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Star Trek: Generations entertains with lots of action

Star Trek: Generations

Directed by David Carson.

Written by Ronald D. Moore and Brannon Braga.

Starring Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, Malcolm McDowell, James Doohan, Walter Koenig, and William Shatner.

Loews Cheri.

By Charolette Iverson

Watching the new Star Trek movie Generations is a like a long car ride on a bumpy road. The movie is packed with enough asteroids, explosions, "lucky coincidences," and clich "bad guys in black suits" to make just about anyone sick to their stomach. Enough with the jiggling cameras and escapes from dangling bridges! What - did the screenwriters think they were writing a western?

As if the action isn't exaggerated enough, the movie's plot consists of a shadowy villain who is wants to propel himself to a heaven/nirvana "Nexus" at the expense of an entire solar system and a few hundred thousand lifeforms. Needless to say, the good Captians Kirk (William Shatner) and Picard (Patrick Stewart) are immune to the Nexus' siren-like addiction and are able to walk away without any signs of withdrawal.

The movie's subplots revolve around the magical tri-lithium weapon that will enable the main villain, Dr. Soran (Malcolm McDowell), to destroy a star. Of course, the Klingons want it, and they are willing to assist Dr. Soran with his evil plan if he will share the secret with them.

The Enterprise becomes involved when Romulans attack the observatory where Dr. Soran is working. In order to escape and carry out his devious plan, Dr. Soran abducts Geordi (LeVar Burton), chief engineer of the Enterprise. The challenge then becomes the captain's responsibility to discover Soran's plot with the aid of Data (Brent Spiner), an android aboard the Enterprise, who finds it difficult to concentrate due to his new emotion chip.

Guinan, played by Whoopi Goldberg, is a soulful adviser working as bartender on the Enterprise. It is discovered that she was on the same ship Kirk risked his life for in a struggle with Soran earlier in the movie. She gives Picard little information on Soran, and informs the audience of the addictive powers of the Nexus.

Upon discovering the maniacal plot of Soran and racing to the scene, Picard trades himself for Geordi under the condition that he's first transported to the surface of the planet where Soran holds the fate of millions of people in his little rocket.

It then becomes man against man in physical and mental confrontation. Picard fails, gets sucked into the Nexus, and, for a time, lives in the fairy tale world of family, children, and happiness of Christmas. Sacrificing his own happiness and the opportunity to live forever, Picard is directed by Guinan's "shadow" in the Nexus to Kirk, in a pivotal "past meets present" sequence.

Supposedly the producers have the two captains act the way they do for the good of the planets and innocent people, but the rationale of the story presented in the movie is a bit sketchy. They do it for the "adventure" or more for the effect of the two captains fighting side by side in this most anticipated of Star Trek films.

Picard just isn't himself in this movie. It's as if all the captains, including Riker (Jonathan Frakes) when he's in command, take on the same type of management style: dictatorial - as if they alone knew the answers, never asking for advice and asking for only minimal information, and taking on all positions of the team (strategist, engineer, etc.).

Other personality elements of the new Enterprise crew produce mixed results. Yes, my fellow Star Trek fans, Data now has emotions, and his "personality" isn't the only thing changing. Though the emotion chip is played out well and the character is quite intriguing, makeup and general appearance are detrimental to the character. White shoe polish with glitter and so unlike the android Data we know - could a personality chip change the components of his "skin"?

Makeup and general appearance of the extremely small female crew of the Enterprise are soap-opera-perfect in every scene through crashes and the carnage of wounded bodies. But maybe looking good is the trade-off for not being able to speak, for there is very little of that occurring on the Enterprise. However, aboard the Klingon ship, the female crew speaks enough to be controlled by Soran and stupidly attacks the Enterprise.

The film truly is a Captain's ship and show. Though the script is too limiting and pushes the tolerance level of the audience to its limit, both actors stay true to their characters. William Shatner is in true melodramatic form - humorous, adventurous, and impressive overall. Patrick Stewart shines as brightly as this starring role and faulty script allow for. Stewart is dignified even when squirming through a hole in a rock and a force field.

Teresa Esser '95 contributed to the writing of this review.