Star Trek: Insurrection
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jonathan Frakes|
|Produced by||Rick Berman|
|Screenplay by||Michael Piller|
|Story by||Rick Berman
|Based on||Star Trek by
F. Murray Abraham
|Music by||Jerry Goldsmith|
|Cinematography||Matthew F. Leonetti|
|Editing by||Peter E. Berger|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Running time||103 minutes|
Star Trek: Insurrection is a 1998 American science fiction film released by Paramount Pictures. It is the ninth film in the Star Trek film franchise and the second film to exclusively feature the cast of the Star Trek: The Next Generation television series. In addition to that cast, F. Murray Abraham, Donna Murphy and Anthony Zerbe also appeared in main roles. In the film's plot, the crew of the USS Enterprise-E rebel against Starfleet after they discover that there is a conspiracy with a species known as the Son'a to steal the planet of the peaceful Ba'ku for its rejuvenating properties.
Paramount Studios sought a change in pace after the previous film, Star Trek: First Contact. Michael Piller was asked to write the script, which was created from story ideas by Piller and executive producer Rick Berman. The first drafts of the story featured the Romulans, with the Son'a and Ba'ku introduced in the third draft. After the script was reviewed by Ira Steven Behr, Piller revised it and added a subplot involving a romantic interest for Captain Picard. Following test screenings, the ending was further revised.
The space-based special effects were completely computer generated, a first for a Star Trek film. The Ba'ku village was built in full on location at Lake Sherwood, California, but suffered damage from the elements. Other sets were re-used and re-dressed from the television series Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The make-up for the new aliens was created by Michael Westmore, and Robert Blackman revised the Starfleet dress uniform designs. Sanja Milkovic Hayes created costumes from cellulose fibers for the Ba'ku, which were baked and glued together. Jerry Goldsmith produced the film's score, his fourth for the franchise.
Insurrection was the highest-grossing film on its opening weekend, making $22.4 million. The film made over $70.1 million in the United States and an additional $42.4 million in other territories, for a theatrical run of about $112.5 million worldwide. The critical response was mixed, with praise given to the performance of Patrick Stewart and the directing of Jonathan Frakes, with other critics referring to it as an extended episode of The Next Generation. Insurrection was nominated for both a Saturn Award and a Hugo Award, but the only award it received was a Youth in Film Award for Michael Welch. The film has been released on videotape, DVD, and Blu-ray home video formats.
While observing the peaceful Ba'ku people on their planet, Lieutenant Commander Data (Brent Spiner) (on temporary transfer to the undercover mission there) appears to malfunction, revealing the hidden presence of the joint Federation and Son'a task force to the Ba'ku. Admiral Matthew Dougherty (Anthony Zerbe) requests the help of the starship USS Enterprise-E to help capture or disable Data. Admiral Dougherty's allies, the Son'a, are a decrepit race using various medical techniques to cheat death and repeated face lift surgeries giving them a mummified appearance. After stopping Data, USS Enterprise Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) becomes suspicious of Dougherty's insistence that the Enterprise is no longer needed, and his crew investigates the cause for Data's malfunction. They discover that the Ba'ku are technologically advanced but have opted to live in harmony with nature. Due to unique radiation or "metaphasic particles" in their world's rings, they are essentially immortal. The Enterprise crew also begins to experience the rejuvenation effects of the planet; Lt. Cmdr Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton) finds his eyes have regenerated and he no longer requires occular implants, Commander William Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Councillor Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis) rekindle their long-abandoned relationship, and Picard develops a romantic relationship with the Ba'ku woman Anij (Donna Murphy).
Picard and his team discover a cloaked Federation ship containing a gigantic holodeck set up to recreate the Ba'ku village; Data's malfunction was due to a Son'a attack when he previously discovered the vessel. Confronting Dougherty with his discovery, Picard learns Federation officers and the Son'a plan to relocate the Ba'ku on the ship while they collect the planet's radiation to further Federation science, destroying the planet in the process. Dougherty orders Enterprise to leave, but Picard tells Riker to let the Federation know what is occurring while he and others beam down to the planet and evacuate the Ba'ku, all agreed that the moral crimes that would be committed to acquire the healing radiation are not worth the medical benefits that would result.
