The Romulans might have joined the Remans in a military alliance to destroy the Federation., but things go badly and everyone in the Senate is killed by a thought-to-be theoretical radiation called Thalaron.
Riker and Deanna are getting married, but their send-off by the Enterprise crew is interrupted by the discovery of a positronic energy emission coming from a planet. Picard goes down with an away team to the planet surface and discovers a lost “brother” of Data, a more primitive version of him called B-4.
They collect the parts of B-4, but then are ambushed by aliens and narrowly escape back to their shuttlecraft.
Admiral Janeway (of Voyager fame) orders the Enterprise to a diplomatic mission to Romulus. Following the death of the Senate, a Reman named Shinzon has taken over the government of Romulus, and claims to want to make peace with the Federation.
The enterprise arrives and Picard interviews with Shinzon without much event, except that they detect low level emissions of Thalaron radiation from Shinzon’s ship The Scimitar, and also that Shinzon is a clone of Picard (information that Shinzon shares willingly).
Meanwhile, B-4 is activated remotely by Shinzon and collects information about Star Fleet’s communication protocols while aboard the Enterprise. He is then beamed aboard The Scimitar so the data he stole could be uploaded.
Shinzon is actually physically deteriorating due to a lack of accelerated aging programming being enabled and needs Picard’s blood to survive much longer. He captures Picard but Data rescues him.
Picard surmises that The Scimitar is a giant Thalaron weapons system that is going to be used to destroy Earth in what is basically an epic rage-quit by Shinzon. The Enterprise races to intercept The Scimitar, which has already left on a course for Earth.
The Enterprise makes it to Shinzon’s ship, but is very badly damaged by torpedos. A Romulan Commander who had formerly conspired with Shinzon tries to aid the Enterprise, but both her ships are disabled.
Picard rams The Scimitar and tries to activate self-destruct, but fails because the system is offline. Shinzon begins activating the Thalaron weapon in order to kill everyone aboard the Enterprise. He boards Shinzon’s ship and kills him by impaling him, while Data saves the captain by slapping a transporter badge on him and stays behind to destroy The Scimitar. When it explodes, Data presumable perishes.
In the end, Riker is given command of his own ship, and Picard discovers that Data had impressed his thoughts and personality on B-4, giving hope to the possibility that Data can live on in the form of his “brother”.
God, what a crappy film. The story wasn’t that interesting, in fact pretty basic. That could be forgivable, except for this is the movie where Data dies. After seven seasons of TV and several Next Generation movies, Data deserved more. The character of Shinzon was particulary weak for an antagonist. Since he shared DNA with Picard, he really desired to be more friends with our good captain than enemies, and when Shinzon finally turns to rage following Picard’s rejection of friendship, it was very unconvincing transition. They really needed a much more insidious enemy to set up the death of Data. God what a piece of tripe this film is!
I have to say also, that the romantic sub-plot between Riker and Deanna was (and always has) felt very contrived. For whatever reason, I never thought there was any onscreen chemistry between the two characters. I think the writers thought Star Trek viewers would appreciate the union of these two characters since many female viewers swooned over Riker whilst many .male viewers lusted after Troi. A classic example of “Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should!”
I noticed also that extensive CGI was used for the space scenes in Nemesis. In the TV series models were used for the ships, and therefore tended to look more realistic. In 2002 CGI still looked pretty XBOX, so I have to say I didn’t care for the space scenes in this movie.