Reviewed by: Douglas M. Downs
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1. As scientists are on the verge of cloning a human being, our Star Trek writers explores some of the possible dynamics of such a reality. How will the clone relate to the original person of whom they were cloned? Do you believe there will be competition or cooperation. If the reason for the clone, as some are saying now, is to provide “eternal life” for the original person, what will that do to the spiritual life of both clone and original donor?
2. If the desire of biological life is not to create offspring but rather to create continuity of an exact genetic code, what will that do to the future of humanity? Who will be cloned and by what decision process? Will the cloned person be superior or inferior to the new person created by the biological union of a father and mother?
3.If a cloned person should choose to kill the person who gave them life would that be murder? Would it be murder if the original person killed the clone in order to harvest needed organs for his or her own biological continuation? 4.Do you believe a cloned person will have a separate soul from that of the original person? Why or why not?
—Denny and Hal, Cinemainfocus.com
Starring: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Majel Barrett | Directed by: Stuart Baird | Produced by: Rick Berman | Written by: John Logan | Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Nemesis\n\1. the Greek goddess of fate and punisher of extravagant pride. 2. one that inflicts retribution or vengeance. 3. a formidable and usually victorious rival or opponent.
The first question that my youngest son, age 11, had has we made plans to see the latest “Star Trek” film was “what does the word “nemesis” mean?” This 10th “Star Trek” movie lives up to its name and the definition. I would call this Sci-Fi outing “Star Trek’s Greatest Hits” or a “Best of” Trek.
If you’re a Trekkor (aka Trekkie)--then you know the characters and their roles. If you have watched the episodes and the movies, then you know how the plots work. “Nemesis” is an excellent blend of everything that we have grown to enjoy about Gene Roddenberry’s series. You already know that this film features once again the “Next Generation” crew.
Personally, Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) is my favorite captain. Stuart Baird, director, also blends into “Nemesis” some of the best 007-like daring escapes and aliens who must be close cousins to some of the scary “Lord of the Rings” baddies. John Logan writes a story that should delight most fans and moviegoers.
Let’s get down to business, or should I say “engage”!? “Nemesis” is a dark spin on your typical “ego vs. alter-ego” story. Captain Jean-Luc must battle with a clone of himself. Tom Hardy turns in an outstanding performance as Shinzon, who was created by the Romulans and then banished to the planet Remus. Data (Brent Spiner) also meets a former version of himself. The story opens with the engagement of Commander Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Ship’s Counselor Troi (Marina Sirtis). We have the typical tongue-in-cheek humor that includes Data singing his version of “Blue Skies.”
The crew is assembled for a routine space assignment and picks up some strange positron readings (the same components that make up the android Data). What they find on this planet are pieces of an android that, when assembled, is Data’s prototype called B-4. The away team no sooner returns to the ship when they are invited into the Neutral Zone. There has been a change in power and the Romulans (known for their great cloaking abilities) want to have a diplomatic meeting with the Federation. Can you guess which Star Ship is the closest?
This mission enters the crew into the familiar Trekken philosophical traditions. What does it mean to be human? Are our actions predetermined or can we choose our destinies? What are the qualities of a great leader? The rest of the story moves along like an excellent game of Chess.
Captain Picard is quite taken by meeting a version of himself. These two leaders now move back and forth between “check” and “check mate.” I won’t spoil it for you, but you will enjoy the special effects, the match of wits, the battle scenes, and the cloaked Romulan agenda.
Yes, I do recommend this film. There is very little that is objectionable. The one brief bedroom scene actually adds to the suspense instead being simply sexual. I am surprised that Star Wars: Episode 2 has a “PG” rating and “Nemesis” has a “PG-13” rating. (I will never figure out the MPAA.) “Nemesis” is definitely basic “PG” Sci-Fi stuff. Ages 10 and over should enjoy this one.
Will there be more “Star Trek” films? If this is the last one, it is definitely the best. I think that success may produce about 2 more films. Paramount Pictures knows that after Star Wars: Episode 3 there will be a lot more room in space.
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