I know little of the behind-the-scenes guff, but Insurrection
was a poor film, and turned many film-goers--fans and otherwise--off the franchise.
Star Trek has always been prone to wooden acting, clumsy dialogue, rushed plotting, limited character development and awful mawkishness.
and First Contact
had bits of these, but they were balanced by fun, action, better-than-average scripts and acting, or workable plots.
had most of the vices with few of the virtues. Dull characters, sentimental plotting, ham-fisted characterisation, flat dialogue.
We know Frakes was capable of much better. Perhaps he did his best with a poor script, little studio enthusiasm. I don't know.
Having said all this, the films' takings, adjusted for inflation
, put ST: TMP and ST: TVH under Abrams' 2009 film. Which is odd, as they were not, in my opinion, superior to ST: TWK or ST: TUC.