by Mike Shea on 11 May 2009
I'm going to try to keep this short so I stop wasting people's time. The new Star Trek sucked and it's sickening to see how much everyone else liked it.
J.J. Abrams has built a career out of pulling the wool over people's eyes. For his 5 years on Lost he has mastered the magicians art of misdirection, spinning the camera so fast and speeding through dialog so quick that you don't quite have the time to realize it's complete horse shit.
He does this again in Star Trek. From the first frame to the last we get nothing but explosions, fleets getting destroyed, people flying through the air, constant near-misses with death, people hanging over planets on giant spiked phallic Romulan space drills, Kirk on an ice planet running from a giant vagina monster, planets exploding, and villains with only a rushed two minute monologue about why they're not just crazy.
This illusion works well enough for most people to think Abrams cares. We get all the right characters and all the right tag-lines. Then we dig in and realize that for the past twenty years half of the Star Trek movies have been based on time travel. Granted in Star Trek IV they spun around the sun to go back in time, which was plenty stupid, but I'm having a real hard time with the idea that a Romulan mining ship can survive going through a black hole multiple times and end up only 100 or so years back.
The movie is full of these little "what are the odds" moments that, I suppose, most people hand wave away and exclaim "But it was so bright and loud! Who gives a fuck about odds!? BOOM BABY YEAH!". For example, young Spock shoots Kirk to some random planet and he happens to land within running distance of Old Spock. I guess the odds of that are either zero or 100% depending on how you look at it. In another oddity, even though the Romulans pre-maturely killed Kirk's dad in one timeline, he still manages to be a Star Fleet captain with the exact same crew. Though an absolutely huge part of his life changed, most of it really didn't. That's one strange twisted butterfly effect.
But that's not what bothers me the most. Star Trek always had weak-ass science. What bothers me is a complete removal of the whimsy and wonder of space. The new Star Trek is a whole lot more like the new Battlestar Galactica than it is like Star Trek, The Next Generation. I don't need constant threats to the human race to enjoy a movie. I want to enjoy space travel. I want to look forward to a future that isn't the bullshit fast pace of constant threat so extreme that no one can even spend a moment to think.
Star Trek is the perfect movie for the instant gratification shiny-object loving cellphone pod people we now call a society. And that works well for this movie because in six months, we won't even remember that it happened.
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