With the Enterprise crew on the planet following a mineral deposit that disrupts conventional transporter locking systems, the Son'a send out robotic probes to tag and transport the fleeing Ba'ku, while their leader Ahdar Ru'afo (F. Murray Abraham) convinces Dougherty to allow two Son'a ships to attack the Enterprise. Riker is able to narrowly stop the attack of the ships and the Enterprise escapes. With their plan exposed, Ru'afo insists that they must begin to harvest the radiation immediately, only to have Picard deliver a revelation to Dougherty: the Son'a and the Ba'ku are the same race. The Son'a are a breakaway faction of younger Ba'ku who a century previously, wanted to give up their bucolic existence and re-embrace the use of technology. Tensions escalated until they attempted to take over the colony, but when they failed the elders exiled them from the planet and its regenerative radiation, dooming them to age and eventually die from natural causes. The Son'a have spent the past century since trying to preserve their lives through artificial means. This accounts for their altered appearance and the reckless attempt to harvest the radiation. Admiral Dougherty is killed by the Son'a when he refuses to allow Ru'afo's scheme to continue.
Picard, Anij, and several Ba'ku are transported onto the Son'a ship. After convincing one of the Son'a, Gallatin (Gregg Henry), to help him, Picard masterminds a ruse to transport Ru'afo and the Son'a to the giant holoship, delaying the destructive metaphasic process. Ru'afo discovers the trick and transports to the Radiation Harvester ship to start it manually. Picard follows him and manages to activate the self-destruct, destroying the Harvester and killing Ru'afo. The remaining Son'a are welcomed back by the Ba'ku who forgive their actions; Picard arranges a meeting between Gallatin and his Ba'ku mother. The Enterprise crew take a moment to enjoy their rejuvenated selves before returning to their mission.
Patrick Stewart thought that the first Next Generation film, Star Trek: Generations was too much like a television episode. But he thought that his character, Captain Jean-Luc Picard, was redefined as a "movie hero" in Star Trek: First Contact. He was concerned that the new film would see the character return to that seen in the television show. Michael Piller said that he felt that in order to be a hero, Picard "should be acting out of a moral and ethical mindset, and stand for principles that are important to mankind". Stewart was later pleased with the romantic sub-plot introduced in the film, calling it "charming" and that he was "feeling very good about it." He thought that the film had a lighter tone than previous films saying "It shows our crew having a little more fun than we normally see them doing". He was disappointed that a scene of Picard and Anij kissing was cut from the film version of the movie, saying that "It was a studio decision, but still somewhat inexplicable to me as I feel the audience were waiting for some kind of romantic culmination to the relationship, which did happen and was extremely pleasant." Stewart received a producers credit on the film.
Jonathan Frakes once again both appeared on-screen as Commander William Riker, and as with First Contact, he also directed the project. Brent Spiner reappeared as Lieutenant Commander Data, and had asked for his character to be killed off in Insurrection as he was concerned that he was getting too old to play the role. His copy of the script came with a note from the production team that read "Sorry, kill you later". His character was killed in the following film, Star Trek: Nemesis. The underwater scene required Spiner to wear more make-up than usual, as it needed to be waterproof. LeVar Burton reprised his role of Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge; a month prior to the release of Insurrection he appeared in the role in a guest appearance in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Timeless".
Michael Dorn returned as Lieutenant Commander Worf, who had also been portraying that role in Deep Space Nine since 1995. Unlike the film First Contact, there was no attempt to explain his absence from the television show and arrival on the Enterprise in Insurrection. Reprising her role as Doctor Beverly Crusher, Gates McFadden said that "Shooting Star Trek and getting paid to do it is great. But what's actually changed my life the most is travelling around and... being a tiny little part of this huge mythology that has changed people's lives, in many ways for the better." Marina Sirtis appeared once more as Counselor Deanna Troi. She was positive about the film, saying "we've been involved with this for eleven years, we've done 179 episodes, three movies, and there are still surprises. There are more layers in this movie, it's not as black and white. It goes back to a lot of what Gene Roddenberry felt about Star Trek – I think he's going to be very happy up there when he sees this movie."
