Star Trek: Insurrection (1998) Poster

User Reviews

Add a Review
525 Reviews
Sort by:
Evil Starfleet doing evil Starfleet things
Thunderin' Tim Reviews20 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Continuing a well established pattern this uneven numbered movie is one of the worst Star Trek movies.


There's a planet with healing powers. Nifty, Starfleet says, taking heavy casualties from the Dominion War and occasional Borg visit. Unfortunately the BaKu, a 600 strong race lives there. So Starfleet observes them hoping to beam them to a holodeck planet with the help of the SoNa. But Data malfunctions, reveals the observatory and brings the Enterprise into the story. When Picard discovers the plan he defies Starfleet orders with his crew, battle the bad guys and wins the day.

Good Stuff

-...........Well darn it, it's good to see the TNG crew back at it

-The movie has some nice ideas (onfortunately they've been done before, even by TNG. In fact, in Journey's End, Picard wants to beam people against their will into a holodeck.....the hypocrite!)

-Stewart, Spiner and Abraham are fine actors and we get flashes of their talent

Bad Stuff

-Oh where to begin. Well the biggest problem is the story: it simply isn't enough to sustain a 40 minute episode, let alone a full length movie. This makes the pacing too slow and some scenes unbearably obsolete.

-Gates McFadden is in this movie

-The planet's magic is never explained. At 2 different points, the woman BaKu slows down time and we get no explanation.

-Please give Geordie something to do. In the series he gives technobabble, strikes out with girls, and gets kidnapped. He is even more neglected by the movies.

-For a technology hating species the BaKu seemingly have used technology to build a freaking dam and even a hydraulic system to empty a lake. In the flick, they do not complain when the TNG crew uses technology to protect them and save their lives.

-There is little in the way of character development, which, in the case of the SoNa would have been nice

-Ah Humor. Star Trek and humor have a difficult relationship. TOS had a horrible campy taste and TNG intentionally tried to avoid this. TNG failed mostly at humor too, but whenever Data's cat and/or Reginald Barclay were present there were laughs to be had. But Insurrection reverses this. If you think a half naked Uhuru doing a moon dance was ridiculous, watch Picard dance and flirt with a mirror, see Data play in the hay, hear Troi and Crusher discuss their bosom, watch Worf getting pimples. It takes a special sort of person to laugh at this sort of humor and it's usually the sort who takes a special bus to go to school.

  • After 7 seasons and 2 movies Data's learning to be human is getting a little old.


I love TNG and it's great to see the main characters together again. The story is very thin and nothing particularly interesting happens. There a some good ideas, nice effects, decent acting, but it's not enough to fill a whole movie. The pacing is too slow, the other characters not interesting and everything that needs an explanation doesn't get it. It's not as bad as people say but it's not good either. 4/10
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
This is the Trek your parents grew up with
rooprect18 August 2017
What made the original Star Trek 60s show so outstanding wasn't action or special effects or twisty plots. What made it great, and the original impetus behind the genre of science fiction as penned by the masters H.G. Welles, Jules Verne, Mary Shelley et al, was the idea that science fiction can tell a cautionary tale about contemporary social and political issues.

H.G. Welles' "The Time Machine" wasn't just about a dude zipping across time and getting into trouble; it was a stark prediction of how the human race might evolve into a divided species of predators and prey. Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" wasn't just about a terminally constipated monster lumbering around in electrician's boots; it was a dire warning against humans creating and/or genetically manipulating life without being responsible enough to handle the consequences. And here in the 9th installment of the Star Trek films "Insurrection", the story isn't just about Picard & friends trying to save a planet from yet another imperial takeover; it is a poignant and self deprecating look at how humans have this thing about trampling cultures that get in the way of progress.

As my title goes, this is a throwback to some of the great social commentaries that the original Trek threw at us. It's right in league with episodes like "Patterns of Force" (about a very misguided starfleet effort to create order in a chaotic society by following the template of Nazi Germany, the "most efficient government in earth's history"), or does anyone remember the brutally symbolic Vietnam episode "A Private Little War" about a tiny planet that gets caught up as the prize between the Feds & the Klingons (USA & Russia), each superpower providing guns and weapons to their own side and escalating the conflict? "Insurrection", given the decade it was released, might've been directly inspired by the Tibet/China situation. But it's ambiguous enough that it also describes the plight of Native Americans, or even as far back as the Jews being expelled from their native homelands. The sad thing is it's still topical today; just open the newspaper and pick a region. That's the resounding point that this film makes: that even in the 23rd frickin century we are still doing it.

