I suppose it is inevitable that I would post a review of the new Star Trek film. The film is out, I am a Star Trek fan and I do have this blog. With great power comes great responsibility but mediocre exposure comes with the right to mouth off about things. Such is life.
First, I'd like to say that I was really excited when they announced this film and the prequel/reboot concept intrigued me. I was ready for something new, something different, even if it was applied to the Star Trek I call my own.
I love all the incarnations of Star Trek (to varying degrees of course) but the Original Series is what made me a Star Trek fan in the first place. To me, Star Trek is many things but regardless of everything else, the legend begins with Capt. Kirk, Mr. Spock, Dr. McCoy and the crew of the USS Enterprise in 1966. That said, I went in ready to weep, laugh and jump for joy at this revised incarnation. I...didn't.
Red Alert...Spoilers Ahead
The first few minutes, the scenes with the USS Kelvin leading up to the first appearance of the 'Star Trek' title across the screen, were awesome. I almost cried it was so good. The movie went on from there as a fast paced, action packed adventure film with awesome characters and dazzling special effects. Pine was a very good Kirk, Quinto a great Spock and Karl Urban a Super-Freakin' Awesome McCoy. Pegg, as expected, was also excellent as Scotty though I'd hoped he would be there for more scenes. Everybody was good actually.
Then it went on to become...a movie. A typical, sloppy, Hollywood blockbuster. I kept trying to love it, kept trying to see and feel the magic, but as the film went on it did everything it could to drive the magic away.
There was just too much 'huh?' in the movie. Too much convenience that made no sense. Everything happened in a way that it needed to regardless of logic or believability. The visual design of the sets and locales ranged from fair to downright terrible.
Why did the starship bridges look like they were from the future and the engine rooms look like the boiler room in my old high school. Note to the film makers; in order to achieve a suspension of disbelief in a SciFi film, things have to look sort of, ya'know, SciFi-ish.
Where the heck is Delta Vega? If its a planet like the computer identified it, how is it you can see Vulcan (another planet) from the surface. We can't see Mars or Venus except as a tiny point of light in the night sky. Is it a moon of Vulcan? Then why wasn't it screwed up when Vulcan was destroyed?
So, Chekov can use the Transporter to save Kirk and Sulu moving through the air at ridiculous speeds but can't save Spock's Mom when she slips on a crumbling rock. Is she somehow moving faster then the guys who leaped off a platform hundreds of feet in the air?
Why is it that the Federation never has any ships anywhere they're needed? Between Vulcan and Earth there are only the half dozen vessels parked around Earth's spacedock? All the other ships in the fleet are in another system? No ship is defending the founding worlds? No planet has its own weapons or defenses to shoot down the laser drill rig?
Kirk gets through the Academy and receives command of the flagship in three years? If Chekov is 17 does that mean he entered Starfleet at 14?
So Kirk cheated to win the Kobayashi Maru. Did he have to act like he cheated? What a putz.
The science surrounding the plot was preposterous. A supernova is going to destroy the galaxy? Funny, hasn't happened so far. And a black hole maker made of magic red goo is going to save us? Oh wait, it can also destroy us. It can also send you through time. Wha?
I have more but its not necessary. While watching this film I felt like I had a tall glass of cool and the movie kept bumping into me every few scenes causing it to spill. By the end of the film there wasn't much cool left in the glass.
Oh, one more thing. The new version of the Enterprise is just so ugly. The shuttle were great, the Kelvin rocked and many of the ships around the spacedock were nifty (as was the spacedock itself). The Enterprise though...just so unattractive. Odd curves, uninspired dish (it looked great on the TMP era ship - this is a new design. Make a new look for the dish), bizarrely shortened secondary hull and those engines...ugh. Just a bad design and from an artist I worship too. Yuck.
Anyway...the sequel should be just around the corner. Maybe next time they will pay as much attention to the art and story as they did the characterizations.
Peace and Long Life,