Star Trek: My Deep Space Whine
January 30, 2010
I guess the writing was on the wall when the words “spectacular”, “ridiculously satisfying” and “sci-fi nirvana” spilled from the pens of Hollywood’s finest pundits. To a non-Trekkie, they’re fitting descriptions. And Lost creator JJ Abrams’ Star Trek is young, dumb and full of cum, with enough dizzying special effects and crude humour to satisfy the wettest of teenage dreams.
The movie boldly goes where it’s never been (Beastie Boys songs, product placements), and you can hear the cogs moving in the screenwriters’ (Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman) heads as they try to spectacularly emulate the revivals of James Bond and Batman.
The cast, too, is excellent. Chris Pine is lively as James Kirk, Zachary Quinto is geeky as Spock and Simon Pegg livens up any big screen. But they’re let down by a script that over-eggs familiar comedy, making every second line a pun or an aside. It’s so flippant you stop believing in the characters: initially so well drawn, but finishing the film as caricatures.
It’s also sad to see Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s idea of an enlightened future pissed away in favour of cheap laughs and un-Star Fleet behaviour. It’s as if the team behind the Enterprise’s latest reinvention has turned its nose up at the lineage of the series in favour of dropping their knickers for the multiplexes.
There is a lot to enjoy here, though, particularly if you’re a teenage boy. And I’m sure when I’ve got over my high horse collapsing under the weight of my own Trekkie expectations, I’ll be able to excitedly pant at the sight of warp drive as it’s never been screened before. The visuals are undeniably stunning.
But despite Abrams pimping Star Trek up for the younger generation with big laughs and bigger bangs, he’s failed to create anything of real value. Star Trek First Contact filled in the back-story. Star Trek Nemesis tied up the loose ends. This will pass an hour or two.