Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Trek: Generations (June 8/18)
The first big-screen adventure for the Star Trek: The Next Generation cast, Star Trek: Generations follows Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) and the rest of the Enterprise crew as they attempt to stop Malcolm McDowell's Soran from blowing up a planet - with the narrative also detailing the ups and downs of Data's (Brent Spiner) first experiences with human emotions. Filmmaker David Carson does a superb job of immediately drawing the viewer into the often deliberately-paced proceedings, as Star Trek: Generations opens with a solid prologue detailing Captain Kirk's (William Shatner) supposed death during the unveiling of the Enterprise-B. There's little doubt that the movie's subsequent, initial emphasis on the Next Generation characters' exploits is as engrossing and engaging as one might've hoped, with the central storyline, which is elevated by McDowell's riveting turn as the increasingly complex villain, effectively counterbalanced by Data's ongoing efforts at coping with his newfound emotions. The chemistry between the core cast certainly plays a key role in the movie's success within its first half, and it is, as a result, not surprising to note that one's interest begins to wane as the focus shifts to Picard's solo endeavors alongside Soran and, eventually, Captain Kirk. It's in this padded-out third act, which drags to a somewhat distressing extent, that Star Trek: Generations confirms its place as a woefully erratic piece of work, although it's ultimately clear that the picture's pleasures far outweigh its sporadic and decidedly lamentable missteps.