OK, if I haven't yet scared you off in search of some mindless spaceship shootout flick instead, then read on because it gets better. This is definitely one of the darker Treks because, like in the two TOS examples I gave you above, we get deep into the insalubrious political side of Starfleet. In other words, we realize that Starfleet aren't the lily white "good guys" we'd like them to be. In this story, Starfleet basically sucks eggs. And that's what makes it especially tense because, almost like a political thriller, Picard and the crew of the Enterprise get caught up in a moral dilemma without any backup from the cavalry. That's all I'll say about that, you gotta watch the movie to see how it turns out.

About the acting and the overall personality of the film, I thought it was great because the TNG crew really seem to have a great chemistry going, with some nice human moments and good dialogue. The price of admission is justified by one scene alone, when Data asks Worf if he's noticed that his "boobs are getting firmer" (Again, watch the movie, it'll make sense I swear).

And F. Murray Abraham playing the main villain, wow. Channeling his inner Salieri ("Amadeus"), that is, a completely amoral character with an explosive desire for revenge, he was definitely a great casting choice.

Just on a personal note, I grew up on the original Kirk-Spock-McCoy crew, and I fought the idea of accepting the Picard crew tooth & nail. They slowly wormed their way in over the years, but this is the film where I can officially say I'm a fan. If, for some reason, you're an old TOS curmudgeon who refuses to let Shatner give up the center seat, well this might be the movie that changes your mind. Too bad there's only 1 TNG movie left after this. Oh well, maybe in 20 years JJ Abrams will remake them all and we can do it all over again...
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Captain Picard is the villain here. Bad story
taz100423 July 2017
I don't usually write review unless it's really good or really bad. This obviously falls in the latter category. Having watched all the movies in the series, I don't even bother with how the special effects of movie made in 1998 is worse than Alien which was made in 1979. But it's the stupidity of the story that drove me to write this review.

I actually sympathize with the villain, the Admiral in this movie. If there is a way to benefit everyone in the galaxy, why wouldn't you? Just because few people found the planet first? They get to keep something as powerful as immortality for themselves? Just because Picard fell in love with the 300 year old woman he deny billions of people from benefiting from it? I wanted to punch Picard's face throughout the movie.

And no one else on the Enterprise object to this? Because it's an order? Everyone in Starfleet so disciplined? But then Picard has no problem disobeying direct order from Admiral.

The people of the planet also. They posses something everyone desired for centuries. Immortality. And they don't bother with any form of defense. Even tho they have the technology, they just think pacifism will save them.

Story is very immature.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
One of the strangest and most flawed 'Star Trek' films
TheLittleSongbird23 July 2017
'Star Trek: The Next Generation' may not be quite as influential or as ground-breaking as the original 'Star Trek' series (though it certainly has those elements), but quality-wise it is every bit as good with a few improvements.

Of the four films based off 'The Next Generation', the only outstanding one is 'First Contact', which was also one of the best 'Star Trek' films and a great film in general. It was always going to be a Herculean task following on from 'First Contact', and for it to be every bit as good was always going to be a big ask. Something that 'Insurrection' sadly doesn't achieve. It is nowhere near as awful as those who dislike it as said, from personal view, but in the same way that 'First Contact' is one of the best 'Star Trek' films, along with 'The Wrath of Khan' and 'The Voyage Home', 'Insurrection' is one of the weakest, it's one of the strangest and most glaringly flawed ones too along with 'Nemesis' and 'The Final Frontier'.

'Insurrection' has its strengths. It looks great, then again pretty much all the 'Star Trek' films on the most part do apart from 'The Final Frontier'. Once again, 'Insurrection' has an expansive and cinematic look, benefitting from significant technology advances. Notable also for having the first use of computer digitals for the impressive-looking spaceship sequences. The cinematography is intimate, colourful, brooding and immersive in equal measure, while the sets are meticulous in detail, the spaceship sequences look very impressive and the special effects are very likely to leave one in awe.

Having Jerry Goldsmith on board for composer always promises much, seeing as Goldsmith was a personal favourite film composer of mine and some of the best 'Star Trek' music was penned by him, and the man doesn't disappoint, with a lot of rousing, foreboding and melancholic themes, varied textures and clever use of instrumentation. 'Insurrection' does start off quite promisingly, giving the sense that the film would provoke thought, entertain and be exciting like the best 'Star Trek' films.

Patrick Stewart has the lion's share of the material, and he is effortlessly commanding and brings much dignified gravitas, a sense of fun, heart and a conflicted edge. Brent Spiner enjoys himself with neither his acting or material overdone as with the disastrous emotion-chip subplot in 'Generations'. F. Murray Abraham is on neatly sinister villain duty and Donna Murphy is affecting. The rest of the crew do their best with what they have (which is not much and they deserved better), while Jonathan Frakes does well with limited screen time. Like 'First Contact' though he fares better in the director's chair, loyal but also free.

