Commonly criticized for being little more than an inflated two-part TV episode, Star Trek Insurrection failed to excite critics or make a dent at the box office. Given this, fans could be forgiven for hoping for the best when it was announced that Oscar-nominated editor turned director Stuart Baird was to helm the next film from a script by one of the Oscar-nominated writers of Ridley Scott’s Gladiator: John Logan.
Sadly for audiences and the franchise, the result was Star Trek Nemesis, a joyless dud with uninspired direction and a script barely better than fan fiction. The film was met with a series low at the box office and a collective shrug from most critics. As a result, Star Trek, once a crown jewel of Paramount, would disappear from movie theaters for seven years.
But just what was wrong with the script, beyond its poor characterization, unfocused plot, ham-fisted twins theme, and wall-to-wall illogic? You guessed it — or the title gave it away — it’s one of the dumbest Star Trek movies ever. How dumb? Let me count the ways.
14. B-4 Contrivances
Everything about Data’s double, B-4, is utter rubbish. The degree of contrivance employed is mind-boggling. The audience is expected to believe:
1) Shinzon’s minions (now there’s a title) conveniently “found” (his word) a Soong-built android that looks identical to a trusted officer of Picard’s and 2) despite having no similar positronic technology, modify it, then 3) drop it in pieces on some remote planet that Shinzon somehow knows the Enterprise will be within range to detect while en-route from the Riker-Troi wedding to planet Betazed, and 4) that nobody will be suspicious that this deactivated and disassembled twin is transmitting positronic signatures that stay on when disassembled, then 5) is certain not only that the Enterprise will detect it, but divert to track it down, and 6) assume that they’re going to assemble this unknown right away and that they’ll trust it enough for it to be used for subterfuge.
Finally, 7) Shinzon’s counting on Starfleet to send Picard specifically to Romulus. Mind you, cameo Janeway doesn’t indicate that Picard or the Enterprise was requested for, so Shinzon’s assuming all his machinations will get Starfleet to do exactly what he wants. Any one of these would be far-fetched, but to pile them on this deep is to insult the intelligence of the audience.