Prior to the casting process, there was no actors in mind for the roles of the Son'a leader, the Ba'ku woman and the Starfleet admiral. The Son'a leader, Ahdar Ru'afo, was portrayed by F. Murray Abraham, who had won an Academy Award for his performance in Amadeus. Abraham was given the role without being required to audition. Abraham said of the franchise, "I was around when the series was first introduced to television and it was a hoot", He praised the make-up applied to him, saying "The idea that you can be somebody else behind the mask is an extraordinary feeling – it's very primitive and mysterious. A gap opens somewhere in the brain and it encourages wildness. It had me chewing at the scenery". He was particularly pleased to be working with Patrick Stewart.
Donna Murphy played the Ba'ku woman Anij, who was Picard's love interest in the film. Some eighty actresses auditioned for the role, but it was awarded to Murphy who had previously been awarded two Tony Awards for her roles in the Broadway musicals Passion and The King and I. She was such a favourite of Frakes and the producers after auditioning, to the extent that only a handful of further actresses were seen. She said of the role, "I feel a great honor and responsibility to be a part of this film, because I know that the Star Trek audience has such a devotion to and affection for these richly drawn characters."
Anthony Zerbe originally auditioned for the role of Ru'afo, and was considered to be the best choice for the role. But the production team subsequently decided instead to cast him in the role of Admiral Matthew Dougherty. During Zerbe's audition, instead of initially reading the lines provided, he recited Dante's Inferno before seamlessly moving into the script. Frakes and the producers made a unanimous decision to award him the part of Dougherty. The film featured actors in other smaller roles. Stephanie Niznik played Ensign Kell Perim, while Daniel Hugh Kelly appeared as Sojef. Gregg Henry appeared as Gallatin and child actor Michael Welch as played the Ba'ku child Artim. Michael Horton returned in the tactical officer role he portrayed in First Contact, his character gaining the name Lieutenant Daniels in this film. Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave guitarist Tom Morello played a Son'a warrior. His make-up regime began at 5am, a time he described as when he would normally "be crawling back into my coffin".
Several actors had previously appeared in the Star Trek series; Son'a Officer Number 1 was portrayed by Bruce French, who had appeared in the The Next Generation episode "The Drumhead" as Sabin Genestra and in the Voyager pilot episode as the Ocampa doctor. Son'a Officer Number 3 was played by Joseph Ruskin, who had appeared in four episodes across the Star Trek franchise. These included The Original Series episode "Gamesters of Triskelion", the Deep Space Nine episodes "Improbable Cause" and "Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places" and the Voyager episode Gravity". McKenzie Westmore, daughter of make-up supervisor Michael Westmore appeared as a Ba'ku woman. She had previously appeared as a child in The Next Generation season one episode "When the Bough Breaks" and as Ensign Jenkins in the Voyager episode "Warhead". Scenes cut from the film would have featured two of the Deep Space Nine Ferengi. Max Grodénchik, more familiar as Rom, was to have appeared as a Trill in the library scene. Armin Shimmerman reprised his role as Quark in a scene at the end of the film where he was attempting to set up timeshares on the Ba'ku planet.
Development and writing 
Paramount Pictures sought a change in pace following the success of First Contact, one which would see the follow-up film take a lighter tone. The thought was that as Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home was light in tone, but yet was the most successful at the box office of all the Star Trek films, that this could be repeated with the new movie. As with First Contact, Michael Piller was once again asked to write the feature, but this time he accepted the position. He had previously turned down the chance to compete for to write First Contact because the studio wanted him to write an alternative script to the one written by Brannon Braga and Robert B. Moore, and they would then choose the better script to be made into the film. For Insurrection there was no contest, and Piller was in development hell with another project which he wished to get out of. Piller wanted to give the crew a feeling of family, with a story featuring overtones of the Joseph Conrad novel Heart of Darkness. Rick Berman instead wanted to see Picard undertake a rescue mission in a similar manner to the 1937 film, The Prisoner of Zenda. Another idea of Berman's was to have Picard kidnapped, and another person surgically modified to look like him. Piller had his doubts because he felt that the audience would not want to have an entire film where the character of Picard is not the lead star – the character would look like Patrick Stewart, but would be different.
It was Piller who initially thought of a fountain of youth type story, later explaining that "Everybody's consumed with images of youth. There's commercials, plastic surgery – our culture seems obsessed with youth." He called the initial treatment "Heart of Lightness". Eric A. Stillwell was Piller's executive assistant and script coordinator. When Piller agreed to write a book throughout the process on how Insurrection was made, Pocket Books hired Stillwell to be Piller's typist and research assistant. The book went subsequently unpublished, with allegations made that Paramount Pictures suppressed it. Following Piller's death in 2005, the book was published on the internet.