On the other hand, the script, pacing, story and the way some of the characters are written really bring 'Insurrection' down. While there were some thought-provoking and mildly entertaining moments, the script was far too simplistic, after seeing the best 'Star Trek' films having a good deal of complexity and much better balance of tone, with not enough material to sustain the running time. It was often cheesy, littered with cringe-worthy humour (having Worf as a butt of the joke parody was dignity-destroying) and moments that make you go what the butt (love Gilbert and Sullivan just as much as the next person, and it is a very funny and great song in the context of the operetta it comes from, but it just doesn't belong here and comes over awkwardly).

As for the story, despite starting off well, it was very sluggishly paced and thinly plotted, feeling like a padded out two-parter. The final act really drags, with some of the climactic moments causing a good deal of confusion and an ending that will be a slap-in-the-face for fans. It does absolutely nothing new with its elements, didn't mind that it had all been done before but did mind that it has been done with much richer development before and it felt under-explored here. This was bland, middle of the road stuff with action that never thrills, too many what the heck moments, too much extraneous pointless filler and a romantic subplot that was under-explored, under-characterised, forced and featured too heavily in places. In fact, the film would have fared better without it.

Characters have very little development other than Picard (and even he has been better written), with generally bland villains, most of the crew being well acted but underused and some in caricature form and even those who are not the biggest 'Star Trek' enthusiasts will be embarrassed by what is done with Worf in particular.

Not a complete mess overall, but one of the weaker 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' film and one of the most problematic of the series. 5/10 Bethany Cox
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
There are some Salty Armchair Philosophers in the Review Section...
gtw-168-10551620 May 2017
This was a good episode of Star Trek. I think you could argue that it was not worth a movie when you could follow a more significant plot line (perhaps the end of hostilities between the Romulans and Federation ala Undiscovered Country, which I think they meant to do with the following movie but failed somewhat due to who was at the helm of the project). But I think it was also an attempt to add some fun for the crew (and audience), Riker shaving his beard, Picard's mambo, etc. It's great fun, decent but simple story, well executed. People arguing the philosophical questions are one, not suspending disbelief- this is the future, your problems are not the future's problems and two, forgetting the godd*mn Prime Directive. In the whole 7 seasons and movies the Prime Directive is a central theme. Yeah, let's throw it out because of a planet's potential benefits. Lastly, for some reason there are a few reviewers that are upset with the Amish aliens in the movie. Boo hoo. There are different kinds of people in the universe. Relax. Enjoy the movie.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Picard and the crew must disobey orders to follow the Prime Directive
Tweekums6 April 2017
Warning: Spoilers
This, the ninth 'Star Trek' film, the third featuring the TNG crew, opens on a tranquil, apparently pre-industrial planet. The population, the Ba'ku, are being observed by a cloaked survey team which consists of Federation personnel as well as aliens known as the Son'a. This joint operation includes Data who apparently malfunctions and exposes the mission to the surprised Ba'ku. Admiral Dougherty, the senior Star Fleet officer on the mission, contacts Captain Picard to request Data's schematics so he can be shut down; Picard takes the Enterprise to the area to do it himself. Not long after arriving certain things become apparent; most notably the Ba'ku aren't as primitive as believed and the Son'a and Dougherty's mission goes against Star Fleet's Prime Directive. The crew of the Enterprise must follow their consciences and disobey Dougherty's orders… a choice that could lead to a direct confrontation.

