I am the captain of my fate!
I was not one of the popular kids in school, I was, and am, a self confessed nerd and am proud of that fact. Being a nerd isn’t necessarily a bad thing because it just means that you’re passionate about a particular subject, or indeed a group of subjects. Being a nerd isn’t a bad thing and I would rather be an unpopular nerd than fit in with the so called popular kids that are sheep and follow everyone else in doing the same tedious activities.
That’s what I told myself when I was 15.
I’m now 30 years old and whilst I still enjoy things that would be defined as nerdy, my tastes have moved on somewhat and I am now of an age where quality means more to me than it did when I was literally half a lifetime ago. Whilst poor quality CGI, scripts and acting were more acceptable to me at that age, my standards have certainly increased since then.
It’s safe to say that I don’t have high hopes for this….
Ten years after the events of “Star Trek : Voyager” Starfleet has noticed that planets have started disappearing, all after the appearance of Syphon, a planet that had seemingly never existed until three years prior. To investigate what is going on, Tuvok (Russ) frees Lexxa (Wilkinson) from prison and encourages her to rejoin her former crew. She reluctantly agrees under the promise of information from Tuvok regarding her previously thought dead mother.
Lexxa catches up to her old crew and they all begin to hunt down the Syphon species, only to be taken hostage when they eventually find them. They are lead by Borrada (Young), a man who is determined to make Starfleet pay for their role in the destruction of his home planet 300 years prior, but it is only when Lexxa kills his son that he decides it’s time to destroy Earth. He initiates his weapon and forms a time-based shield around Earth that prevents any sunlight getting to any part of the planet, giving it just weeks to survive until it falls to the same temperatures of space.
Can the crew successfully stop Borrada and remove the shield around Earth?
Worth the watch?
I’m going to start this by putting it in the simplest form possible, if you are not a Star Trek fan then you have precisely zero chance of liking this because people who are fans of the franchise have described it as awful. That is not a good sign when even the most basic need of a movie based on a TV show is to impress those that are already fans.
It’s difficult to know where to go from there as there are numerous problems with the movie and I suppose I should start with the script and storyline, and to describe both as very shoddy would be an understatement.
The problem with introducing so many new characters to a loved franchise, especially in a made-for-TV movie, is that you have to get the characters and storyline spot on, and this fails. This starts right from the simple premise of the antagonist being pissed off at Starfleet for not preventing their planet from being destroyed, whereas in reality Starfleet couldn’t do anything about it. That is also pretty much the absolute basic plot of the reboot of Star Trek in 2009. The only difference is that in 2009 it was because a sun went supernova, and in this the alien race blames Starfleet for a disaster that happened 300 years ago….even though Starfleet didn’t exist at the time. Obviously that last bit could be thrown away with the space-time theme of the movie, but that’d be extremely lazy writing.
Even the basics, such as the make-up, are completely wrong. The Syphon species have been designed in such a way that the actors struggle to talk due to the lack of movement of the prosthetic jaw that’s been attached to them. The actors are barely understandable because of this and they are unable to convey emotion through their eyes due to the restrictions of what has been applied to their face. It’s like watching someone who has had so much botox in their face that they’re only able to move their tongue.
This is in no way a criticism of the acting skills of the actors playing the members of the species, but unfortunately they are the only ones who get a reprieve in that sense because the acting from the rest of the cast is laughable, and that’s putting it nicely. Edward Furlong’s performance as Fixer was an example of why his career has seriously floundered since films such as “Terminator 2” and “American History X”, but even then he somehow manages to escape being tagged with the worst performance award.
That goes to Crystal Conway as Chekov’s great-granddaughter. Whilst I am not entirely convinced that her voice hasn’t been dubbed over, her lack of charisma is only overwhelmed by the stench of being someone who wandered onto the set one day and being given a part. She is just a terrible and in a movie full of lackluster and laughably bad performances, she somehow manages to surpass everyone at warp speed and get to the wooden spoon first.
Much like several other films I have reviewed in the past, films that are part of a franchise will automatically be compared to the previous entries in that franchise and when you do this, Renegades fails miserably, but I’d be saying that even if it was a standalone film. There are some films which could be part of franchises and be poor by comparison, but still be classed as a decent film if you look at them as if they were standing alone, that doesn’t apply to Renegades.
Visually the film is ridiculous and there are numerous times where you could tell just how low budget this was. There is a scene right at the start of the film with fire effects that looked like they came straight out of the early 1990s, characters are teleported to locations off screen (you hear the teleportation noise and then see them walking around the corner, saving money on not actually showing it) and many other things that show just how low budget that the film is. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with low budget films in general, hence why I review them, but it has to be made with at least some attempt to look believable.
Renegades feels like a movie made for the SyFy channel rather than a serious addition to the franchise and the inclusion of characters from previous additions to the Star Trek universe doesn’t change that. Characters such as Echeb were barely interesting during the television show, so why would I care about them in a movie? There were initially a lot of the cast from Star Trek Voyager attached at one point, so surely that they only ended up with three (and one of them made the film) should tell it’s own story.
There are a few similar films coming out for the Star Trek universe later on this year that are also fan-funded and I don’t have high hopes for them based on this.
When people who are already fans of the franchise aren’t a fan of this, you’ve got no chance if you’re not a fan. Even as a Star Trek fan, I couldn’t find a single positive after watching the film and that’s never a good thing. I’ve watched plenty of crap when it comes to Star Trek, including some horrendously bad episodes (usually the ones revolving around the characters of Troi in the Next Generation and several characters in Voyager….and the whole of Deep Space Nine), but this is probably the worst of the worst.
The characters aren’t compelling, the acting is laughably bad and there’s not even a decent storyline to make up for all of the inadequacies, and don’t let that it’s funded by fans fool you, this is a bad movie.