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A British Tar is a soaring soul / As free as a mountain bird / His energentic fist should

be ready to resist / A dictatorial wordsing, Worf!

Oh, come on!

How is this not absolutely goddamn delightful?

I dont even like Gilbert and Sullivan!

I think some of yall just need to lighten up, learn to enjoy yourselves a little.

Maybe then youll start to see

Why Star Trek: Insurrection Is Actually Not That Bad

I make no apologies.

I like this movie.

Ive always liked this movie.

Am I saying its perfect?

No.

Am I saying its great?

No.

Am I saying its good?

. . . Mmm, yes.

Yes, Im saying its good.

Its not Wrath of Khan or Star Trek Beyondfight me, Kelvin-hatersbut Star Trek:

Insurrection is a good movie.

Thats not to say I dont understand why a lot of you dont care for it.

I do.

But well get to that.

First, lets talk about what happens in the movie.

So theres this planet.

Seems like a nice place.

Some people live here in a small village.

They look like humans, but theyre nottheyre Baku.

How many non-human species that look exactly like humans are there in Star Trek?

Ive lost count.

Hey, you know who I bet would know?

These guysStarfleet anthropologists (or whatever) who are secretly studying the Baku

from behind a cloaked duck blind.

Because as we learned in my video about the Prime Directive, interfering in the internal

affairs of an alien society is bad, but spying on them from a few feet away without ever

telling them youre there is just fine.

Until the people youre spying on find out youre there, that is.

Which is what always happens.

Anyway, Datas here!

And hes having a bad day.

Something caused him to malfunction and now hes just running all over the place in

a cloaked isolation suit pulling a bunch of Invisible Man gags.

Eventually he makes it over to the base of the duck blind and disables the cloak, revealing

it to the entire village.

Hello, Grandfather!

How do you do!”

Meanwhile on the Enterprise, theyre getting ready for some diplomatic function, and Riker

walks in and tells Picard that as soon as thats done they have to go mediate a territorial

dispute.

And Picard kinda sighs and saysAnyone remember when we used to be explorers?”

And all of us who used to watch the show are like, “No.

Not really.”

Anyway, Worfs here!

Hes likeI know Im on Deep Space Nine now, but the audience expects to see

me so here I am!

Does anyone care about the specific reason?

Does it matter?

No?

Good.”

Picards having a great time at the diplomacy party when Geordi comes up and hes like

Some admirals on the phone for you.”

So Picard answers the phone and its Admiral Dougherty, and hes likeSend us the

specs for your android; hes going apeshit over here.”

It turns out Admiral Dougherty is on a ship belonging to the Sona, who have partnered

with Starfleet for a mission having something to do with the Baku. Dougherty is hanging

out with the leader of the Sona, Ruafo, and hes likeBoy, this whole Baku

situation is all kindsa cocked up now, aint it?”

And Ruafo is likeWhy dont we just kill them all?”

And Doughertys likeWhat?”

And Ruafos likeDid I ever tell you how I killed Mozart?”

Datas boosted a Starfleet scout ship and hes flying around shooting at Ruafos

ship.

The Enterprise shows up and Dougherty calls Picard and saysHey, dude, all I needed

was Datas blueprints so we could turn him off or something.

You didnt need to come all the way out here.

I mean, its not a problemIm not afraid youre going to discovery anything,

or whatever, but, you know, seriously, get the hell outta her.”

But Picard insists that he be allowed to try and apprehend Data, and Doughertys like

Youve got twelve hours.”

So Picard and Worf jump into a shuttlecraft and fly out to catch Data.

Picard tries to talk to him, but Datas not answering.

So Picard thinks, “Well, if he doesnt want to talk, maybe hell want to join me

for a Gilbert & Sullivan duet.”

And that sort of works.

While Datas distracted by the sing-along, Picard attaches his ship to Datas and,

after Data almost crashes both ships trying to shake him off, Worf manages to get aboard

Datas ship and turn him off with a remote control.