When I first watched this film I was somewhat disappointed; watching it again I found that I really enjoyed it. In many ways it does feel like the plot from a two-part TV episode but that isn't a bad thing. The Ba'ku look like so many societies we've seen before; a small society of human looking aliens living a peaceful technology-free lifestyle; all filmed in Californian locations that look like ones used in so many episodes. The Son'a meanwhile are far more alien in appearance… nobody will be surprised that the good looking young Ba'ku turn out to be the good guys while the ugly Son'a are the villains of the film. The story has plenty of exciting moments that increase as we approach the conclusion. There is also the gentle humour one would expect from the series. The regular cast are all on good form and the guest stars also impress; most notably Donna Murphy, as the Baku woman Picard grows close to; F. Murray Abraham as the unpleasant leader of the Son'a and Anthony Zerbe as Admiral Dougherty. As one would expect the special effects are impressive as the larger movie budget shows in the number of effects and amount of action. Overall I'd say this was a fine addition to the series of Star Trek films.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Satisfying, but not particularly memorable...
Filipe Neto3 April 2017
This movie is the ninth of the franchise. The script is based on a conspiracy in which the Federation plans to destroy a planet defended by the Enterprise crew, who decides to mutiny. Honestly, it's not a bad idea but we've seen so many movies about high-level conspiracies (governments, states, etc.) that everything becomes a bit predictable from a certain moment. Patrick Stewart did not disappoint the fans and did quite well in this film, as did Brent Spiner, who plays a very important role in the screenplay. It is a film with a dramatic charge more intense than some of its predecessors. CGI and the special effects seemed good to me and were used consciously, without exaggeration but, despite these merits and being a movie worth watching, there's nothing to make this movie striking or memorable.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
An Underrated Effort
zkonedog12 March 2017
Though often reviewed as a typical "odd numbered" Star Trek movie (for some reason, the even numbered movies in the series have performed much better than the even numbers), Star Trek: Insurrection is actually a rather strong forte into the Trek universe.

The conflict of this film works on two levels: First, there is the conflict between two races of people (a plot point as old as time but one that, if done right, can be quite effective). Second, there is the conflict between Captain Jean-Luc Picard (and thus his crew) against upper-ranking Federation officials, who want to violate the sacred Prime Directive of the universe. Both of those areas of conflict, acting simultaneously throughout the movie, are surprisingly effective and compelling.

Besides the effectiveness of the main plot, however, this film also (much like the previous First Contact film) contains some interesting and humorous character development. While trying to rescue a persecuted race of people, the crew of the Enterprise investigates a planet on which the effects of aging are reversed. Thus, while the android Data is unaffected, other characters are taken on an interesting hormonal journey: Worf begins acting like a typical (violent!) Klingon youth, Crusher and Troi notice certain, um, body parts firming up, and Geordi LaForge regains the use of his natural eyes.

To conclude, Star Trek: Insurrection, while generally regarded as a sub-par effort, actually breaks the "odd-bad, even-good" chain of Star Trek movies. If you are new to the Star Trek universe and are interested in this movie, I would recommend watching the previous film, First Contact, in order to get a better handle on the Next Generation characters before watching this film. If you thoroughly enjoyed First Contact, this movie (with its action/adventure combined with great human drama and humor) will not disappoint you.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Moral question is sound, story is more detailed than I remembered
Edmund Bloxam10 February 2017
I read somebody ranting about the 'selfishness' of the people who would not give up their land (although actually, they were never asked, but that's by the by) for the 'common good'. A good contemporary analogy is to Native Americans being kicked out of their homes for oil. Everyone benefits from oil. However, the moral of this movie directly refers to forced relocation. Destroy the people and their culture for material gain (not 'prevent endless suffering').

There is an environmentalist point interwoven here too. Destroy the world for gain (let's say the oil was actually...oh, right, there isn't a better analogy)-this is science fiction-the resource is 'health juice'- find some other way to become healthier rather than destroy a people and its culture.

Anyway, the only problem I had with this movie was pacing. I wanted more Anij and Picard, to take it the sights a bit more. Even slightly longer lingering shots of spaceships shooting each other. I thought the battles were taught and rhythmic though--you don't need one hundred ships for a good movie battle. Probably too many characters requiring screen time. You don't need to give EVERYONE deep character development-so, more Data, or more Troi/Riker.

But it was all there. The action and plot made sense. There were no holes. I thought the 'insurrection' was not a real insurrection first time round (even the writer thought he could have slotted in a Starfleet ship or something to make it look like the crew was fighting their bosses), but the interaction with the admiral and Picard covered that. Link to 'Magnificent Seven' was amusing. (Caves were a reasonable hideout-anything more, which is what they wanted, would not have fitted in with 'natural planet'.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Some of it's good, some of it's bad
Eric Stevenson6 January 2017
As one of the last "Star Trek" movies I've seen, I don't have much of a strong opinion on this one. The things that work work, but the things that don't work, don't work. I really thought this should have been longer. Like the "Doctor Who" movie, I got the feeling that I was just watching a long episode of the show. I guess I can't judge as I've never seen the show, but that's not what you should feel when watching a movie. A lot of this film is also just plain boring. There's way too much dialogue in the first half. They do get some pretty decent action scenes later, but it takes too long.

