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A review of "Star Trek Nemesis"

by Robert Abrams
December 11, 2002
New York, NY

A Review of "Star Trek Nemesis"

Robert Abrams


Star Trek Nemesis is a fine film. And much to my grateful surprise, it is a dance film. There is a wedding scene early on in the film where the dance floor is full of couples. Given that it is the wedding of two Starfleet officers, and given that Starfleet officers are, by definition, not civilians, one should be able to expect a reasonable quality of dancing. Sure enough, the movie portrayed a floor full of wedding guests with above average dancing ability. The level of dancing was at least a step above Swingish, and there was one couple that was moving across the floor in what might very well have been Foxtrot. Clearly, the dance instructors at the Starfleet Academy provide the same level of high quality instruction as the instructors who teach warp drive mechanics, diplomacy or battle tactics.

Admittedly, the dancing is not central to the plot of the film.

Star Trek Nemesis is one of the best Star Trek films to date. The cinematography by Jeffrey Kimball is richly textured. The plot has familiar elements with new revelations about what you may have been taking for granted about the Alpha Quadrant. The action builds well, and will keep you gripping your seat. (Yes, I admit, a Bolero in the middle of the movie might have been a distraction, but if Patrick Stewart and Gates McFadden could grace us with a Viennese Waltz as one of those extras that often get put onto the DVD, it would no doubt be a boon to the entire Federation.)

Patrick Stewart gives a fine performance - in other words, his usual high quality blend of serious acting talent and humor. The rest of the cast deliver top level performances. I especially liked the growth that Brent Spiner portrayed.

I saw Star Trek Nemesis at a special benefit showing to support the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center. Patrick Stewart attended and gave a moving speech before the film started. He commented that Star Trek is fundamentally about the idea that the world and its people can be made better. This event was clearly an embodiment of that ideal. Mr. Stewart is to be commended for his help in making this benefit event possible, and for his graciousness while attending. For instance, he accommodated requests for autographs part of the time he was there. The attendees seemed to respond in kind by respecting his privacy in the midst of a public event, allowing Mr. Stewart to converse without interruption with the friends who had joined him for the after-party at Guastavino's (which, by the way, is a magnificent space/restaurant at 409 East 59th street). I have always admired his work on screen and on stage (if Mr. Stewart comes to Broadway again with his Christmas Carol, don't miss it - he is truly brilliant on stage), and this small glimpse of him up close gave me the impression that the man is as fundamentally decent a human being as is his Star Trek character, Captain Picard.

It is my belief that dance does also contain a similar fundamental ideal: that our purpose in dancing is to find ways to make the world a better place, that dance is about much more than image, and fancy steps and special effects. Such ideals are never easy to implement, but always worth the effort.

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