Star Trek Nemesis 

Genre: Space opera

Opens: Now playing

The Pitch: Capt. Picard (Patrick Stewart) and the starship Enterprise trek to the planet of the conniving Romulans to confront their new leader Shinzon (Tom Hardy), who has plans to destroy Earth -- and an unsettling resemblance to a young Picard.

Money shots: Picard flies a Romulan space shuttle through the corridors of Shinzon's ship before smashing free. A spectacular space battle caps off with a head-on collision between two starships. Picard's away team makes a dizzying jump into an airborne shuttlecraft -- while driving an all-terrain vehicle? Hey, what century is this?

Comic relief: Brent Spiner plays both the android Mr. Data and a child-like, learning-disabled early prototype of himself, punningly called "B-4." He's sort of the Beta version of Data.

Cameos for Trekkies: The wedding of Commander Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Counselor Troi (Marina Sirtis) includes walk-ons from "The Next Generation's" Whoopi Goldberg and Wil Wheaton. "Star Trek Voyager's" Kate Mulgrew briefly appears, revealing a promotion to "Admiral" Janeway.

Fashion statements: The white jackets of Starfleet dress uniforms make the Enterprise senior officers resemble head waiters.

Flesh factor: Shinzon makes a telepathic intrusion in Troi and Riker's marriage bed. The crew never reaches the all-nude wedding ceremony on Troi's home planet, but it inspires Picard's funniest line, "If anyone needs me, I'll be in the gym."

Catch-phrases: Stewart, with his gravity and good humor, still has a commanding way with Picard's signature lines like "Make it so!" "Engage!" and "Tea. Earl Gray. Hot."

The moral: Picard and Data, by each contending with untrustworthy Doppelgangers, address themes about self-improvement.

The Odd/Even Thing: Tradition has it that even-numbered Star Trek films are superior to the odd ones, and it holds up here -- but only just.

Cliches: Why have all four "Next Generation" films concluded with a hero dangling from a scaffolding? Does the scaffolding have its own contract?

The Bottom Line: Billed as "a generation's last voyage," the film can be a bumpy ride, with bits of weak humor, choppy plotting and sets as cheesy as the original series'. But with a worthy villain, stellar combat scenes and Picard at the helm, Nemesis sees the audience to a safe harbor.


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