I guess in order for me to judge it, I'd have to be more familiar with the mythos, but I know a lot already. I actually do like the scenes where Data is talking with the boy about playing. It shows an interesting perspective for the both of them. The idea is kind of interesting too with the crew helping hundreds of people evacuate. Unfortunately, there isn't that much payoff and the other films just did it so much better. One of the people looked like William Shatner! It would have worked better as an episode of the show as there wasn't enough story to stretch out an entire movie. So, this one's just okay. I think most people agree with me. **1/2
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Quite possibly the worst Star Trek movie I've seen
WakenPayne20 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
When it comes to my viewing experiences with Star Trek I've seen 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8. I'd also put the reboot films in there as well (the first 2, haven't seen the new one) but honestly... they don't count in my eyes. The end result of this movie is a bore possibly moreso than the first one because at least the first one had a lot of very interesting ideas in it's second half. Also the script in this is so bad virtually everyone is unlikeable.

The plot is that Data has gone haywire while observing a planet full of people who don't believe in technology (I do mean people in the sense that they didn't do a make-up job on the actors to make them look like... you know, aliens) and exposes a Federation base that could have easily been built in space. Meanwhile Picard accepts a new race into The Federation and gets informed about Data and he decides to try and stop him... by singing the HMS Pinafore... I know the reasoning behind it but how is anyone supposed to look at that scene and not think "What the hell?".

After that surprisingly works evidently they find out that Data's morality took over (Yes, because morality can be totally programmable facts in the future!) and they find a huge machine to take the population of 600 (remember this) on a Holo-deck replica of their village. It also turns out that the reason the Federation wants them off without consulting them (oh it gets better) is that the planet can actually stop ageing and work medical miracles (should I remind that they hate technology and the people who use it?). Oh and as a reminder these people are not the inhabitants of the planet and there are these other group of aliens who want the planets properties because they're dying (oh and it also says it's the needs of 600 people vs the needs of billions!) and spoilers but they are the same race as the technology haters but exiled off the planet because they dared offered a different viewpoint... Oh but the technology hating people are the GOOD GUYS.

I really don't see why this movie needed to exist. The technology hating aliens are actually constantly saved by it and this tries to push the whole "re-connect with nature" and how warp capability is bad because "where could it take us except away from here" Yes because Space exploration in the Star Trek universe is pretty boring I guess. Oh and the Federation really doesn't help with forcing them off without realizing it happened. Virtually there is so much against each side in this movie that I really wonder how the first Star Trek movie is considered to be worse than it. It at least when seeing something that needed explanation, they at least explained it rather than this movie's (and I swear I'm not kidding) "No more questions".

So aside from a REALLY bad script whose reaction from me was "between this and The Phantom Menace no wonder the genre of Space Opera died for a while in summer blockbusters!" What else do I have to say about this? For a Star Trek movie this has no interesting ideas. The rest left me with something but no, this left me with nothing but the thought of the cast and the cinematography being wasted when the idea of F Murray Abraham playing a Star Trek villain who could have been a tragic villain alongside Patrick Stewart's Jean-Luc Picard really screams more awesome as an idea. If they just revamped the entire idea of the Baku and threw in something interesting to walk away with after the movie's over then I'm not sure if it would be good but it would have been a lot better than this!
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
One of the best Star Trek films that deserves more love!
id24717 December 2016
I grew up with the original TV series in the 60's, so for me Star Trek: Insurrection is a closer representation of Gene Roddenbury's philosophy than many of the films preceding it.

Within the adventure itself it covers Roddenbury's issues about how man continues to evolve, dealing with each other, and the environment around us.

Picard's relationship with Anij is a joy to behold, and although there's plenty of action to satisfy us, it is the quieter moments that remain the strongest in the mind.

Thank you Jonathan Frakes!
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Not Too Bad Of A Film
Rainey Dawn9 November 2016
This is not too bad of a Star Trek film, but it's not the greatest one of the bunch. I feel this film would have been better if left to an episode of The Next Generation than a full length film. They could have cut out some of the unnecessary parts of the movie and left us with the "meat" of the film in a TV episode. But it's still not too bad of watch.

The film starts out with Data acting strange, killing people, Picard and Worf have to stop him. Once Data is corrected the film really begins with an alien race trying to take over a peaceful planet -- Picard and crew has to put an end to it all and restore peace again.

This one is worth watching if you are a die hard Star Trek fan - in particular a fan of The Next Generation.

0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
humor and love, no way
trashgang7 November 2016
Oh my God, this was for me a terrible flick and hard to watch because what the hell has this to do with Star Trek and the effects were sometimes done with cheap CGI so it was easy to spot when spaceships were made of pure CGI.

Here we do have it again, humor added to the story with for example the Klingon and his pimple on his face. Total crap. And the love added to the story even makes it more laughable, you don't need that in a Star Trek flick.

