The Captains is a feature length documentary film written and directed by William Shatner. The film follows Shatner as he interviews the other actors who have portrayed Starship captains within the illustrious science-fiction franchise.
In this follow-up to the popular 1997 documentary, Denise Crosby returns for another look at fans of the "Star Trek" franchise. This time there are interviews with fans from other countries, updates on fans featured in the first film, and performances by "Star Trek"-themed "filk" bands. Written by
Comparisons to the first are inevitable and not favourable.
This reprise of the 1996 film 'Trekkies' was an unnecessary undertaking in light of the success of the original which was more concerned with the Star Trek phenomenon in the United States whereas this film expands its reach to the rest of the world. In this way, Trekkies 2 lacks focus and direction and is overall less interesting because, despite obvious language differences, are essentially the same as the American Star Trek fans exhibited in the first film.
This fact is one of Trekkies 2's only preoccupations and as a result is unable to provide Nygard with as compelling material as the first. He is less focused as well, deciding to introduce each new city or nation with an superfluous stereotypical montage of its major attractions which adds nothing to our understanding of Star Trek fans or the series itself. This film misses the real story of how these differences in nationality effect each individual Trekkie's response to the Star Trek universe. This was not adequately explored in the first, nor this film.
The problem really is that Nygard had created such a fascinating documentary on this subject matter. Part of its appeal was its relatively short running time combined with sprawling structure, great interview subjects which contributed to the feeling of a vast subculture around Star Trek and, as all documentaries should aim to do, a resulting urge to learn more about Star Trek outside what the film presented to us. Bettering his 1996 effort was always going to be difficult as, despite tackling a more expansive geographical area, it seems to be more restricted and scraping the bottom of the barrel. It betrays the virtues of the original.
** / *****
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