Picard and Kirk together again for the first time? Malcolm McDowell as the villain? It sounds like a dream come true for Star Trek fans. Sadly, Star Trek Generations fails to live up to expectations and - as far as I'm concerned - should never have been made. That's not to say that it isn't a decent movie because it is (barely). What I object to is the somewhat desperate rewrite of Star Trek history and the cinematic death of Captain James T. Kirk. Kirk - and William Shatner - deserved much better than this. I think even Spock would have to shake his head and say what a ridiculous way to bid a final goodbye to the original and eternal Star Trek icon. The film has a number of other problems, as well, the sum of which adds up to this being the silliest film in franchise history.
We start out with Kirk, Scotty, and Chekhov joining the ceremonial voyage of a new U.S.S. Enterprise in 2293. Before the ship can return to dock, it receives a distress signal and, albeit reluctantly, rushes to the scene. The ship is ill-equipped to deal with any problem - many of its men and materiel have yet to arrive and it has the great misfortune of being commanded by some namby-pamby no-name who shouldn't have lasted a week at Starfleet Academy. This joker probably needs ten minutes to decide which shoe to tie first in the morning. It's up to Kirk to save the day, as always - but at great personal cost. Now we jump ahead seventy-eight years, where Picard and his Enterprise arrive at a solar observatory that has been attacked by Romulans. Among the survivors is Dr. Tolian Soren (Malcolm McDowell), a man with a dangerous agenda all his own - to return to the Neverland reality of the Nexus. Surprisingly enough, McDowell generates no sense of menace or even great importance, even when he's in the process of decimating entire worlds. Deanna Troi should have been able to take this guy out, but it turns out that only the dream team of Picard and Kirk has any chance of stopping him.
This story's subplots don't do the film any great favors, either - especially the one involving Data and his emotion chip. Remember how Spock kept cursing during Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home? Now that was funny. In Star Trek Generations, we get Data with his emotion chip installed, which turns him in to an incredibly annoying character who behaves like an immature teenager, cowers in fear like a little girl, and pretty much destroys any attempt for the viewer to take this film seriously. If you want character development - not that it's all that important in a movie based on a series that ran for seven years - you have to look solely to Picard, who must deal with tragedy and personal regret in the performance of his duties here. And what's up with the Enterprise? All I'm saying is that I would certainly like to run the company in charge of making new starships. I liked the hot Klingon chicks, and there's a nice moment involving Data at the end, but on the whole I find this to be the most forgettable of the Star Trek movies. As far as James T. Kirk is concerned, I just pretend like this movie never happened.