cardinal biggles wrote:
The budgets were far beneath the ambitions of every Trek movie script from Wrath of Khan to Nemesis. The TOS films compensate with better writing (as you pointed out with your comparison to Search for Spock), while the TNG films tried to compensate, for better or worse, by making Picard the action hero he never was. Throwing more money at Nemesis would have simply resulted in the film being an even bigger flop.
This is true, and I think the best films in the series modulated their ambitions to fit their budgetary constraints. When I point out that the script had more ambition than the budget allowed, that's not a criticism of the budget, it's a criticism of the script. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
was made for less than any of the other films in the series, but it still holds up because Meyer and Bennett planned ahead and spent their money wisely.
Star Trek: Nemesis
falls apart in terms of scope as soon as we see the Senate of the Romulan Star Empire and there's barely enough extras to populate a PTA meeting.
Considering that, adjusted for inflation*, the budget of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
was $24.24 million (less than half of the $60 million that went into Star Trek: Nemesis
), Baird, Logan, and Paramount did not spend their money wisely.
*From 1982 to 2002 dollars.