Picard beams down to the Baku village with an away team to pick up the Starfleet and

Sona crew who were stranded when Data took off with their ship.

And he meets Anij and Sojef, who live in the Baku village, and theyre likeHey,

we tried to fix your android but his memory was all messed up or something.”

And Picards likeYou rubes tried to repair Data?

Yeah right!

Hes not a cotton gin!

Ya straw-chewinhicks!”

And Sojef tells PicardHey, we know all about technology and warp drive and shit,

we just choose not to use any of it because leading a simple, agrarian existence makes

us feel morally superior to other people.

Personally, I walked away from a really exciting life tracking down criminals for this gruff

Los Angeles judge.

I had an awesome car and a sweet perm . . . I heard after I left the judge moved to Bajor.”

Geordi gets Data functioning properly again, but Data cant remember what happened to

make him go haywire.

So he and Picard go back down to the planet to retrace his steps.

And they find this cloaked ship in the middle of a lake.

And inside the ship is a gigantic holodeck with an exact recreation of the Baku village.

And Picards likeI bet this isnt for anything good.”

And then a Sona shows up and starts shooting at them, and Picards likeYeah, see

that settles it right there, somethings definitely not right.”

Meanwhile, ever since the Enterprise showed up at the Baku planet, the crew has been

unusually horny.

Riker and Troi have started flirting with each other again.

We even see them taking a bath together, where Troishaves Rikers beard

What the hell are you people playing at?

Getting rid of Rikers beard?

In an odd-numbered Star Trek movie?

Thats like walking under a ladder on Friday the 13th!

Or talking about a no-hitter before the games over, while within the radius of Mars!

Or texting while driving while also eating a piece of fish that hasnt been properly

deboned!

Orno, I think thats enough.

Anyway, its not just that the crew is feeling frisky.

Worfs got a humongous Klingon pimple.

Peoples boobs are firming up.

Geordis eyes finally grow in.

Picard just up and busts out into a mambo.

And then hes likeThat was weird.”

So he goes back down to the planet and drops in on Anij and asks her what the hell is going

on.

And she saysOh, did we forget to mention that this is the eternal youth planet?

Yeah, its something to do with the radiation coming from the rings, regenerates our cells

or something.

Were all like hundreds of years old.

Say, you dont think this has anything to do with why there was an invisible holoship

with an exact copy of our village parked in the lake, do you?”

Later back on the Enterprise Dougherty and Ruafo march into Picards ready room

likeWhy were you messing with our secret holoship?”

And Picards likeI got a better question: Why were you gonna use the holoship to abduct

the Baku?

Cause thats totally what you were planning to do, right?”

And Dougherty saysDude, youre making a big deal out of nothing, okay?

Yes, we were gonna secretly relocate the Baku somewhere else, butbut!

A) Who decided they should be immortal?

And B) the Sona, my buddies, have a condition that only the anti-aging properties of the

planet can cure!

And once we figure out how to help them, we can use the same process to help people all

over the galaxy!

So actually, what were doing is a good thing.

Even though in order to collect the anti-aging radiation we will have to render the entire

planet uninhabitable, so theres that, but small price to pay, right?”

And Picard gives Dougherty a classic Picard speech about how forcibly relocating populations

is bad no matter how good of a reason you think you have, and it doesnt matter if

youre talking about a few hundred people like the Baku, or a thousand people, or

a million, youre still a dick and Im not gonna let you get away with it!”

And Doughertys like, “Well, the Federation Council is on my side, so Id like to see

you try!”

So Picard takes most of the other important cast members down to the planet and they evacuate

the village and march everybody into the mountains so the Sona cant get to them.

Meanwhile, Riker and Geordi leave on the Enterprise to go blow the whistle on what a shitshow

this whole Baku/Sona situation has turned into.

Picard and a bunch of the others end up getting captured by the Sona anyway, Beverly figures

out that the Sona and the Baku are actually the same species, only the Sona left the

eternal youth planet a long time ago and have been deteriorating ever since, which is why

theyre in such bad shape now.

