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Trek X 'Serviceable But Uninspired'

By Lisa
August 30, 2001 - 12:07 PM

Another day, another "Star Trek X" script review - just when you thought it was safe to go out on the Internet again. Hot on the heels of yesterday's extensive review, 'Stax' at IGN Filmforce is the latest critic to get his hands on the script.

Though the review offers little new information in the way the film's plot, it does include an extensive commentary as well as the usual plot synopsis. The review is written by a self confessed life-long Trek fan: "I love and prefer the classic show but grew to be fond of The Next Generation."

Like other reviewers, Stax felt that the movie's villain, Shinzon, needs to be further explored to improve the film. "Frankly, I didn’t find the what of Shinzon's agenda particularly interesting but I did find the why quite compelling. Shinzon reminded me of protagonists seen in old Westerns like Hombre, the white man raised amongst Indians who understands and identifies with their culture and rejects his own blood. This makes him an interesting antagonist for Picard to contend with.[...] The notion of someone rejecting their own heritage in favour of the culture in which they were raised is very potent stuff. I would've liked this script to go further in exploring that."

He found some of the film to be a little too clichéd. "I won't elaborate about what exactly Shinzon's master plan is but it entails the tired old destroy the earth idea (using yet another doomsday weapon, no less)," he said. "This cliché movie plot should be outlawed. Unless film makers are really going to destroy Earth please don't bother using this gimmick as it no longer generates interest or suspense."

Stax is also critical of the Picard and Data roles in the film, commenting that once again, they are the only characters of substance. But again, they grapple with the same moral dilemmas. "Picard, though, is still a glum old soul who never seems to enjoy that he’s cruising through space and leading an extraordinary life [...] [Data is] still trying to be human, or rather to understand the human condition."

"The plot itself is a retread of past stories albeit a mildly enjoyable one. From clones to destroying the earth with a doomsday weapon, this story ran the risk of being unofficially renamed Star Trek: Replicant. [...] It was a serviceable but uninspired Trek, not quite the high note I'd like to see the Next Generation cast exit on but a far better sequel than the insipid "Star Trek: Insurrection." There just wasn't anything new under the sun, which I think is indicative of the overall Star Trek franchise."

The review concludes with the thought that perhaps it is time to lay the Star Trek franchise to rest. "Each subsequent Trek series ends up recycling characters, plots, and themes that have already been used several times before. Doesn't that indicate a big problem?"

So how would this reviewer make the film better? Focus on the villain, Shinzon. "He has a compelling background and could be a truly memorable Trek foe if done right. If I were rewriting this script, I'd latch onto that white man raised by Indians idea and milk it for all it is worth. Deviate from the Trek formula just enough to make this story fresh by calling into question the political motives of the Federation and its dealings with the Romulans (who are oppressing the poor Remans). Make the finale to this story more of a Shinzon's Last Stand than another madman who wants to destroy the earth scenario."

More details, including a plot synopsis and more commentary, can be found in the full analysis over at IGN.

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