Time/Place: 4:10 showing at Ocean Ranch 7 (thanks, Tex) w/ Nick
In my Summer Movies 2009 post, I made it clear that I was not a fan of the original series and had no real interest in seeing this new version. I’m a Star Wars kid 😉 (not that they are mutually exclusive, I know, I know). My friend Nick was curious to see how bad the movie turned out (his preconception, not mine), so we made it happen. I was able to go in knowing very, very little about Star Trek (I knew Spock, Kirk, McCoy and Scotty – and a couple of key points, but that’s it), so I had no hopes or expectations. That’s a good thing, because if I had, they probably would have been crushed.
It’s rare that I see a movie in theaters that I’m not interested in, and so far every review I’ve done has been a favorable one. Let us hold hands as I now break that streak, shall we?
Star Trek was a really bad movie. Just… really bad. I know certain people got lost in the story and didn’t understand the convoluted plotline, but I did understand, and it was still bad. The movie rarely stopped, it was on a steady pace of action beats, but somehow it was insanely boring. I don’t know how that hack J.J. Abrams did it, but he managed to maintain a fast pace that was yawn-inducing. The first time I checked my watch was at 5:30, and I slowly realized it had only been an hour – it felt like 4.
LENS FLARES! OMG!
I don’t know what the sam hill is wrong with this guy and his cinematographer, but Star Trek is awash in nearly every scene (not an exaggeration) with lens flare. It was so thick at times, that it covered half of the screen as characters were talking. I read a quote from the cinematographer regarding these technically technical mistakes as something beautiful to add a feeling of magic and wonder to the movie (lens flares are usually done on purpose, though they are an issue of certain camera lenses taking direct light – which they aren’t meant to do). I don’t know about magic, but it was certainly distracting. Magical distraction, perhaps? I know a number of reviewers are harping on these flares, as they normally will on inconsequential details, which I find juvenile… but the movie’s not any good regardless, so I’m all for it ;-).
Why isn’t it good, though? Name your reason: story, direction, story, character, story, and an ironic lack of logic. The two main characters are Spock and James Kirk, but they are at odds with each other through nearly the entire movie and neither one is very likeable… so we don’t really care if they live or die. These aren’t faults of the actors, though… they all seemed to do what they could with the weak script. I personally believe that Eric Bana realized what a bad movie he was in and proceeded to ham it up as the villain. He was fun to watch for that reason – like he was in on the joke with us. Scotty was fun, too, though he wasn’t in it very much. I absolutely loved that Winona Ryder was in it for some reason, playing an old woman. The scenes of her as a younger person weren’t even in the final cut, so it’s really weird to see. Haha, I nearly forgot one of my favorite (read: powerfully moronic) actor cameos in the Starfleet Acacemdy – but I’ll let you discover that one for yourselves ;-).
Beyond the poor story, which I’m not conversing in detail on purpose, the worst element in the stew of bad elements that made Star Trek was the constant attempts at humor. I never realized the Star Trek world was so gosh darn zany! There was never a sense of danger because of the misplaced “hilarity,” and there was never a sense of fun because the situations were ultimately too dire. It was like someone telling an off-colored joke at a funeral. When a key character’s hands balloon up in an allergic reaction and they are hilariously then racing to tell someone information that will save all of their lives – I tilted my head in a confused dog-like manner and queried, “Really?” It was all so uneven. Humor in the original Star Wars movies always fit – but it was relegated to appropriate characters and situations. You never saw the Emperor cracking fart jokes while telling Luke Skywalker to kills his own dad.
Star Trek was bad, but it had a simple fix – at least, something that would have set it in the right direction: a straight restarting of the franchise. What they attempted to do was transition from the old Star Trek world into a new one, and that just caused for a lousy story. If they were going to start over, than they should have done just that. Oh well, they’ll make their money, the general public will be mindlessly entertained, and I’m at no real loss because I was never a fan to begin with… but now I never will be – and that’s the real opportunity lost.
P.S. Apparently I’m feeling very paranthetical today – don’t ask me why :-).