Star Trek: Insurrection (1998)

5.5 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 7/10

Nice locations

Feels like a long, boring episode, too much goofiness from the Enterprise crew

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Star Trek:  Insurrection

Studio:  Paramount Pictures

Genre(s):  Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  December 11, 1998

MPAA Rating:  PG


Set your phasors for “Boring”

During a special mission on an isolated planet, Data (Brent Spiner) has seemingly gone crazy.  When the Enterprise investigates, they learn that the Federation is secretly planning to move the planet’s inhabitants called the Ba’ku so an alien group obsessed with youth called the Son’a can help harvest a special radiation that could be the Fountain of Youth for Federation which is facing desperate attacks.  Jean Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and a team from the Enterprise must stop the forced exodus and expose to the Federation what is occurring to the Ba’ku.


No Data…no singing…

Directed by Jonathan Frakes, Star Trek:  Insurrection (or Star Trek IX:  Insurrection) followed the popular 1996 Star Trek:  First Contact.  The movie was met with mixed to moderately positive reviews, but is often considered one of the worst sequels among fans.

Part of the problem with Star Trek:  Insurrection is that I enjoyed Star Trek:  First Contact a lot and had high hopes going into the film.  I had always enjoyed the Star Trek:  The Next Generation cast and was actually more familiar with them than the original cast.  Instead of fun, I get Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Troi (Marina Sirtis) having bad make out sessions, Picard dancing, romancing another woman (Donna Murphy), and singing Gilbert and Sullivan songs from the H. M. S. Pinafore with Worf (Michael Dorn)…who just happens to be stopping by…again.  It just swung from too silly to ho-hum too quickly.


Always ackward when your boss starts screaming like a girl…

The other thing weird about the plot is that it seems like a bit of a non-issue.  It feels like A) something could be brokered with the Ba’ku to share this huge planet for tourists (I guess a cut scene involved the popular Deep Space 9 Ferengi Rom trying to do this) or B) move the people as planned…yeah, that’s kind of cold, but the medical benefits could be wide reaching.  It feels kind of selfish of the Ba’ku to keep this hidden wonder from others, and if they aren’t going to be relocated, something needs to be set up for study.

The movie does look pretty good however.  The Sierra Nevada mountains make a nice different setting, and I actually like when big sci-fi uses naturalistic settings…it makes the movie seem more real…the space stuff is ok and not very different from other Star Trek films, but I didn’t expect much different from that.


Just need a little facelift…

Despite the bad scenes in the movie (aka the singing and make-out sessions), there are some decent actor moments.  While Data had been quite annoying in the movies due to his emotion chip, this movie is fine…because he left it behind.  I also liked that LeVar Burton got to dump his wacky eyes for a while and see a sunset.  F. Murray Abraham does make a decent villain in Ahdar Ru’afo, and I also find it ironic that Anthony Zerbe gets his face pulled tight since his character in License to Kill had a similar looking death.

Star Trek:  Insurrection isn’t a bad movie…it isn’t a movie at all.  While having some booming big effects, the “movie” really just feels like a big, long episode of Star Trek:  The Next Generation.  I go to a Star Trek film wanting something bigger and better than the TV show.  The failure can be written up to the Star Trek “curse” of every other movie being dull, but Star Trek:  Insurrection is followed by Star Trek:  Nemesis in 2002 which kind of throws that whole pattern out the window.

Preceded By:

Star Trek:  First Contact (1996)

Followed By:

Star Trek:  Nemesis (2002)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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