Star Trek: Insurrection
The people behind the feature-film arm of the Star Trek franchise have a combination of the easiest and hardest jobs in the world. With such a dedicated core audience, it's unlikely that anything they release will be an outright failure. On the other hand, that same core audience includes some of the pickiest people in the world, and each new film has to satisfy both Star Trek fans and mainstream movie audiences. The threat that each installment will be viewed as simply another episode for which the price of admission has been attached hangs over each film. That's a charge against which Star Trek: Insurrection would have trouble defending itself. In just about every way, Insurrection seems as if everyone involved is still stuck in the weekly grind of turning out the series, but the results don't disappoint too terribly. This time out, the Enterprise crew defends a technology-rejecting settlement on a paradisical planet (which, from the look of things, appears to be located somewhere in western Colorado) blessed with eternal youth and health. Heavily made-up B-list Academy Award winner F. Murray Abraham does the necessary threatening, but the majority of the film concerns the subplots allotted to each crew member. Patrick Stewart's Captain Picard falls in love, rather arbitrarily, and some not particularly surprising developments involve other characters. Corny jokes occur side by side with the requisite tense space battles, as well as moments designed to appeal to those who have followed the Next Generation series religiously for 11 years. Regardless of cast, the nine Star Trek films have pretty much been divided among installments that transcend the series (The Wrath Of Khan, First Contact), those that fall short of it (Star Trek V), and those that do little more than satisfy its standards. Insurrection falls squarely into the third category, set apart primarily as probably the first Star Trek product to feature a joke revolving around the word "boobs."