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Star Trek: Insurrection

movie reviewmovie review out of 4

*Also starring: Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, Gates McFadden, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, F. Murray Abraham, Daniel Hugh Kelly, Donna Murphy

Review by MrBrown
2 stars out of 4

I am not a "Trekker," so I was quite surprised by how much I enjoyed the last big-screen installment of the long-running film and television franchise, 1996's _Star_Trek:_First_Contact_. Delivering thrills and a terrific adversary (the menacing Borg race) for general audiences to chew on, and enough of the trademark techno-talk to appease the geekiest of Trekkers, director/co-star Jonathan Frakes had his cake and ate it too.

After _First_Contact_'s critical and popular success, it comes as no surprise that Paramount and _Trek_ producer Rick Berman tapped Frakes to helm _Trek_ movie#9, but not even he can break this series from its curious "even/odd" curse--that is, even-numbered installments = good, odd = bad (or at least not good). To be fair, Frakes's direction is not the problem with _Insurrection_--it's the weak script by Michael Piller, from a story Piller co-devised with Berman. This time out, Capt. Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart), Commander Will Riker (Frakes), android Lt. Cmdr. Data (Brent Spiner), Lt. Cmdr. Geordi LaForge (LeVar Burton), Dr. Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden), Counselor Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis), and Michael Dorn's Lt. Cmdr. Worf (again on loan from his current TV home on _Star_Trek:_Deep_Space_Nine_) commit the titular act of insurrection against their higher-ups at the Federation when they set out to protect the population of a peaceful planet from a maniacal, Federation-allied alien (F. Murray Abraham) determined to harness the planet's power of granting perpetual youth.

_Insurrection_ is a far cry from the violent, "Resistance is futile" Borg antics of _First_Contact_ in terms of action, excitement, and, unfortunately, interest--to non-Trekkers, that is. A lot of the time is spent on light character moments, such as Data bonding with a technology-fearing young boy, Riker and Troi rekindling their romance, and Worf re-experiencing Klingon puberty, thanks to the perpetual youth bug. Trekkers will eat that stuff up; others will be looking elsewhere for something engaging, which cannot be found in the by-the-numbers story or the incredibly boring villain. What they will ultimately fix their attention on is the always-commanding presence of Stewart and the typically polished effects and makeup work. Aside from that, this subpar outing has nothing to offer anyone outside of the _Trek_ faithful.

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