Director: Jonathan Frakes
Cast: Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes, F. Murray Abraham
Have I Seen it Before: Over twenty years ago, I opted out a date with my first girlfriend to ensure I saw this one opening weekend. So yeah.
Did I Like It: How many new episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation are we likely to get? Don’t answer that question just yet… Picard is coming back…
The text of this review appeared previously in a blog post entitled “How Could No One Else Like These Movies? Part Two, But With No Electric Boogaloo.” published 04/30/2017.
I’m not sure why the ninth film in the series—the fourth to feature The Next Generation crew—gets shit on so much. This is especially true when the series also includes the two-plus hour sleeping pill that is The Motion Picture (1979), the sloppy ode to mountain climbing that is The Final Frontier (1989)*, and that testament to uninspired mediocrity that was Nemesis (2002).
The most frequent complaint I hear about this movie is that, after the epic battle across time and space in First Contact (1996)**, this follow-up is less an actual movie, and more a very basic, episode of the television series upon which it is based. To that, I ask: Why is that a problem? If anyone reading this has ever taken in any random episode of The Next Generation*** and not enjoyed it, then, maybe your problem with Insurrection is that you just don’t like Star Trek that much.
The ancillary material for the film is even better. The late Michael Piller wrote a no-holds-barred account of his experiences writing the screenplay. It’s one of the truly great screenwriting books, ranking right up there with William Goldman’s Adventures in the Screen Trade. It’s only recently available, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.
*Which I actually kind of like, and almost made its way onto this list, except that I get that the movie doesn’t work for the most part.
**I realize now that movies may have began and ended for me in 1996.
***First season being the only exception, naturally.