Star Trek: Generations ★★½

I take it the odds are against us, and the situation is grim.
-Kirk

Star Trek: Generations would have made a decent series finale for The Next Generation had it aired on television at the end of it's 7th season, but instead Paramount Pictures tried to pass off it's story as a feature film. The entire premise of the film is built around the notion that the characters of Captain Kirk (William Shatner) and Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) needed to meet, because someone somewhere thought this needed to happen to "pass on the torch" before continuing the film franchise with the new kids.

The fact is that having these two characters meet adds nothing to the film much less the franchise. Having it happen in a contrived third act doesn't help matters much either. A planet populated by 200 million is in danger of being destroyed. We never see these "people" or the planet surface. For all we know these are 200 million assholes who think Dane Cook is funny. The viewer is given no reason to care if this planet blows up or not. The consequences of it blowing up will be that a character will utter the words "200 million life forms just died" and that is it.

What makes the third act even more pointless is that to get there the character of Picard is told that he can return to any time and any where he chooses... so he chooses to return at the 11th hour mere moments before the planet is destroyed, instead of, let's say earlier in the film when the bad guy (this time around Malcolm McDowell) was on the Enterprise unarmed and alone. I guess that wouldn't have made for much of a climax and the need to bring back Kirk with him would have been moot.

The producers also fell into a trap that wasn't even an option to the original films and that's to just continue on from the television series with no major changes. The film went into production while the last season of The Next Generation was still filming only giving them a 6-7 month window between the end of television production and the actual release of the feature film. We end up with most of the same props from the television series, the same Enterprise, the same characters with no changes, ect, ect, ect... most of the events that happen in this film should have happened in the series finale and that would have built interest into a feature film to see what happens next. Instead THIS film ends with the hope that something new will then be seen in the NEXT film because this one only offered mild extras that we wouldn't have seen on television.

Star Trek: To Boldly Rank Where Many Have Ranked Before