Rated: PG Reviewed by: Frank Release date: November 18, 1994 Released by: Paramount Pictures Corporation
The transition to film by the cast of the TV Star Trek: The Next Generation is a smooth journey. In Generations, the two captains, James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) interact to save the crew of the Enterprise D and a solar system from destruction by a force which grants human wishes, that is guided by villain, Dr. Soran (Malcolm McDowell).
Data (Brent Spiner) steals the show with the addition of an emotion chip carefully put in place by Geordi LaForge (LeVar Burton). Data cracks jokes and generally breaks up the crises on the mission with one liners and observations expressed from his new found human trait.
The story begins on the Enterprise B with new Captain Harriman (Alan Ruck - Speed) taking a short journey around Pluto for reporters to experience the new Galaxy Star Ship. Kirk, Scotty (James Doohan), Checkov (Walter Koenig) and Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg) join the passengers. Not unexpected, a problem develops and the partially equipped new Enterprise cannot respond as it should. The ships which are under attack cannot be freed from the menacing force which is about to destroy them. Kirk offers to try the one possible solution. The story then jumps 78 years into the future.
Picard, captain of the Enterprise, joined by Counselor, Deanna Troy (Marina Sirtis), Dr. Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden), Whorf (Michael Dorn) and Will Riker (Jonathan Frakes) quickly come into contact with a Klingon Bird of Prey under the command of rebelling Klingon women and a battle is engaged. Data plays a pivotal role as he learns that emotions cut both ways. In the climax, Kirk and Picard join together to save the Solar System and the Enterprise crew.
In the spirit of science fiction, the writers play fast and free with time. They also modify the seriousness with well place humor and comedy which will be received particularly by those who know the TV series.
With a running time of two hours there is enough to satisfy everyone. Spiner has the best lines and the special effects, particularly the crash landing of the saucer section and the stellar cartography used for research on the Enterprise stand out. Stewart's polish and experience shine as he carries the greatest portion of the film.
This one ranks high in the film series; it's one of the best. In the final scene, on the deck of the Enterprise, Captain Picard and Commander Riker make it clear there is more to come.
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