By now even Admiral Dougherty is starting to have second thoughts about this, so Ruafo

kills him with a face-stretching chair, which is a thing he has.

Then Ruafo saysYou know what?

Im making this way more difficult than it has to be!

I have a new plan!

And my plan is so simple: first I must get the death mass, then I must achieve his death.”

Ruafos second in command Gallatin is likeWhat the hell are you talking about?”

And Ruafo saysIm just gonna deploy the eternal youth radiation collector while

the rest of those people are on the planet.

That way Ill get what I want, and theyll all die, so Ill get what I want!”

And Gallatins thinking, “Okay, if hes gonna kill everybody, I cant get behind

that.”

So Gallatin springs Picard from where hes being held with the rest of the prisoners,

and together they hatch a plan to stop Ruafo.

And thats what they do!

With help from Worf and Data, who werent captured, they beam Ruafo and the rest

of his crew onto a simulation of their bridge aboard the holoship.

But Ruafo figures it out and manages to beam himself over to his eternal youth radiation

collector so he can just do what he needs to do manually.

Picard realizes what hes trying to do, so he beams over to the collector, too, and

has a fight with Ruafo, and hes likeWhy you gotta be like this, man?”

And Ruafos likeBecause you are unjust!

Unfair!

Unkind!

I will block you, I swear it.

I will hinder and harm your Creature as far as I am able!”

[Picard:] “Nnh, that one doesnt really work, does it?

The bit about the Creature doesnt make sense in this context.”

[Ruafo:] “Okay, do you have any idea how hard it is to work quotes from goddamn

Amadeus into a summary of a Star Trek movie?”

[Picard:] “Good point.

Im gonna activate the self-destruct now.”

And Picard activates the self-destruct, and right before it blows him up real good the

Enterprise swoops in and beams him out!

And Ruafo dies engulfed in flames and screaming!

Just like Salieri.

I assume.

And thats pretty much it.

The Baku return to their village.

The Sona are welcomed home.

Picard and Anij have kinda become friendswink-winkand Picard promises to come

back and visit next time he takes shore leave.

Data is shown playing in a pile of hay with one of the kids from the village to tie up

a cutesy subplot they had going.

The crew beams back to the Enterprise, the ship sails away into the distance, and the

olhuman adventure continues.

So whats so great about this movie?

Thats not the issue!

I already told you, the videos about why Insurrection isnot that bad,” not why

its great!

Dont you try to move the goalposts on me, you lousy cheats!

Lets look at some of the things this movie does, and doesnt do.

First, it lightens things up.

I love First Contact, but it is kinda grim, and I dont want Star Trekparticularly

The Next Generation, the most optimistic of all the Trek showsto be a gritty action

franchise.

Thats nice every once in awhile, but if I wanted to see that sorta thing all the time,

Id watch, I dunno, the Battlestar Galactica reboot.

Which was excellent!

What I saw of it, anyway.

I dont think I ever made it all the way through the first season.

It was good.

I just got distracted by something else that I found more interesting.

Cant remember whatprobably old episodes of Star Trek.

Second, it gives every character in the main cast a chance to do things other than fight

scenes or comic relief.

Like all the TNG movies, this is mostly the Picard and Data Show, but the other members

of the Enterprise crew each get at least a scene to shine.

Geordi has that scene on the planet after his eyes grow in where hes watching a sunrise

for the first time, Riker and Troi have their romantic subplot, Worf gets a moment with

Riker near the end when Riker wonders if his rekindled relationship with Troi will last

and Worf is likeYour feelings for each other havent changed as long as Ive

known you two,” which is a nice reminder that Riker and Worf are, you know, friends.

And, okay, a lot of that is well trodden terrain at this point, but its better than just

randomly distributing expository dialogue so everyone gets a line.

Oops.

Sorry, Bev.

Would it really have been that difficult to give Dr. Crusher something meaningful to do?

In one of the TNG films?