I can understand why those second generation flicks weren't made with a lot of money.

Gore 0/5 Nudity 0/5 Effects 2/5 Story 2/5 Comedy 0/5
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
The least of the four Next Generation films, but has its highlights
Wuchak31 October 2016
Released in 1998 and directed by Jonathan Frakes, "Star Trek: Insurrection" is the third Star Trek film featuring the Next Generation cast. The plot revolves around a serene alien race, the Ba'ku, whose planet offers regenerative radiation and therefore extremely long lifespans; moreover, they live in harmony with their environment and reject advanced technology. With the aid of an alien race called the Son'a, the Federation secretly (deceptively) researches the Ba'ku culture, but the Son'a intend to take the planet for themselves and others who secretly want to regenerate their bodies (i.e. drink of the 'Fountain of Youth'). The problem is that Captain Picard and the Enterprise-E crew are loyal to the Prime Directive.

The plot is good with some interesting ideas — the paradisal planet where immortality is nigh reality — but something prevents the movie from taking off and soaring. It's decent; it's just underwhelming and doesn't always 'click.' Some kinks needed worked out in the creation process.

The film runs 103 minutes and was shot in California at Convict Lake, Mammoth Lakes Park; San Gabriel Dam, Angeles National Forest; Lake Sherwood; Bishop; and Paramount Studios, Los Angeles.

0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Not as bad as some made it out to be
freemantle_uk8 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Following the success of Star Trek: First Contact, it was hardly surprising to see a sequel being quickly commissions, coming in the form of Star Trek: Insurrection.

After a number of conflicts the Federation seek to make alliances with new races, including some of the less savoury factions in the galaxy, one of them being the Son'a. The Son'a and the Federation are working together to study a planet that has a produces a radiation that could be the key to medical breakthroughs. However to harvest this radiation it would require removing the Amish like residents, The Baku, leading to Picard (Patrick Stewart) and crew of the Enterprise rebel against their superiors to The Baku.

Star Trek: Insurrection is often criticised for being no more than an extended episode of the series, being a small scale story and action - the run time is only just over 90 minutes and the settings looking like a TV show. The moral dilemma presented by the film has also been criticised, manufacturing a conflict, by making out the villains desperate to take the planet, instead of forming a colony. Even Patrick Stewart said he would have evicted the Baku. The screenplay needed refining to justify the conflict. The film's attempt at comedy is also misguided, using Worf (Michael Dorn) as the butt of jokes.

Despite these problems Star Trek: Insurrection is a perfect, decent, if average Trek adventure. It has a nice touch of tying the film with the wider franchise, great for fans of the series but adds some wider context for non-fans. Even with its televisual look and special effects the final third has some decent action sequences, the small team using the caves of the hold out against the Son'a forces.

Also the criticism of 'Insurrection' being like an extended episode is a flawed one. It might be small scale but it is better than a film that is better for the sake of being bigger - especially hard considering the previous film was the excellent 'First Contact'.

It was also fun to see the Son'a going through their medical processes to keep themselves alive, using face stretching technique similar to what Ida Lowry received in the classic Terry Gillam film Brazil.

Whilst Star Trek: Insurrection pales in comparison to 'First Contact' and other great films in the series, but it is better then what follows in the form of 'Nemesis' that attempted to be too dark.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A two-part series episode doesn't necessarily play on the big screen.
Jonathan Fisk27 July 2016
Warning: Spoilers
About half-way through Insurrection, I was somewhat expecting "To Be Continued" to pop up on the screen. It felt like one of The Next Generation's two- part episodes as opposed to a movie. It's hard to blame the writers for taking this approach with the Enterprise-E crew. While the Borg was an incredible villain, most of the TNG series was introspective, examining the human condition and artificial intelligence. This perspective played very well throughout much of the series, but the problem is that is doesn't translate into film. And this might be the downfall of the Next Gen crew as the holders of the movie franchise. The previous film, First Contact, wasn't very philosophical, it instead focused on Picard's struggle with vengeance against a powerful and personal enemy. It made for an exciting Star Trek film with both action and intrigue with the Zefram Cochran warp-speed plot. Insurrection fails in its ability to deliver both of these.

First of all, giving credit where it is due, it was interesting for Star Trek to examine the sad cases in history of the forced removal of peaceful people. Though it was a little annoying that this group of people were entirely beautiful and white. Did the filmmakers think that this would make the audience have more sympathy for them, that it was ironic, or were they just not thinking? But these same people were also very dull. Sure, it was cool to see Picard have an age-appropriate (sort of) girlfriend, but otherwise it was difficult to feel much sympathy for the Baku. They should not have to lose their land and culture, but shouldn't these people find a way to share this "fountain of youth" with society in order to help prevent disease?