Piller created a first draft treatment for the film entitled Star Trek: Stardust, with the title taken from the song by Hoagy Carmichael. Piller heard the Nat King Cole version on the radio whilst on the way to work and thought it was appropriate. The treatment featured Picard resigning from Starfleet after he is sent to retrieve a population and their fountain-like power, and bring them to an alien power. It also included a betrayal by a rogue colleague of Picard's. That draft went through several versions with only the general mission itself and the Briar Patch, named after the area from Br'er Rabbit stories, remaining. It was Berman who suggested Data become the renegade crew-member that Picard has to deal with. The plot shared similarities with The Next Generation episode Homeward" in that a people were being relocated through use of a holodeck, and the use of a duck blind to observe cultures was previously used in the episode "Who Watches the Watchers".
One draft saw Data killed by Picard early in the film, later to be resurrected to aid the Captain in the finale. The first two drafts featured the Romulans as the protagonists, as they had never appeared in a Star Trek film before. The second draft was seen by Jonathan Dolgen at the studio, who was not pleased, and Patrick Stewart who thought that it would have been fitting only for a television episode. It was only in the third draft that the Son'a were introduced as the children of the Ba'ku and the alien race that wanted to plunder the planet. That version also saw the individual crew sub-plots appear for the first time, such as the Troi-Riker romance and the regeneration of La Forge's eyes. Patrick Stewart was consulted on the treatments, who was concerned that the film was a step back in scope from First Contact.
Piller drafted the first version of the script and asked Ira Steven Behr to take a look at it. At the time, Behr was executive producer of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and was critical of the script, describing the Son'a as "paper tigers". Piller said that "I knew he was right. There's no question that first draft was trying to tell two stories, and that's one too many for a movie." Piller re-drafted the script, adding a romantic subplot for Picard in the shape of Anij, a Ba'ku woman. Gravitas was added to the Son'a to make them seem more menacing and the ending was changed to include a massive Son'a collector ship with Picard confronting Ru'afo aboard the ship. A version of the script was subsequently leaked onto the internet. At the same time, Piller and Berman were playing around with a variety of titles for the film as they felt that they could not submit it to the studio under the title of Stardust. Those thought of at the time included Prime Directive, The Directive, The Resignation, The Enemy Within, Breach of Promise, Dereliction of Duty and Apostasy. They could not settle on a title, so it was submitted as Star Trek IX.
The studio was pleased with the post-Behr version of the script, which was the first version of the script they had seen, having previously only seen pre-script treatments. In a memo to Piller, it was described as "easily the funniest and sexiest Star Trek story to date". They gave a series of directions to Piller, including a request for a resolution to the Troi and Riker romance and for the character of Reginald Barclay to be written out of the script and replaced with expanded roles either for Beverley Crusher, Worf or to add a new character.
Patrick Stewart sought for a change to the script to have the crew defend the Ba'ku village in the manner of the Battle of the Alamo instead of the characters fleeing into the mountains. Piller could not find a feasible way to include this in the script, and the budget ruled out the creation of Alamo-like structures in the mountains. Several titles were considered for the film as it approached the start of the shoot. Star Trek: Where Time Stands Still, Star Trek: Forever and Star Trek: Beyond Paradise were all considered as titles but rejected. Piller's personal favourite was Star Trek: Sacred Honor, but this was rejected by the studio as they were concerned that it sounded too religious. When shooting began, the film was continued to be called Star Trek IX.
The final version of the script was distributed to the cast, but Patrick Stewart did not receive a copy. Berman was immediately concerned that if anyone had a problem with it, they would call Stewart to complain and this would cause a problem as it would seem like Stewart was being left out due to his earlier criticisms of the story. LeVar Burton was the one who called Stewart first, who praised the script. Stewart was sent a copy and requested a meeting to discuss changes. Piller feared the worst, but after a twenty-minute meeting with Stewart only requesting a handful of dialogue changes, the script was finalised. During pre-production, the marketing department wanted to settle on a name. They were pushing for Star Trek: Revolution. Insurrection was instead suggested by a friend of Pillers, Alan Spencer. It was ultimately selected out of a choice of Insurrection, Rebellion, High Treason and Act of Treason.
