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.

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One Response to “Star Trek: My Deep Space Whine”

  1. kshai1715 Says:

    I disagree, sorry, I truly do. I think the new Star Trek was exactly what the next generation of fans needed. Personally, I don’t think Star Trek got any good UNTIL Deep Space Nine, and that was because it was more gritty, a little darker, and thus, more realistic. People want realism, and what is acceptable as real today was not acceptable as real in 1966 (or even possible for that matter).

    Let’s face it, TOS was cheesy and while the plot lines did reflect very real issues in the 1960’s, we’ve moved past those things (but technologically and culturally – if that’s a word). So “Let This Be Your Last Battlefield” is no longer an acceptable form of realism in today’s multi-cultural America, and no one wants to see cheesy special effects ~ they want to see movies that take the next step, in both techincal outlets and characters.

    TNG, now when I watch it on re runs, I realize just how too much princessy and prissy that show was. Most of the time Troi & Crusher were just irritating and despite a few landmark episodes, TNG was just way too cushy lovey dovey and not very well done.

    Then you get the DS9 and you deal with matters that still are something reflected in today’s world. Right from the pilot, you’ve got culture clash and concentration camp scenarios, and it’s darker and more real and the characters are more passionate and conflicted. Immediately you have something to relate to, not the idyllic people of TNG.

    The new ST did the job over and blew it right out of the water. Intense action, a fantastic plot, well written script, extremely likeable characters all done to suit a modern day audience, and because of the alternate universe scenario, left it right open to follow up with more.

    I think the new ST movie was a 10 out of 10.

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