I just got home from seeing the much anticipated new Star Trek movie and wanted to share my views on it with you, my readers. Now, don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy the movie…to a point and I will provide as spoiler free a review as possible.
The movie should have very well have been titled what I have as the graphic up there. Yep, I said it. Now, don’t start flaming me, just hear me out. I was on board with this movie until they destroyed a certain planet…a planet that figures very importantly in the Star Trek universe…after that, I was just plain bored as it shocked me to the core that they could just go and do this. That said, the acting was very good and they did a great job filling the cast with people who did a very good job, making the characters believable…to a point. I am a fan of Simon Pegg and loved him in the movies he has been in before, but here, he takes the comic relief a bit to the edge of the cliff and you are teetering on that edge watching the rocks and pebbles fall off at your feet. As I said, overall, the movie was good, but there is only so much you can dick around with and still call it Star Trek. I know, I know, alternate universe, yadda yadda yadda…it is just a convenient plot device to wipe the slate clean and kick start a franchise that has become stale, so I give them that and will just have to wrap my mind around it and let it sink in.
Beyond that, there are a few points that seem to urk the crap out of me, and I could just very well be nitpicking:
1) To have a thoroughly modern, sleek and great looking ship then have an engine room that looks like a 20th century industrial plant, just doesn’t mesh well. If the rest of the ship is all squeeky clean and ergonomic right down to the barcode readers on the bridge, they why the heck can’t you have the engineering section look more like the rest of the ship? You can have it look all industrial if you want, but at least make it industrial-tech, not boiler room on the Titanic. Another area of the engineering section looked like a processing room in a dairy plant, and I should know having worked at a dairy for 19 years, which was another example of 20th century tech, not tech of the future. Even the water processing room looked closer to industrial-tech and something that would have been on the Enterprise (I won’t go into the Willy Wonka-esque factor of that scene…Augustus Scott!) This sort of gritty tech worked well on the Kelvin, which was an older ship and had years in space, but for a brand spanking new ship? Come on.
2) Windshields on a starship. Um, I don’t think that is such a great idea and this part almost comes to pass during the climax.
3) The serendipity of it all. I know they needed to get everyone in place in one movie so they can start working on the inevitiable sequels with everyone where they need to be, but it all seemed to be just too convenient in how it came together.
Those points aside, I do believe this will be a new Trek that more people can relate to. The effects were superb, the costumes excellent (there is even a nod to the style of uniforms from the Motion Picture towards the end) and the story worked on many levels adding new complexity to what is now the established Star Trek Universe. All other events that happened before the time line had been changed (which is explained nicely by Spock) will be referred to as Prime (Kirk Prime, Spock Prime, Tribble Prime, etc), which wraps it all in a nice little package saying, what had happened before is still happening out there, but what we will see from now on is happening on a new timeline tangent. This gives JJ and the crew leeway into forging their own Universe with things familiar to us old timers but yet, allows new stories to be written without the baggage of 40 plus years of what has happened before. Star Trek Lives (now with brand new blood) and one less very important member planet of the Federation!