Star Trek (C)
The new Star Trek movie should have done what Casino Royale did for the Bond franchise. Unfortunately, it ended up being more like Quantum of Solace.
The script, scribed by the people that brought you Transformers was distinctly incoherent. What I find interesting is that so many people admit to the many plot holes and yet seem to forgive the movie. Unfortunately, I canít do that. The story rests on a convoluted time travel/alternate universe storyline which makes little sense on numerous different levels. Then there is the fact that there are very little well executed character moments. The one character they did focus on, James T. Kirk was fitted with a dying Hollywood trope: the story of the rebel guy whose father is dead and has to live up to his fatherís memory. That was a storyline that was tired when they did it more than twenty years ago in Top Gun. But since they did decide to go that route, where was the emotion in Kirk when he was confronting the man responsible for killing his father? If anything this should have been the thing to bond him and Spock. But instead Spock decides to do one of the most illogical things a Vulcan could possibly do and maroon Kirk. Is there no brig on this Enterprise? Oh, but wait, the marooning leads Kirk through a series of roll-your-eyes coincidences to meeting Spock Prime so thatís okay, I guess. And by the end of the movie Kirk, who hasnít even yet completed the academy is promoted to Captain of the Enterprise. Iíve heard of promotions in the battlefield but this one is just too much to swallow. Thatís like telling Harry Potter that for saving the Philosopherís Stone he gets to become superintendent at Hogworts!
A lot of people have complained that the bridge of the Enterprise doesnít look like right. I can accept it looking different, but the Apple-store palette really needed to be toned down. It was just plain distracting. The flares were another problem. Abrams had lens flares where there was no possible reason for there to be one. I counted three in less than ten seconds. Definitely excessive.
For the most part, the cast did well, that is the main cast. Chris Pine was exceedingly annoying, but thatís not a surprise based on the script. By the end at least, I could believe that he and Zachary Quinto were Kirk and Spock. Quinto started off the movie unable to convince me he was anyone but Sylar but really did do a tremendous job, even carrying his body like Spock. Karl Urban, as many have commented, seemed to be channeling DeForest Kelley. The most annoying of the crew was Simon Pegg. Itís really not Peggís fault. The scripting for Scotty was absolutely awful. The character spent far too much of the movie (what little he was in it) playing for laughs. Another real low point was Eric Bana as Nero, who many will compare with Khan, but letís face it he couldnít even touch General Chang. Whereís the scenery chewing Star Trek villain? I just didnít care about this villain, and his back story as explained in the movie was fairly ludicrous. I understand its better explained in the comic, but if you need the comic to tell the story then youíre not telling the story correctly.
The effects are indeed amazing. It looks gorgeous, with the exception of some weird spinning ship which was just annoying. Itís the best youíll have seen Star Trek look, but unfortunately, in the end, itís all gloss.
Ultimately the movie failed with the director. Donít get me wrong, Iím not putting Abrams in the league of Michael Bay for overt action but the fact is a lot of characterization and plotting was sacrificed in favour of ďcoolĒ unnecessary action sequences. Speaking of unnecessary, had I wanted to own this Star Trek movie on DVD, I would literally edit out the car chase scene at the beginning. Not only is it utterly pointless, but it could be deleted and not effect the story one iota- not exactly a sign of good storytelling. I truly believe in the hands of a better director this mightíve been a better movie. Even the people that brought you Fantastic Four understood that the characters needed to be established first. Donít get me wrong, itís an interesting rollercoaster ride, but in the end it lacks substance, namely, heart. So if I hated it so much, why am I giving it a C? Thatís the thing. I didnít hate it. I just didnít really care. The movie felt unnecessary. Iíd much rather have see a new Kirk and crew already established on the Enterprise than a rushed origins movie. Hopefully the next Star Trek movie will do betterÖ. So long as they donít let Abrams in the big chair.
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