Four movies and her most memorable contributions are getting shoved overboard by Data, and

turning on the holographic doctor and running away.

Third, it uses Picard as something other than an action hero.

Yes, hes an action hero, too.

But, Picard as we see him in Insurrection is as close as he gets in the films to the

character he is on the TV series.

He cares about the plight of the Bakueven before he starts crushing on Anijlike

hes some kind of principled person, or something.

He angrily objects to Admiral Dougherty and Ruafos relocation plan, calling it a

betrayal of the values of the Federation.

The values that the Federation is supposed to stand for mean something to Picard, and

we see that in this movie, and its a welcome reminder that he can do things besides shoot

bad guys and rant theatrically about revenge.

Fourth, the film has political contentand sadly evergreen political content at that.

One of the big complaints about the Star Trek movies, particularly the Next Gen and Kelvin-timeline

films, is that theyre primarily action movies lacking the social conscience that

sets Star Trek apart from other popular sci-fi franchises.

Not the case with Insurrection, which has obvious, painful parallels to, as Picard says

at one point, “some of the darkest chapters in the history of our world,” chapters which

involved the forced relocation of a small group of people to satisfy the demands of

a large one.”

Fifth, theres no threat to Earth.

I get why the writers of sci-fi and superhero movies feel like there has to be a threat

to Earth to hook the audienceI mean, its Earth, were all pretty attached

to it.

Okay, maybe not all of us.

But, you can tell a compelling story without the fate of Earth, or the fate of the galaxy,

or the fate of the universe hanging in the balance.

The stakes in Insurrection arent as epic as in First Contact or Nemesisor Generations,

now that I think about itthere are 230,000,000 people living in the Veridian system, which

Soran intends to destroy in order to reach the Nexus.

In Insurrection, all thats at stake are the lives of the 600 or so Baku, and the

principles of the Federation.

But thats plenty.

If our characters care about achieving a particular outcome, and we care about the characters,

thats all we need.

Or its all I need, anyway.

Im in the minority here.

When Star Trek: Insurrection opened in theaters in December 1998 it was met with mixed reviews

from fans and critics.

It had a good opening weekend but ultimately grossed about thirty million dollars less

than First Contact and wound up as one of the worst-performing Star Trek films at the

box office.

And I get it.

Not everybodys as big of an F. Murray Abraham mark as I am.

Plus, Insurrection came out just two years after First Contact and its a very different

movie.

People who loved First Contact for being Die Hard on a starship probably didnt turn

out to see Insurrection hoping for a morality play with jokes.

In fact, a lot of folks hate the jokes.

Not meI think Insurrection has some of the funniest scenes in any Star Trek movie:

the H.M.S. Pinafore sing-along, Worf smashing the Sona drone with his phaser rifle then

turning wild-eyed to Picard and shoutingDefinitely feeling aggressive tendencies, sir!”

Riker bragging to Data that his freshly clean-shaven face was smoother than an androids bottom,

then Data feels it for himself and is likeI dont think so, brother.”

And yes, I like the flotation device gag, too, okay?

Everybody hates it.

I think its funny.

Its goofy.

But it works in the situation, Spiner sells the line, and the visual of Data rising up

out of the water and bobbing gently back and forth makes me laugh.

The only joke that doesnt work for me is the Enterprises manual steering column.

Feels like an attempt to connect with the kids in the audience thought up by the most

out-of-touch adult in the writers room.

Which is exactly what it is.

After Insurrection underperformed, the producers decided that, for the next film, the franchise

needed to be reinvigorated.

Even though Jonathan Frakes had done a fine job helming First Contact and Insurrection,

they pulled him from the directors chair and hired Stuard Baird.

They also hired Academy Award nominee John Logan as the writer.

The movie they wound up making, the final movie to feature the cast of The Next Generation,

was Star Trek: Nemesis.

And whats puzzled me about that movie ever since I saw it is why, after bothering to

bring in fresh blood like Baird and Logan, they decided to just remake Insurrection without

the jokes.

