The Battle For Paradise Has Begun

Story: Star Trek: Insurrection
Written By: Michael Piller
Series: The TNG Cast Films
Year: 1998

The biggest problem with Insurrection is that it starts off so good and then just falls completely apart. It has this nice mystery plot, it feels a lot like the TV series did, and uses the ensemble cast better than the previous two films...then all of that changes about 35 minutes in. They solved the mystery too early, and as a result the film has nowhere to go. It ends up being this weird mish mash of a romance plot for Picard, Data hanging with some kid, and other characters doing something or other for a little while before a dumbed down action plot kicks in.
The Ba’ku are kind of annoying, they act so high and mighty about using machines, yet they use machines....just not computers. Their whole village is filled with simple machines to help their gardening and whatnot. Liars! The girl Picard has a relationship with is just too pompous for me to actually care for her. And the Ba’ku raise way more questions than they answer more often than not.

The villains are weird stretchy faced plastic surgery allegory monsters. They are also something that brings the movie down a bit. Why would the Federation associate with these people? The whole premise is hard to swallow. The Federation is going to Relocate 600 people off of a Planet in order to let a few more people on? Just put the other people somewhere ELSE on the damn planet? I find it hard to believe the whole Federation Council would fall for this scheme of the Stretch Face Folk without doing ANY research.

The whole Data gone rogue thing would have been a really interesting story, but instead they wrap that up pretty fast and replace it with a bullshit Data wants to have a childhood story. That is really lame. Geordi can see with his eyes for the first time, so there’s an interesting route for a plot…oh but it kind of tapers off and loses steam. The Riker and Troi re-igniting the old love could have been a decent story, but instead they chuck it up to nothing more than a joke about his beard (newsflash everybody saw them kiss when he had a beard before you WRITERS). So he shaves the beard. That’s the whole story. It ends there. No redevelopment of their love, she just flirts and he reciprocates.
Crusher could have had some development. Her background with Picard could have had some effect on this new relationship that was brewing on the planet. Nope. Nothing. Worf shouldn’t have even been in the damn film. Like anybody was going to question it if he wasn’t there. He’s on DS9 by this point…let him stay there. People get a weekly dose of Worf; do we really need him to be in this film just to sit in the background? He doesn’t DO anything anybody else could have done; he just takes up screen time from someone else who is equally neglected (with a silly Klingon puberty running gag premise too). But he has to be brought back, because some people know he used to be on the show.

So the film was a total wasted opportunity for character development. Having a slower plot was not a bad idea; they just didn’t take advantage of it properly. The action is lame, the one-liners are abysmal, and at times things look pretty B-movie budget. There are some good moments, and when it tries it does feel more like TNG than the two previous films (as much as I enjoy First Contact it does NOT feel like the show) but it doesn’t maintain that quality long enough.

NEXT TIME: Picard’s Clone