May 6, 2009

Star Trek

A recent Onion video (that you should watch here) pretty perfectly sums up my feelings for the new Star Trek film. Fans complain, "the movie is fun...watchable." And it was! But was it Star Trek? Not really.

Naturally, any big budget studio picture is going to do everything in its power to draw as wide an audience as possible. Unfortunately in this case, that means heavy handed action scenes (that get progressively less exciting), jokes that feel out of place (or aren't funny), and Tyler Perry (who is Madea). But cornball humor and the awful scenes of stupid kid Kirk aside, Star Trek was "fun...watchable."

It may even be better than Star Trek V. But what isn't, right?

To my surprise, Chris Pine did a fine job handling Kirk. Actually, the cast in general surpassed my expectations for them. For the brief spurts of time they actually spend together, they have good chemistry with one another. They carry an overall feeling of "Hey, we're having fun." It's just sad you don't get to spend very much time with anyone.

One problem I had that isn't solely aimed at this film is a matter of me being utterly tired of CGI everything. There are entire scenes that exist only for the sake of squeezing in more effects. And they're boring! They take away from time you should be spending with the bridge crew, but big summer movie = tons of unnecessary runtime supplements (aka. filler). I also don't like a few design elements, namely the ships (all of them), and the bridge itself. It doesn't feel like a place where commanders would give orders. It feels like a place where the crew would ask, "Will you be purchasing the touch or the nano today?" But hands down, my biggest complaint is the use of solar flares, or just glares in general. Every single scene is layered with glares that are a mix of diliberate lighting to gain the effect and adding the effect in post production. It's super distracting. It was like watching the film outside in the sun, but through a window.

Back to the subject of not being very Star Trekky, the movie is referred to as science fiction, but is more appropriately: space. You won't find any science here. Or philosophy. Or exploration. If they could have left out a handful of those arbitrary scenes and tried to incorporate these elements (that Star Trek is known for), they would have had a better film.

Nevertheless, the movie accomplishes what it set out to. It's big summer fun that people will like, it'll make a ton of money, and will be forgotten pretty shortly. It uses the line, "To boldly go where no man has gone before." But it didn't. It went where most movies like this go: safe, standard formula...because (sigh) it works.

I by no means hated it. But I'm just as far from loving it.


  1. When did you watch this movie?

  2. Thursday, May 7. But apparently when posting drafts it posts the date of the draft and not the actual post.