Star Trek: Nemesis: The Deluxe Edition
Varese Sarabande Club CD VCL-12131143
Disc 1: 24 Tracks:/Disc Time: 60:58
Disc 2: 22 Tracks/Disc Time: 54:17
Total Set Time: 115:15
In 2002, the Next Generation crew of Star Trek films was coming to a close. After the lukewarm reception that "Star Trek Insurrection" received and was the last successful for this group's series of films since the disasterous "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier". Almost completely revamping the crew that would take the reigns on "Star Trek Nemesis", Director Stuart Baird, who was coming off two successful directorial outings in the action thrillers, "Executive Decision" and "U.S. Marshals", was assigned the final voyage of the ST:TNG and the Starship Enterprise and joining him was successful screen writer John Logan, who was coming off the success of Best Picture winner "Gladiator" in 2000 and would become a formidable screenwriter with Oscar nominated works such as "The Aviator", and writing hit films such as "Sweeney Todd", "Rango", "Skyfall", which is probably the best Bond film ever and his upcoming adpatation of the hit Broadway show, "The Jersey Boys" directed by Oscar winner Clint Eastwood. The film centers around Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart, "X-Men") and his Enterprise crew returning to battle a chilling new adversary in the wake of a joyful wedding between Lt. William Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Deanna Troi (Marina Siritis), the crew receives another reason to celebrate as the Romulans want peace and the Captain has been chosen to be the Federation's emissary. However, as the Enterprise heads towards the Romulan Empire, a brilliant villain awaits in the form of Shinzon (Tom Hardy, "Inception", "The Dark Knight Returns") harboring a diabolical plan of destruction and an unimaginable secret that will give Picard his most fearsome challenge yet. The film was easily the most disappointing of the series without a doubt both box office wise and critically, which pretty much left the series dormant for another six years until J.J. Abrams masterful reboot.
Throughout the series of "Star Trek" films good and bad, there has always been a very special element that has made them so good and that is always that memorable fanfare along with the work of every composer that participated in them that include the likes of Oscar Winner James Horner, Leonard Rosenman, Cliff Eidelman, Dennis McCarthy and now most recently, Oscar Winner Michael Giacchino. The true master of the series was the work of the late Oscar Winner Jerry Goldsmith, who contributed five scores the "Star Trek" films including his memorable opus "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" which is amongst his greatest and popular works. It would only be fitting that Goldsmith would be the one tapped to score what would be the final voyage of the "Next Generation" crew as well as one of the very last complete scores that he would write as he would lose his battle with cancer two years later.
The score to "Star Trek Nemesis" is in the fine tradition of Goldsmith's other Trek scores, however and sadly it doesn't quite measure up to those scores unfortunately despite his both personal and valiant effort to produce a great memorable score for the last time. What he did compose was really admirable from the stand point that Goldsmith put fourth his greatest efforts to make the film better despite the how lackluster the film itself was. The music is heroic, mysterious and features a nice new take on the classic main theme that Goldsmith created back in 1979. Utilizing a huge orchestra and an array of electronics, Goldsmith creates a world that mostly unsettling since the villain is an angry and bitter rival of Captain Jean-Luc Picard and as the score goes along, the music reflects that one most notably.
There is plenty of action (on this version of the soundtrack) to enjoy more so than the original release that includes tracks such as "Odds And Ends" that has the propulsive action licks that Goldsmith was known for around this time, "The Mine" and "The Mirror" that has a touch of terrific score to "The Edge" with its' tense strings and woodwinds pushed by a beating synthesizer theme, "Battle Stations", "Attack Pattern", "Lateral Run", "Engage" and "Final Flight" are other memorable tracks. However, the majority of the score is mainly a build up of the character of Shinzon in which Goldsmith wisely starts off with a subtle sense of anger as featured in the tracks "The Box", "The Knife", ""Secrets", "Ideals" and "Options" as these tracks establish the moods of the character and his rage towards Picard that finally culminates in a full destructive mode with Goldsmith musically edging him in the tracks "Bed Time/Transport", "Blood Test", "The Scorpion", "His Plans/Data & B-4", "The Invitation/True Nature/Let's Go To Work" and "Not Functional". Goldsmith's use of his theme is used rather sparingly in this score unilke his other Trek scores which is a bit unusual but somewhat smart in that the main villain that he thought should've been the main focus. The theme does get a nice treatment in "Remus" and for the lengthy "End Credits" which incorporates the Irving Berlin song, "Blue Skies" as a nice added touch as the "B-4" aka. Data 2 played by Brent Spiner performs it in the film and is featured on this album as an added bonus.
The original soundtrack was released during the films' December 2002 theatrical release by Varese which was a very big deal since it was their first release of a "Star Trek" original score of its' kind and would be one of the last that Jerry Goldsmith would produce long with the lost score to "Timeline" and his final film for his friend and collaborator Director Joe Dante, "Looney Tunes Back In Action." The original album met with somewhat of a lukewarm reception because of the amount of music missing and in particular the action driven material that is finally included on this version as well as a wonderful new remix that really helps the score sing much much more. My problem with this score is that it is sadly, a bit flat and sounds a little too much like his scores to "Executive Decision" and "U.S. Marshals" (which I definitely liked alot) a bit too much at times which is quite surprising because I've enjoyed all of Goldsmith's scores for the Trek films and this one isn't as memorable as it should be. I like it well enough to highly recommend it against the lesser Trek movie scores, but if you put it up against Goldsmith's more potent and memorable material he's written, it just misses the mark a bit. "Star Trek Nemesis" isn't the best nor the worst score in the series of films, but it is also a reminder of how great the brilliance of the late Jerry Goldsmith was. A tireless worker whose work was always stellar and professional, went about this score in his usual manner and as usual came out on top as he always did with his head held high and this score is no different. Marginal, but positive recommendation. Thumbs up.