22 of 54 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars
Big Budget nonsense......., 11 Aug 2009
......but aren't they all?
First, this film looks and sounds utterly stunning on blu ray, but that's like buying a book because you like the picture on the cover dust jacket....beware the actual contents.....
Trek needed a reboot. It got it in the backside. The franchise has been failing for donkeys years, the best way to reboot this would have been to make it relevant to current political/social problems and lose a massive dose of the over idealistic naivity.
But no we get a 100 million dollar amazing looking movie devoid of any really intelligent plot, a James Bond stereotype villain in fancy dress and a bunch of witty sardonic self referential jokes for the 17 to 34 year old target market. Oh and its very quick paced in case you suffer from attention deficit disorder.
Gone are the amazingly prescient gadgets of the original series.
The future isn't what it used to be.
Here we get a alternate reality Trek, thanks to the original Spock who manages somehow to miss-time the explosion of a supernova (unusually) and causes the time line to get altered. This changes history so all that went before The original Trek universe) was a completely pointless exercise- and also an open licence to do what you will in the new one.
This film whilst looking stunning fails badly. There is a little self parody in there which was always part of the original Trek universe. I think they needed a really good science adviser who isn't a 'yes' man. A more believable plot may have worked wonders. In fact a plot centered around the 'human condition' rather than flashy effects.
There are references to the original series and films which will probably go above the heads of new fans, but overall the movie is too fast paced to really concentrate properly on the actual characters (despite the hype that this is a character driven movie) This is trek on speed or an overdose of 'E' numbers.
Big budget movies are mere spectacle (at least the post modernists got something right) Basically we have a few witty lines wrapped around a collection of action sequences which consist of the staple and tried and tested ingredients of most blockbusters: car chase, bar brawl, sexual innuendo (keep the sexists happy)a bit of inter species alpha male, space battles, and more fighting. And finally surprise surprise they save Earth yet again. I would never have dreamed they would have come up with that ending. A bit more real ingenuity in the script department may have made the predictable ending more palatable.
Not much inner reflection so far. The motivations of Nero the arch baddy are not explored at all really (surely that should have been the whole centre of the narrative?)
The better episodes of the original often had actual SF writers (Theodore Sturgeon, Harlan Ellison, Norman Spinrad, Jerome Bixby, Richard Matheson) and these were usually the best episodes of the 3 series by far. The science content was not always spot on but it was fairly consistent and reasoned out.
The science content of the movie is blatantly steamrollered over and there are quite a few inconsistencies in the timing of the plot and events. There are some bizarre inclusions of things like 'red matter' which is not explained or why to stop a star going supernova you turn it into a black hole? That certainly wouldn't save Romulus. Pure mumbo jumbo science. If you wished somehow to destroy a planet with a black hole you wouldn't need to drill a hole to its core- just releasing the 'hole' near to the planet would be enough as it would certainly find its own way to the centre of the gravity well without any help. It may take some time to 'swallow up' the planet depending upon its own mass and the planets in question. It certainly wouldn't happen in seconds. A lot of time would be available to evac a lot of inhabitants. There would be easier ways to wipe out a planet probably using radiation from above the atmosphere. But seen as Nero's ship was a converted mining vessel sure some big old asteroids would have sufficed and a mass driver? See 1001 imaginary ways of how to destroy a planet and or its organic life. (ISBN 234 567 891.)
Unlike the original series i really don't think this passive PS3 game (because that is what it is really)will stand up to more than one viewing. The Trek references are there to try and alley the original fans, the rest will please people new to the franchise who really don't want to contemplate using any grey matter cells to consider the human condition.
Casting was merely adequate. Nimoy was the only actor who gave Vulcans any depth, sensitivity and believe-ability - often in very subtle ways. (Quinto gave slight hints of this at certain moments but on the whole just sounds like a robot) Pegg as Scotty is at least honest and gives us a straight impressionistic parody ala Mel Brooks 'Spaceballs.' Shatner was mature,interesting and believable as Kirk, whereas Pine and most of the rest of the cast is there to pull in the 16 to 34 year demarcation film audience. He is mainly irritating, arrogant, immature and therefore unbelievable. As another reviewer has pointed out - he goes from failed first year cadet to captain in the blink of an eye. The gullible detector has come on again. The only plus is the inclusion of Urban as 'Bones' who plays the character like De forest Kelly - though he gets very little to do with the actual plot.
The main role for this film was the relationship between Spock & Kirk, the rest of the cast were merely background players. The important interaction and balance between Kirk, Spock and Bones was not really explored satisfactorily because the pace of the film did not allow it.
This is probably down to the bad scriptwriting and oh so obvious formulaic blockbuster plot devices. Why are we so gullible?
There in lies the problem with this film. It has to please the original fans to some extent but also has to appeal and entice in a new audience. It does go some way in managing this epic feat - but ultimately the original stories were based on good character interaction WITH good humanistic storylines. The dichotomy is hinted at in the film but not realised.
Big budget movies and the intelligence of the target audience are akin to Newton's inverse square law of gravity. The bigger the budget the more you have to attract the lowest common denominator.
This will be huge, but i enjoy trying to sweep leaves in a pile in a strong wind.