Glen McNamee
Star Trek NERD RAGE Review
Posted on May 10, 2009 in Film

Saw Star Trek last night, as I mentioned in previous posts I did have a lot of mixed feelings about the film especially as it involves rewriting Star Trek History and especially that the people responsible for this re-write are the people who wrote the appalling Transformers.

Star Trek fortunately is a much better film than Transformers and is a good summer blockbuster, but still suffers from the a lot of the same faults as transformers, and ultimately left me feeling underwhelmed.This blockbuster Star Trek has lost it’s soul, but everything is so shot so close up in super-tight, million-edits a second fashion, every goes so quickly, you’ll barely notice. So I’ve summarised them below for you;

NERD RAGE (and major spoilers) AHEAD!

First of all the Title of this movie is Star Trek, no subtitle, just Star Trek. I mean how cheeky is that?

It suffers from ‘Shaky Camera Action’ which seems to be a rather annoying habit of recent action movies. Most of the action works well despite the shaky camera, however some of action is rather silly and over the top, why is Sulu doing spinning jumps while he is, rather strangely in itself, fencing with a Romulan? Also why did the brief fight between Kirk and Spock look like it had been lifted from a Jason Bourne film .

The Acting is generally good, where the script allows it to be. Various lines of dialogue, are crudely inserted from previous films and television episodes, therefore the actors have to suffer through shoehorned Star Trek lines such as  ‘Damnit Jim’, ‘I’m a doctor, not a [insert profession here], and the most offensive ‘She kannie take anymore’ which ruined a tense scene. Despite having the majority of these sorts of lines Karl Urban shines in his roles as Bones. Poor Eric Bana has nothing really to do, as is just a generic villain (plot question: What did Nero and his crew do while he was waiting those 25 years).

The script is the films biggest weakness. As you probably know the plot be now involves time travel to giving the (lazy) writes scope to change a few things. These changes do start of as minor, simply giving us Chris Pine’s sub-James Dean frat-boy rebel Kirk, and a Spook and Uhura relationship (that seems to be added to the plot just to shock the fans) but it soon escalates into destroying the planet Vulcan. Complete screwing up the rest of Trek history/future. This isn’t a minor tweak to the Star Trek universe as we’ve been told. It’s a massive change, and I feel a kind of slap in the face to original Trek and it’s follow ons.

There are also two rather lame and obvious plot exposition scenes, The Mind-Meld scene (with a rather annoying echo) and the ‘Alternative Universe’ scene on the bridge which seems to be aimed straight at the audience. Also Spock appearance in the film seems to be just to offers helpful plot exposition, telling the characters exactly what they need to do in order to progress, and then what do once the film is complete.

The insertion of the fabled ‘Kobayashi Maru’ test completely misses the point of the original story (given in Wraith of Khan). Kirk is a now cocky punk who cheats out of entitlement, rather than someone who stubborn refuses to believe in the no win situation.

There are also a couple of forced comedy moments, Kirk ‘hilarious’ medical condition and Mr Scott appearance onto the ship, which again just feel shoe horned in between other scenes to lighten the mood.

Another massive problem with the plot is how convenient everything falls into place. Young Spock uncharacteristically, in a fit of anger, dumps Kirk on a planet which just happens to house both Future Spock and Mr Scott. Mr Scott is then able to become the USS Enterprise’s new chief engineer as the old chief engineer (Greg Ellis from Command & Conquer Red Alert 3) killed himself in a extremely stupid manor earlier in the move. Uhura, Kirk are all promoted in similar and equally unconvincing matter.

Thus at the end of movie everyone is placed in their rightful place, meaning Kirk is Captain of the Star Fleet flagship before even officially leaving the academy,

This film is Star Trek for people who have never seen it before, and who Hollywood believe need simple characters and the story explicitly explained in monologue, it’s also completely missing Star Trek moral centre, replaced with a post 9/11 let’s kill the space terrorists.

I’m in no rush to see a sequel.

4 Comments

  1. Chris says:

    Loved the film and highly recommended go ahead and watch it folks.

  2. Matt says:

    All valid points but forget all that and just watch a quality popcorn movie. Who cares about the nerdy, Klingon speaking, purist Star trek freaks. It was a good way to spend 2 hours, and its a million times better that the forgettable piece of crap that was “Nemesis” now there goes a bad Star Trek film.. Go watch this… “Live long and prosper..”

  3. Fiona says:

    I agree. Mostly I just thought the plot was terribly bland and the action a little slow. Every 10 minutes we seemed take a break for another shaky cam fist fight.

    I mean the plot was better than a lot of Star Trek movies, but if this movie hadn’t been a “Star Trek” movie, I think most people would have left the theater feeling like the plot was lame the action decent, and it was a half-way decent way to spend $10. It wouldn’t be anything memorable though.

  4. JJ Abrams says:

    I thought it was pretty good myself.

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