Mark Watches ‘Star Trek: Insurrection’

In the film Star Trek: Insurrection, THIS IS CUTE when it’s not UTTERLY HORRIFYING. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Star Trek.

Trigger Warning: For discussion of genocide, imperialism, displacement.

This film was okay. Not incredible, and it’s a lot like Generations in that regard, so LET’S DISCUSS.

  • Insurrection, at its core, suffers from one of the main problems I had with Generations: there’s no sense of grandeur. It feels like a bloated episode of The Next Generation instead of a story worthy of the big screen. At times, that’s not so bad; we still get a script that’s inherently philosophical in nature. The morality of this struggle matters of lot, so I can appreciate that Insurrection is not tonally different from the show as a whole. It’s both a blessing and a curse: the film feels like a perfect extension of The Next Generation, but it makes for a bewildering experience as a movie.
  • Unfortunately, one of the things lost in that translation is, once again, any attempt to give character development to anyone who isn’t Data or Picard. Their parts are lovely; it was nice to see Data interact with Artie, though his story was a tad repetitive. (He’s not human, he wants to be human, and… that’s it? We’ve seen it a lot.) As much as I tend to be bored with romance in the Star Trek universe, I found Picard’s romance with Anij to be charming. (It’s hard not to be charmed by Picard.) Picard’s story is the central focus of the film, and it’s also the only focus, though, and at this point, it’s just distracting! Even worse, there are hints of other stories. The “youth” that’s given to these characters from being on the Ba’ku planet opens up avenues that were unavailable to them before. Geordie’s eyes are temporarily healed; Worf goes through Klingon puberty; Deanna and Riker rekindle their romance; and Dr. Crusher is CRIMINALLY FORGOTTEN. Not a single one of these plots is ever addressed after they’re brought up because… I guess they don’t matter? WHY DO THESE MOVIES KEEP DOING THIS.
  • I get this isn’t the show and they can’t devote that much time to other plots, but that’s three movies now where the writers ignore the other characters completely.
  • So, let’s talk about the story itself! It’s actually tonally perfect for the recent batch of Voyager and Deep Space Nine episodes because it’s about corruption with Starfleet and the Federation. That’s much more in line with Deep Space Nine, sure, but given the recent moral dilemmas I’ve seen on Voyager, it’s like an eerie companion. Unintended but still powerful.
  • Which is why I do wish that this didn’t feel so confined to Admiral Dougherty. The Son’a are capable villains (made even creepier by that plot twist at the end of the story), but this movie is telling us that the Federation willfully pushed the alliance between themselves and the Son’a. They were well aware of what was going to be done to the Ba’ku, which amounted to genocide. There’s no other way to categorize it! A holodeck ship could never have provided them with the regenerative properties of their home planet. Thus, forcefully removing them from their home meant a death sentence, plain and simple. They would have killed those 600 people to advance their own populations. (Seriously, it’s a whole lot like “Nothing Human,” isn’t it?)
  • While I was happy to see Dougherty’s face pulled apart for that reason (and that reason only because GAAAAHHHH WHAT THE FUCK), this movie lets the Federation/Starfleet off the hook in ways which I found disturbing. Someone needs to hold them accountable for even allowing this to happen!
  • I did love that the Son’a were revealed to be the Ba’ku who had left a century before. It works for a few reasons! First, that makes Dougherty’s decision to get involved in this conflict even more gross. HE DIDN’T EVEN KNOW WHAT HE’D SIGNED UP FOR. It adds depth to the struggle, too. This isn’t about some unknown force colonizing a world; they’re the very people who tried to enact a coup of the world and were exiled. IT EXPLAINED ALL THEIR FACIAL SURGERY, TOO, OH MY GOD.
  • And this is the point where I struggle to find anything else of note to say about this film. It is, unfortunately, kind of forgettable. It’s not bad! It’s quite pretty, and wherever this was shot is AWESOME. I wanna go there! But the story itself, while entertaining, doesn’t hold the same weight I’m used to with these characters. Granted, I had a much better time with First Contact, and I’m glad this movie is very, very different, but it’s also just… there. With the lack of character development and the set pieces used mostly for action sequences that lack emotional depth, I don’t have the same connection to this film.
  • I was very happy to see MY BABIES again, but I was left craving more by the end of Insurrection, and I don’t necessarily mean that in a positive sense. I wanted to like this more, but it simply lacked that extra something to make it more than just okay.

The video for Star Trek: Insurrection can be downloaded here for $1.99.

Mark Links Stuff

I am now on Patreon! There are various levels of support, from $1 up to whatever you want! You’ll get to read a private blog, extra reviews, and other such rewards. I POST A LOT OF CUTE PHOTOS, OKAY. Think of it like a private Tumblr blog that only SPECIAL PEOPLE get to read.
– I have updated my list of conventions and events for the remainder of the year and much of next year.  Check the full list of events on my Tour Dates / Appearances page.
– My Master Schedule is updated for the near and distant future for most projects, so please check it often. My next Double Features for Mark Watches have been announced here.
- Mark Does Stuff is on Facebook! I’ve got a community page up that I’m running. Guaranteed shenanigans!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
This entry was posted in Next Gen Films, Star Trek and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.