Following the completion of filming, test screenings were held, and the production team became aware of a problem with the ending. The original ending had featured Ru'afo being ejected into space from the Son'a collector script and de-aging rapidly as he floats amongst the rings of the planet Ba'ku. The revised ending saw the Enterprise swoop in at the last minute to save Picard and destroy the collector ship with Ru'afo aboard. The studio liked the new ending but wanted the space battle to be bigger at the end. The production team agreed to this, but only if they could push back the release date to have time to do it justice, but as the studio wanted Insurrection to be released in time for Christmas, no further revisions were made to the ending.
Visual effects 
Insurrection was the first Star Trek film to have its space based effects completely produced by computer-generated imagery (CGI). While CGI had been used for specific effects shots since Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; Insurrection marked the first time that a Star Trek film had been made without using any physical starship models at all. Santa Barbara Studios produced the effects, which included CG models of all the starships, such as the Enterprise-E. The texture on that model was created from a series of close-up photographs taken of the model Enterprise which had been used in First Contact. The planet-based effects, such as phaser fire, transporter effects and the Son'a drones were created by Blue Sky Studios. Peter Lauritson resumed his position from First Contact as co-producer for post-production.
Herman Zimmerman was once again the production designer, and had three months to design and construct 55 full sets for the film. This was eighteen sets more than the previous film in the series. Zimmerman said that it was "probably the most scenery we've built for a Star Trek motion picture since the first one, when everything was brand new". The Ba'ku village was built in full scale on location at Lake Sherwood, California, with architectural designs combining Thai, Balinese and Polynesian styles. The village included a bakery, a farm including a full irrigation system, a city hall and a city square which was referred to as the "rotunda". The on-location shoot lasted for six weeks. The buildings included sections built out of styrofoam, which were cut out using computer aided design and computer-aided manufacturing techniques. These were then covered in hardcoat to make them look like they were made from stone, but they were not made waterproof. The set suffered water damage following record-levels of rainfall during the spring of 1998, and then the foam warped as it dried out in the sun, causing delays in shooting whilst repairs were made.
A variety of sets from Star Trek: Voyager were re-dressed to appear as the Enterprise-E in Insurrection. These included Captain Janeway's quarters, which became Picard's, the Voyager briefing room became Riker's quarters and part of the Voyager engineering set became the Enterprise library. The interior of the scoutship manned by Data was originally the cockpit of the shuttlecraft in Voyager, while the interior of the Enterprise shuttlecraft used the interior set from a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Runabout. Filming began on March 31, 1998 and concluded on July 2. According to Frakes, half of the time shooting was spent on location. The scenes where the crew of the Enterprise and the Ba'ku take refuge in the mountains were shot on location in the Sierra Nevada in locations which could only be reached by helicopters. As the location was around 10,000 feet (3,000 m) above sea level, a medic was on standby with oxygen if the cast or crew required it.
Parts of the interior sets of the So'na ships were added in after filming using computer generated effects. Stage 15 on the Paramount lot was used for the climactic scene between Picard and Ru'afo. Due to the dangers of the four storey high staffolding-like set, the actors were attached by safety cables at all times. Paramount's B tank, which was used to represent San Francisco Bay in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, was used to shoot footage of Picard, Data and Anij at the Ba'ku lake. For the scene where Data walked along the lake-bed, his prop tricorder was covered in plastic to make it watertight.
Costumes and make-up 
Make-up supervisor Michael Westmore sought to create a look for the Son'a that would not be exaggerated. For this purpose, he consulted several sculptors with the actual design coming from Dean Jones, who was on the production staff for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The make-up for Ru'afo featured multiple overlapping layers stretched over Abraham's head, described by Westmore as "like a rubber band, F. Murray Abraham could turn his head and the skin would look translucent. It was so thin, and the layers were pulling on each other." The two other aliens on the Son'a vessels also had particular make-up designs created. The Tarlac had make-up based on the skin of a reptile, while the Ellora required only nose and forehead prosthetics.
The film also gave an opportunity to costume designer Robert Blackman to re-address the issue of Starfleet dress uniforms. These had changed on several occasions through designs by Blackman during The Next Generation. They had appeared for the first time in the episode "Lonely Among Us", and were based on the 18th century designs for the Royal Navy. For Insurrection, he initially thought of creating a uniform which featured short jackets in blue, red and gold, something he later designed as "not a good idea". His eventual design dropped the color patellate for specific divisions, which he explained saying "No matter what, white over black has a formal look to it." Sanja Milkovic Hayes created the remaining new costumes for the film. She aimed not to make the Ba'ku look too cute, and used a material made out of cellulose fiber which was specifically created for Insurrection. She said it was organic, and was simply cooked and then glued together. The Son'a costumes used a combination of layers of crushed velvet and metal strips. The female bodysuits were made of latex plastic. Hayes wanted them to appear "sexy, but not vulgar" and described the outfits as "very conservative".
|Star Trek: Insurrection – Selections From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album by Jerry Goldsmith|
|Released||December 22, 1998|
|Jerry Goldsmith chronology|
|Star Trek soundtracks chronology|
Insurrection was composer Jerry Goldsmith's fourth film score for the franchise. Goldsmith continued using the march and Klingon themes he crafted for Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1979, adding new themes and variations. Insurrection opens with Alexander Courage's Star Trek: The Original Series fanfare, also introducing a six-note motif used in many of the film's action sequences. The Ba'ku are scored with a pastoral theme, repeating harps, string sections and a woodwind solo. The Ba'ku's ability to slow time uses a variation of this music.
Goldsmith approached starship sequences with quick bursts of brass music. While observers are watching the Ba'ku unseen, Goldsmith employed a "spying theme" that bears resemblance to the composer's conspiracy theme from Capricorn One. Composed of a piano, timpani percussion, and brass, the theme builds until interrupted by the action theme as Data opens fire. Goldsmith did not write a motif for the Son'a, choosing to score the action sequence without designating the Son'a as an antagonist (suggesting the film's revelation that the Son'a and Ba'ku are related.) The film's climax is scored with the action material, balanced by "sense of wonder" music similar to cues from The Motion Picture.
One scene in the film saw Patrick Stewart and Brett Spiner conduct a duet of A British Tar from the Gilbert and Sullivan comic-opera H.M.S. Pinafore. This replaced the original idea of Picard and Data reciting scenes from the Shakespeare play King Lear. Stewart had suggested that they sing Three Little Maids from School are we from The Mikado instead, but this was described as "too vulgar" by the producers. Stewart and Spiner had previously sung together on Spiner's 1991 album Ol' Yellow Eyes Is Back.
The world premiere of Insurrection launched the 1998 CineVegas film festival. It went on general release in North America on December 11, 1998. The film grossed $22.4 million over the opening weekend, the most of any film during that period. It averaged a total of $8,417 per location, across 2,620 theatres, but fell short of the opening weekend takings of both First Contact and Generations at $30.7 million and $23.1 million respectively.
During its first week of release in the UK, Insurrection was the top grossing film, this time ahead of the Will Smith film Enemy of the State. The film was the highest grossing film only during the first week of its release in the United States, and stayed in the top ten for a further three weeks. It went on to gross $70,187,658 domestically and $42,400,000 overseas for a total of $112,587,658 worldwide against a $58 million budget.
It was the first Star Trek film to be promoted through the official website, which was called the "Star Trek Continuum" at the time. Following the success of the film, Rick Berman said that he was seeking to release the next film in the series three years after Insurrection. He said that "The notion of releasing a science fiction film in the year 2001 is very seductive."
Critical response 
The critical response to Insurrection was mixed. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a score of 56% based on 68 reviews, 37 fresh and 29 rotten. The Los Angeles Daily News said that the film had the "bare bones of one of those pseudo-philosophical political allegories Trek has always done so entertainingly. But the movie blows it." It praised the directing of Jonathan Frakes and the computer generated special effects but only gave the film two and a half stars overall. The Arlington Heights Daily Herald also gave the film two and a half stars, describing it as a "slickly made" movie with a plot "scaled down to its TV roots". However, criticism was reserved for the "frivolous" romance between Riker and Troi. The Washington Times gave the film just one and a half stars, saying that it was "consistently flat-footed and slow on the uptake", and that there was "ramshackle confusion during the climactic scenes".
