Star Trek: Insurrection a First-Rate Transfer to DVD
If you're fan enough to know that TNG stands for The Next Generation, then you don't need a reviewer to tell you that Star Trek: Insurrection is a disappointment—you know that already, because it's the ninth in the series. The curse of the odd-numbered Star Trek movies strikes again!
Insurrection feels like a slightly expanded TV episode, even if the special effects are better—although the model work, such as the starship battles, does look suspiciously like miniatures blown up really big to look impressive. Just like the TV series, the plot is thin—the Enterprise's crew defends a planet of peace-loving folk who happen to have discovered the fountain of youth—the acting is from the sandwich school of emoting (ham and cheese on wry), and the ending is not so much inevitable as predictable.
And such small portions! Paramount obviously feels they don't need to pile on extras to attract buyers—all the DVD purchaser gets is a menu screen that resembles a cheesy film poster, two trailers, and a "behind the scenes" featurette that's no more than a bloated commercial for the film.
The transfer quality, on the other hand, is first-rate: bright and sharply detailed, with startlingly vivid colors. Insurrection is certainly a great-looking film, however tedious. Too bad the sound doesn't match the visuals. It isn't bad, exactly, just lacking the whiz-bang factor this type of spectacle requires.
As we've come to expect, Captain Picard spends the movie being noble and insufferably right, the rest of the crew is basically window dressing—except for Commander Data, who serves as comic relief—and the villains are so obviously bad, one wonders why even bit-players on the screen don't know it. They wear black, they're ruthless, they're old and ugly . . . of course they're the bad guys!
One of the villains accuses the Federation of growing old and feeble—an apt metaphor for the Star Trek franchise. If Insurrection's the best Paramount can do with the concept, it just might be time for them to pull the plug. Fountain of youth? Maybe the Enterprise should be looking for a rest home.