by Michelle Erica Green

Grade: B+
Production: Paramount, 1998
Running Time: 1 hour 50 minutes

Video Summary:

When Data sheds a cloaking isolation suit and shoots at a secret Starfleet installation, Picard rushes to learn why the android has gone berserk. The Enterprise crew discovers a Starfleet-backed plot to drive the Bak'u civilization from their home planet in order to harvest the planet's metaphasic radiation. When Admiral Dougherty refuses to renege on his alliance with the vicious Son'a race, Picard strikes out on his own.

Picard struggles to save the Ba'ku from Son'a weapons while Riker takes the Enterprise in search of Starfleet assistance. Both men experience the revitalizing effects of the Bak'u planet, and the captain even learns some of the aliens' mental disciplines. But Son'a leader Ru'afo is prepared to destroy his own species as well as the Bak'u, and Picard must risk everything to stop him.

Best For Ages:

6-8 - Like most recent STAR TREK movies, the villains may frighten young children, but fans of the television show will enjoy seeing the reunited characters.

8-12 - Older children will enjoy the camaraderie between Data and a young Bak'u, plus the broad humor.

12 & up - Adults appreciate this most romantic of the Trek films, but teenagers sometimes get bored when there's not enough action.

Parental Advisory:

Educational Value: Another STAR TREK film in which evil authority must be discarded for true justice. Picard is forced to confront the violence of human history as he tries to rescue the Bak'u from their own.

Entertainment Value: A witty film filled with contemporary jokes, like Data stating that in the event of a water landing, he can be used as a flotation device, there's not as much violence in INSURRECTION as in FIRST CONTACT or GENERATIONS.

Sex: Riker and Troi fool around and take a bubble bath together.

Violence: Data fires on Starfleet installations and must be subdued. The Enterprise dodges illegal subspace weapons. Picard and crew fight automated weapons on the planet surface before the captain goes head to head with vicious enemy Ru'afo.

Frightening Situations: A Starfleet admiral plans to help aliens destroy a planet to harvest its healing properties. The Son'a undergo hideous facelifts to bolster their disintegrating bodies.

Emotional Intensity: When Anij is critically wounded, Picard must attempt to practice her mental disciplines to save her life. The Son'a turn out to be the long-lost children of the Bak'u.

Mature Themes: The search for immortality versus the terror of age, decline, and death.


The ninth STAR TREK film doesn't have the scope of previous films - Earth is never threatened, and the major crewmembers are never in real danger. INSURRECTION is a feel-good movie, with plenty of humor and a terrific performance by Patrick Stewart as Picard.

Like STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME, INSURRECTION focuses on the relationships between the characters. Riker and Troi fall in love all over again, Picard becomes intimate with a brilliant alien, Data explores his inner child with a new friend. Like Spock in THE VOYAGE HOME, Data keeps a running commentary on human foibles, and he sings, too. So does Worf, the dour Klingon who returns for a guest appearance.

Few of the characters receive any real development and the women's roles are frustratingly weak. But the mystical Bak'u culture offers an interesting contrast to contemporary high-tech society. The Bak'u wish to live "in the moment" represents the underlying theme of the movie.

There are few surprises, yet for long-time fans, the real pleasure of watching a NEXT GENERATION film is in discovering how well we know this crew. INSURRECTION is a nostalgic film, showing us a crew growing younger as the wondrous radiation takes hold. Age and experience are portrayed as generally good things in this movie. The possibility of ongoing metaphysical and moral problems posed by the Bak'u and their planet intrigues viewers.

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