Maybe the Baku would have had more time to discuss this with the Enterprise crew if they didn't have a petulant baby trying to capture them. The film's villain, Ru'afo, has to be the most annoying bad guy in the entire film franchise. He's also less sinister than Sybok (sorry to bring that up). Heck, he's less sinister than the whale-loving space probe, at least that could destroy the planet Earth. Basically, a whining brat is trying to get everything he wants while getting a facelift from stylists in tight-fitting clothes. There's nothing scary about him; disgusting, but not very threatening or interesting. Without an effective villain, the Next Gen crew's conversations about youth and forced relocation end up slowly dragging the film.

The effects are very high quality, as the studio gives more and more money to the franchise, and it is funny to see all of the crew revert back to adolescence. But the plot, villain, and pacing makes this feel so much more like an episode of the series rather than a film. In fact, the film might be much more enjoyable if the viewer stops half-way through and finishes it up a week later. That might be something worth trying, but for someone else because I don't think I can take watching Ru'afo ever again.

Some final thoughts: Worf going through Klingon puberty might be worth its own film. Jonathan Frakes, how long have you been waiting to have scenes like that with Marina Sirtis? Also, how did a movie with such a simple plot get so convoluted with those three space ships at its climax? I must have missed something as I was zoning out. And you would think that the Federation would not get so easily used by such a screaming idiot as Ru'afo. Oh well, the scenic shots were nice.

*My film rating follows the soccer player rating measure of 6 as a baseline: you did what was expected of you. This film is a 5 because it attempts to hold to what made the Next Generation series successful as it confronts the horrible act of forced relocation, but its complete lack of a compelling villain makes the plot feel too dull and the strong acting and effects can't carry the movie.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Going amicably enough where we've all gone before
Will22 July 2016
Warning: Spoilers
"Star Trek: Insurrection" is a mildly enjoyable entry for the film franchise. Much like "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier", ILM was left out of the effects work on this one and it shows. It shows big time. Unlike that film, this one is competent in other ways, despite shoddy effects work. Jonathan Frakes continued to prove he deserved to make it big as a director, and he continues the gentle good humor, quick pacing, and eye to detail he showed in the last installment. So to this day I am saddened he didn't make it as a big studio director, since he so clearly shows the talent for it.

The cast is fine, the story is bland but just engaging enough, and the movie generally achieves what it sets out to do. It might be one of the entries that is less accessible for the uninitiated, however. 3 (out of 4)
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
The Seven Samurai of Star Trek Films
Thomas Drufke18 July 2016
Well, okay, it's nowhere near as good as the classic, Seven Samurai, but 'Insurrection' plays very much like Star Trek's tribute to Seven Samurai. A task many films have attempted and failed to do, but with a formidable script and solid performances, I had some fun with Star Trek Insurrection.

Though I enjoyed the film, I don't really understand why they changed up the formula from the previous installment, First Contact. Instead of feeling like the next step in the film series, Insurrection seemed like an extended The Next Generation episode. It doesn't take away from the quality of the film, but it does feel like the spectacle of the other films was taken out of it.

Picard and his crew stumble upon a possible conspiracy on a guarded but medically advanced planet and take matters into their own hands. Unlike either of the previous two TNG films, there is a legitimate attempt at character development. For someone who wasn't a viewer of the TV series, I was grateful for it. With that said, the push for a romantic interest for both Picard and Riker felt forced. Whether it was the acting, writing, or direction the romance angle didn't feel like a natural progression of the story.

Being that it does feel similar to a Seven Samurai-esque story, I found myself more attached to Data's developing relationship with the young boy from the village. As well as the increasingly intriguing story behind why there is an alien race set on abducting an entire planet of people. Both of those story points worked well.

Sure, there are a few editing issues and plenty of scenes that don't work or even make sense at all, but the different approach to this Star Trek adventure proved to be all I needed to enjoy my time watching Insurrection.


+Interesting plot developments late in the game

-Romantic subplots

-Extended TV episode approach didn't always pan out

0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
old school Star Trek
SnoopyStyle15 May 2016
A joint Federation–Son'a group is secretly observing the Ba'ku when Data goes rogue and reveals their position. Admiral Matthew Dougherty contacts the Enterprise for Data's schematics to shut him down. Captain Picard ignores Dougherty's command and cuts short his mission to stop Data himself. After repairing Data, they discover that this is sinister plot between some in the Federation and the Son'a. Picard decides to ignore command and do what's right.