Ill explain.

Both films introduce the Enterprise crew at a social function: in Insurrection its

the diplomatic reception, in Nemesis its the wedding of Riker and Troi.

In both films the first big action scene is the result of the crew investigating a mystery

relating to Data: in Insurrection its Data attacking the duckblind at the Baku village,

in Nemesis its the discovery of the disassembled android who turns out to be Datas long-lost

brother.

In both films the villains are driven by a desire to save or liberate their own people:

Ruafo wants to cure the Sona of the condition that is slowly killing them; Shinzon

wants to liberate and empower the Remans.

Both villains at first appear to have larger, more altruistic goals, only to have their

true selfish motives revealed: the initial justification for Ruafos plan is not

only to cure the Sonas condition, but then, according to Admiral Dougherty, use

the same de-aging technology to help other people, but Ruafo ultimately abandons that

to take revenge against the Baku; Shinzon, a clone of Picard, claims he wants to befriend

Picard so that he can better understand himself and pursue an alliance between his new Romulan

government and the Federation, but it turns out he just needs Picards blood, and also

he has an ultimate weapon that he wants to use to destroy the Federation.

Both villains have degenerative conditions they are trying to cure at any cost.

Both villains have weapons capable of wiping out all life on an entire planet.

Both weapons take time to be deployed, resulting in ticking clock scenarios.

In both films the good guys win with help from a former bad guy: Gallatin in Insurrection,

Commander Donatra in Nemesis.

In both films the Enterprise battles hostile ships in a region of space with properties

that block subspace communications and make calling for reinforcements impossible: the

Briar Patch in Insurrection, the Bassen Rift in Nemesis.

In both films Picard beams over to an enemy ship to try and stop the weapon from being

deployed, leading to a climactic one-on-one fight with the main villain.

In both films Picard is beamed away to safety moments before the enemy ship is destroyed.

What does this have to do with Insurrection not being that bad of a movie?

I dunno.

Nothing, I guess.

Its just always bugged me how Insurrection was regarded as a failure and proof that the

franchise needed freshening up, and then they up and make a movie that is structurally extremely

similar to Insurrection, only grim and boring and just generally a lot worse, and most people

dont even seem to notice!

There is some small consolation, however.

Remember I said Insurrection was one of the worst performing Star Trek films at the box

office?

Guess what the worst is?

Didnt even gross enough domestically to cover its budget.

No wonder Paramount just saidScrew it, were going back to Captain Kirk!”

Anyway, Im not expecting this video to change anyones mind who came in thinking

Insurrection was the shits.

Opinions vary, and ones taste in movies is a very personal thing determined just as

much by the individuals own experience and point of view as by the movie itself.

And as Ive said a couple of times already, I get why a lot of you dont like the movie.

The silly humor and relatively small stakes dont appeal to everyone.

And the plot does often feel derivative of episodes of TNGparticularlyWho Watches

the Watchers,” the episode that introduces the concept of Starfleet using cloaked duckblinds

to secretly observe societies; “Homeward,” which features a plan to use the holodeck

to relocate a small native population without them knowing it and a migration across the

countryside; andJourneys End,” which shows us Picard grappling with the morality

of forcibly relocating a population.

All I can tell you is, those things dont bother me.

I enjoy the humor for the most part, I kinda like the smaller stakes, and the derivative

plot and other flaws Ive mentioned here and there dont really occur to me when

Im watching the movie.

I acknowledge their presence.

But I dont really care.

When I watch Star Trek: Insurrection, I have a good time.

Its not a life-changing cinematic experience, but its a solid, likable Star Trek movie.

Its got some funny bits, some nicely observed character moments, a touch of political commentary,

and well executed if not terribly creative action sequences.

In fact, “well executed but not terribly creativeis a good way to describe the

movie in general.

It aint Wrath of Khan.

But it makes me happy.

As happy as Worf right after he smashes that drone?

But happy enough.

The Description of Why Star Trek: Insurrection Is Actually Not That Bad