Eric Stewart: Running Off At The Mouth

Spoiler Filled Movie Review: Star Trek

by Eric Stewart on May.18, 2009, under Movies

This is a “spoiler filled” review.  If you haven’t seen the movie, see it before reading this!  I do recommend the movie.  But be warned!  This review might ruin it for you if you haven’t seen it yet.

Seen it yet?

Last chance to turn back …

Absolutely last chance!

Okay, here we go.

I guess it’s a recent concept – “rebooting a franchise.”  It’s where they basically wipe the slate clean as far as what is canon, and start over from scratch.  The term was used for The Incredible Hulk (starring Ed Norton) as compared to Hulk (starring Eric Bana).  That’s not what I consider a true reboot though.  For true reboots, look at the James Bond movies starting with Casino Royale (starring Daniel Craig), the Battlestar Galactica TV series, and the new Star Trek movie.

I don’t usually do movie reviews – in fact, blog-wise, this is this first.  As far as Star Trek is concerned, I consider myself “just short of a trekkie” – I liked the original series as a kid, for the most part enjoyed TNG, even enjoyed (more or less) the movies.  Never been to a (specifically) Star Trek convention though.  I had actually said for a while that what was needed was someone to just start over from scratch – use the characters and concepts but ignore completely everything that went before.

Well, they don’t completely ignore everything that went before with this new movie, but they use the (oft dreaded, when it comes to Star Trek, and a big weakness in some of the later series) time travel plot device to justify some of the character changes.  That, actually, I didn’t have a problem with, as much as I hate Star Trek’s use of time travel.  It was a convenient way wipe out everything we knew (well, most everything).

I said I wasn’t a trekkie … but I must say I had great issues with the total destruction of Vulcan.  This is a major planet!  One of the five founders of the Federation!  This is just short of destroying Earth.  I will not argue, though, that it fit with the plot of the movie, and gave the situation a stronger impact than just any old planet would.  As planets go, though, Vulcan is hard to part with.

So by this point you’ve seen the movie and you know that James Kirk, fresh out of the Academy (technically not even out of it yet), is given a five grade bump to Captain and given command of the new flagship of the Federation.  Excuse me?  I don’t care if the kid got lucky and saved the Earth … you don’t give him command of the flagship.  He drove a antique Corvette off of a cliff!  Make him first officer to some one who has worked for a while at least!

*the next morning, more nitpicking occurred*

And Red Matter … what’s up with that?  Who knew that red liquid latex was so dangerous.  Yet another strange thing to keep track of!  There isn’t enough in the rich Star Trek universe, so they needed to create yet another “thing”?

And Black Holes.  Yeah, let’s just throw three or four more into the universe!  We can only hope that “Red Matter” created singularities eventually collapse or something.  And having to drill all the way to the core to throw some Red Matter in in order to collapse the a planet?  I seriously doubt you’d need to do that if you can create even a “small” black hole – the surface of the planet would probably be bad enough.

But most of this is just nitpicking the science and reliance on tired plot devices, and script writing that feels overly free to make stuff up as you go along in an “established universe.”

*end next morning’s nitpicking and returning you to the original review*

It was nice to see Leonard Nimoy doing Spock one more time.  All the new folks were cast well.  I will echo what I read on another review that Simon Pegg stole every scene he was in as Scotty – it’s good that he wasn’t in more of the movie, as good as he is.  It would have taken away from the true purpose of the movie: to show the foundations of the relationship between Kirk and Spock (and to a lesser extent, McCoy).

On the whole, it was a very good movie.  Fun, a great reboot of the franchise, worth the sale of a ticket.  Nothing beyond what I mentioned that injured my ability to suspend disbelief.  I’m not so sure I enjoyed it nearly as much as many of my friends have; I’d give 4 out of 5 stars (next day clarification: pretty much the best Trek movie yet, actually, with Wrath of Khan a close second).  I’m very happy that I got a chance to see it in the theaters, and will happily go to its sequel in the theater, and it will be put high in the list when Netflix has it.


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