Saturday I was talked into seeing the new Star Trek movie by my girlfriend and two of our friends who had already seen it. I saw a trailer a while back and thought, “That looks sorta cool,” but that’s as far as my thoughts on the movie went. I’m not a Trekkie. I was too young to enjoy the original series, and not interested enough to enjoy TNG. DS9 and Voyager didn’t do much for me and I quickly lost interest in both for different reasons. I tried the pilot of Enterprise and did not enjoy it. The movies were either mind-blowingly bad (I’m looking at you, Time Traveling To The 80s Whale Movie) or extended episodes that tried too hard.
But that’s ok, there’s nothing to say that by being a geek I *must* like Star Trek.
A bunch of my friends watched the reboot of the Trek franchise on Thursday and Friday and they gushed so much I was afraid they might start leaking. It currently enjoys the insane Rotten Tomatoes freshness rating of 95%. So I figured that the reboot must be doing something right. I was willing to give the movie a chance, my girlfriend didn’t exactly need to twist my arm to get me to agree to watch it.
So let me start with the good: Lots of in-jokes and fan service for the Trekkies. Lots of references for enthusiasts of the various series. Lots of explosions. Lots of fights where Kirk gets the shit kicked out of him. (Seriously… He doesn’t win a single damn fight and I bet his ribs were broken by the end of the movie.) And Simon Pegg is excellent in everything he does. Even when he was an extra on Land of the Dead.
The bad: The majority of the drama was built using an uber-dramatic score, a hand held camera to give everything that “realistic” look, and blurred out pans to other actors for reaction shots instead of cuts. The bad guy was a plot device that was forgettable other than using him as a method for getting the crew together. New Spock – total douche. New Bones had some great moments but his “Damn it, I’m a doctor not an X,” lines were pretty ham-handed. (The ham-handed scene was pretty fucking funny, though.) The opening scene with a pregnant woman being wheeled past explosions as she was going into labor was funny and lame – I kept imagining studio execs scribbling all over the script and saying, “We need to raise the stakes!”
I did like the movie. It was entertaining. The action was fun, if over the top. I just don’t think it was the second coming of Star Wars like people are saying. The reboot will end up making enough cash that a sequel is guaranteed, and I’ll watch it. But this wasn’t a movie I feel a desperate need to own or watch again.