well, wouldn't we all!

Picard gets to romance a pretty but not so young lady, (although controversially two innocent little kisses were edited out!) and a battle soon rages with the Enterprise and her crew defying a corrupt old admiral who is on Abraham's side- the insurrection of that incredibly naff title. While Picard, Crusher, Worf and co. shoot it out on the planet, Riker gets to pilot the Enterprise into battle using a Microsoft Sidewinder Joystick (TM) !!! Very silly. Naturally an big action packed climax ensues and they all live happily ever after.

This is a highly enjoyable film, well made and all that, it is just a bit of a let down in the excitement and thrills stakes. The much talked about curse of the odd numbered Trek films is once again invoked, however, the problem was that the last movie, First Contact was such a strong story, with those top class baddies the Borg, time travel and non stop action, that this film was always going to have a tough time living up to that. For fans of the series - either the tv series or the film series, this is a satisfying film, but will probably not go down as a Trek film classic. I wish Jonathan Frakes would leave the beard off - it was nice to see him all fresh faced again! 6/10

January 1999

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