This is an old school Star Trek story. The ideas and the morality have the great basic Star Trek DNA. The problem is that it's executed poorly. It's not big enough. I have problems with the logic of the sinister plot. The humor is awkward. I can see this as a solid episode of the TV show. However, it doesn't work quite as well when it's upgraded to a theatrical release.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Even the TNG cast can't save the audience from boredom
Daniel Loe5 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
While not overly bad, or even necessarily a bad movie, Insurrection is a bland, forgettable and ultimately uninspired movie. Look, I love Star Trek, and I love TNG (easily the best of the series), but this movie is not anything worth watching. Say what you will about Nemesis, but that movie at least gave us a story that seemed to motivate the characters. Here the whole, crew has to rebel against the federation to save these people seems forced. Would the federation really agree to misplace an entire planet full of people, especially since they're so into that whole 'non-interference' thing, you know, THE PRIME DIRECTIVE. While the trope of a bad Starfleet guy has been used before, they never acted with the approval of the Federation before. Like, seriously. Maybe I missed something, but that's not even the worst of it. The whole reasoning about why the immortality thing only works on this one planet felt so contrived, and beyond that the people's powers seem undefined and vague. But let's be honest, I can overlook plot-holes, no really I can. I even enjoy movies that aren't necessarily well made, that might even have gaping plot holes, but those have to give me something to like them. Here, it's just a bland, 100 minute movie filled with uninteresting side characters and some really forgettable villains. I know there's the whole, this is just like an episode of the TV series, but the two-part episodes in TNG were way better than this. This movie is more like a two-part episode of Voyager. While it is fun to see the crew behaving a little more…young, it more or less just feels like an excuse to have them act out of character. The Son'a aren't overly interesting either, which doesn't help matters, though their back-story felt like it had potential. They just kind of have a dull plain and they never get much personality of their own, aside from their obsession with immortality. Seriously, this is only worth watching if you're a trekkie, and even then, this isn't a movie you want to re-watch too much. I know most people site Nemesis or Enterprise as the reason they had to reboot the franchise, but this was the first step down that path.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Resurrect It.
Python Hyena15 March 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Star Trek: Insurrection (1998): Dir: Jonathan Frakes / Cast: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiners, Michael Dorn, F. Murray Abraham: Ninth Star Trek film is about rising up against civil and political authority. It involves a race of 600 people called the Ba'ku whose lives span many years. They are peaceful but enemies wish to conquer the land and discover the youth secret. Commander Data suffers a malfunction and Captain Piccard is ordered to destroy the android. Director Jonathan Frakes presents many surprises all the while providing humour with amusing developments with the crew. He does a fine job as director and everything seems well in place particularly the production. Frakes shaves his beard to impress a female. This is funny considering what his job requirements are. One would think that impressing a female would be easy on board the Enterprise. Patrick Stewart as Piccard is compelling as always in his concern for Data as well as the well being of these people on the planet. Brent Spiners presents the curiosity Data who encounters problems with a malfunction. Michael Dorn is featured as Worf. F. Murray Abraham joins the cast to remind viewers how great he was in Amadeus, and what he brings here. With the expected splendid makeup effects this ninth installment is visually stunning light entertainment that will please fans of the series. Score: 9 / 10
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
I liked this one !
RealLiveClaude17 January 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Sorry for those who did not like, I did enjoy this "Next Generation" flick as it was close to most episodes I have viewed from the TV series.

Picard uncovers a secret Federation plot driven by a mad Admiral and a vengeance-driven former native to deport residents from a planet which has some regenerative factors. Picard and his crew must turn rogue to prevent a certain "Prime Directive" derogation...

Though it looks more a "TNG" episode here, I found this movie quite entertaining. Jonathan Frakes did a good job of directing here. It is a good plot, reminiscent of what Star Trek has entertained us for years.

And Picard in love ? Not since Vash have we seen the Captain fall over for a woman... Same for Riker and his "Imzadi" ! At least better than "Star Trek V" or "Generations"...
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
An average Star Trek Movie
fpaterson10 September 2015
Some people say this is the worst Star Trek movie, I don't know if I would go that far.I would say its still worth watching. I think its one of them films where you make your own opinion, so watch it and make your own decision. Don't let anybody else push your opinion one way or the other. Some people say its nothing more exciting than a double television episode but so what? It is Star Trek it came from the TV the next generation cast were all from the small screen, the cast crew were mostly the same, why change the chemistry if it works? I really don't know what people were expecting. Its good enough for me, I enjoyed all the Star Trek films and I watch because I enjoy them.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews