Star Trek’s Insurrection and Nemesis turn 25 and 21, but which one has aged better?

1998 Brent Spiner stars in the new movie "Star Trek: Insurrection."
1998 Brent Spiner stars in the new movie "Star Trek: Insurrection." /

Star Trek: Insurrection and Star Trek: Nemesis both came out over 20 years ago this month, but which one held up better?

On Dec. 11, 1998, Star Trek: Insurrection was released, pitting Jean-Luc Picard and the Enterprise against the Federation itself, while on Dec. 9. 2002, Star Trek: Nemesis dropped, featuring Picard taking on a clone of himself. Neither premise was widely embraced, and neither film was able to match the quality of Star Trek Generations, released on Nov. 17, 1994.

Let alone the magnum opus of the Next Generation era of films, Star Trek: First Contact; which was released on Nov. 22, 1996, and helped create the idea of First Contact Day, a date that many Trek fans celebrate from year to year. Mostly due to how enjoyable the movie is. The fact that no other film lived up to its execution isn’t surprising, as Trek films are largely hit-or-miss affairs already.

But the fact that none of them lived up to or surpassed Generations is a bit shocking. Nemesis and Insurrection are seen as two of the weakest films in the franchise’s canon despite the era. But with both of them now over 20 years old, have either surpassed one another?

Which failed Trek film looks better 20+ years later?

It’s truly hard to say because neither film really did a lot with what they had. Insurrection seemed like a good idea on paper but the fountain of youth concept, and the dueling aliens mixed in really helped nerf the concept, and the clone idea with Nemesis had legs, as did the revelation that the Vulcans and Romulans have a third-distant race, The Reemans.

But it was a largely flat movie with flat performances.

Yet, for my money, and keep in my this is just an opinion, there’s more in Nemesis to like. You have Ron Perlman as a Reeman, and the Reemans themselves are designed after the iconic vampire Nosferatu, while the clone of Picard wasn’t great, it was played by a very young Tom Hardy, who remains one of the best acting talents in all of the world right now.

It’s still not a film I’d watch on my own, it certainly tried to be more into the hype of the early 2000s pop culture trends (style of filming, the dune-buggy scene), and it takes it out of the film, but it does have more positives than Insurrection, even if that’s not saying much.

Next. 5 reasons fans never fully embraced Star Trek: Discovery. dark