The Daily Mail praised the moral point the film was attempting to raise as well as the acting abilities of Patrick Stewart, giving the movie four stars. The Scottish Daily Record praised F. Murray Abraham and described Anthony Zerbe as "ever-dependable". It thought the plot was good, but felt that it was simply an extended episode of The Next Generation, and gave it a score of six out of ten. This view was also put forward by British tabloid The People, who also felt it was an extended TV episode.
The Independent said that Insurrection "never stops being familiarly jolly and antiquated", although also referred to the entire Star Trek film franchise as being "old-fashioned". The Washington Post also thought that the film was old fashioned, but "in the best sense of the word", and that the film did what the "doctor – make that Dr. 'Bones' McCoy – ordered". British journalist Simon Rose, writing for The Daily Mirror was more critical of the film, saying that it failed to break the odd-numbered Star Trek film curse, and that it was "feeble", "moribund" and "tedious". However, Josh Spiegel whilst writing for the Buffalo News thought that Insurrection broke the odd-numbered film rule. Further criticism came from the Birmingham Evening Mail, who said that it was an "an adult form of entertainment equivalent to Teletubbies for babies", and that there were "lots of repetition, rubbery faces, gibberish dialogue, characters leaping up and down in funny suits and some very basic effects". The review gave the film two stars for fans, and none for non-fans. In Folklore / Cinema: Popular Film as Vernacular Culture, the actions of Data and the Ba'ku child Artim in Insurrection are seen as "a metamorphosis motif where a child becomes computerlike and a computer/ android becomes more childlike". Data specifically "is a metaphor for a child who seeks to understand what being human means and then, like the velveteen rabbit, wishes to become. From confronting his father and evil brother to finding his mother, Data also represents the potential within all of us to quest for a fuller humanity".
Accolades and nominations 
The film was nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film at the 25th Saturn Awards, however the prize was shared for the only time in the award's history by Armageddon and Dark City. In 1999, it was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, but it instead went to The Truman Show. It was nominated for Best Family Feature Film: Drama at the 20th Youth in Film Awards and won the individual award for Best Performance in a Feature Film: Supporting Young Actor for Michael Welch.
Home media 
The first home media release of the film was made simultaneously on VHS cassette and on DVD on May 11, 1999 in the United States, and on VHS later in the year overseas. A video game which followed up on the events of Insurrection was released in 2000. Entitled Star Trek: Hidden Evil, it was set nine months after the events of the film. It finds a Son'a colony has been created on Ba'ku and makes an archaeological discovery which shares similarities with The Next Generation episode "The Chase". It was developed by Presto Studios and published by Activision. The US television channel Showtime launched its HDTV service on January 23, 2000 with a broadcast of Insurrection. The film was one of the first titles to be released on DVD in Europe and Japan by Paramount Home Entertainment International, it was released on June 5, 2000, in the United Kingdom.
An Insurrection "Special Collector's Edition" two-disc set was released in 2005 at the same time as three other Next Generation films and Star Trek: Enterprise's fourth season, marking the first time that every film and episode of the franchise was available on home video. In addition to the feature, presented with the same technical specifications as the previous release and a new DTS soundtrack, it shipped without any audio commentary. As with other special edition DVD releases, the disc includes a text track by Michael and Denise Okuda that provides production trivia and relevant facts about the Star Trek universe. The second disc contains six making-of featurettes, including a feature on the construction of the Ba'ku village and one on the make-up designs of Michael Westmore. All four The Next Generation films were released on high-definition Blu-ray on September 22, 2009. Insurrection is presented in 1080p high definition enhanced for widescreen television. The Blu-ray transfer features 5.1 Dolby TrueHD audio in English, French, and Spanish languages. In addition to previous content, the version contains "Creating the Illusion" featurettes and new commentary by Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis.
See also 
- Films with similar themes
- "Star Trek: Insurrection". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 22, 2013.
- Reeves-Stevens (1998): p. 278
- Boyar, Jay (December 3, 1998). "Patick Stewart's Capt. Picard gets a love life in 'Star Trek: Insurrection'". Knight Ridder/Tribune News. Retrieved March 22, 2013. (subscription required)
- "Patrick Stewart's view". The Daily Mirror. January 1, 1999. Retrieved March 22, 2013. (subscription required)
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