Star Trek (2009)

Mainstream sucks! That being said, I’m ready to talk about Star Trek. The movie using this name. Not the franchise. The story, Jar Jar Abrams’ (I imagine this is what his initials stand for) team came up with, is completely retarded (everyone can come up with something like that in a few minutes, sorry). It’s hopeless (the same writers did Transformers, so I feel urged to say: maybe no one should be surprised).

Let’s start spoiling: A future Romulus will be destroyed. Bad luck. Nero (the bad guy) ends up in the past. He blames Spock for what happened to his homeworld (although he actually tried to save it). So his response to this is? Almost right: He plans to destroy Vulcan and then Earth. The planets. Because Spock’s parents are from those worlds. Does anyone get why this is incredibly stupid? Exactly. If he doesn’t like Romulus being destroyed (so far a comprehensible motive), why the fuck isn’t he simply warning the planet of the coming catastrophe? The result probably being: Nobody would die. I don’t remember any time travel story in the history of Star Trek being that bad. And Trek really suffered through enough bad time travel arcs.
It’s truly beyond me, how the writers didn’t notice these problems, or what they were thinking. But it goes on from there.
The whole creation is a soulless, (more or less) stripped of any character, barren and meaningless pseudo-pop culture something (Kirk has a Nokia device in his car at the beginning of the movie… at least product placement is new to Trek) Abrams does so well.
Pike (played by the awesome “Nowhere Man”) is “injected” with an alien parasite (the one from Star Trek II, that only existed on this exact planet, which Nero obviously crossed by complete circumstance – happens) and is later saved by Kirk. And yet the movie ends, without ever explaining if Pike was “cured”, or if he is still suffering from this unfortunate encounter.
No one bothers with such minor things like story, sense, logic or… Star Trek. There was just this little effort made to tie all of it together. To give it some perspective. The whole “it’s a reboot”-thing comes over more and more like an excuse. If something is just poorly done, it must be because it’s NEW. Don’t you get it?

Before Kirk joins with Starfleet, he drives around with his motorbike and witnesses a spaceship being built. What? In the old Trek, they built all spaceships, which cannot operate in an atmosphere (that’s what they have shuttles for), in a shipyard in space, for exactly that reason? Dude, you don’t get it, it’s NEW. Who cares how they get it into space after construction, as long as you reboot the franchise?

But let’s return to the story arc yet another time: Nero does succeed to destroy Vulcan (!) and how do they react to this horrible catastrophe? They actually celebrate! ~7 billion people are dead and they celebrate! They are happy! Lots of clapping and such. Directly after such a devastating defeat, they give Kirk a medal although Starfleet failed big time, I would have understood it if the movie ended with a moment of silence…

The cinematography is tied to this also, there are lens flares everywhere, an idea Abrams probably got from Firefly and remember the Lost intro? The sign floating towards the camera, being blurred all the time, except for one single moment, but loosing its sharpness again after 1 sec… That’s exactly how extended periods of Star Trek are done. They could have used some original sets from the eighties or even the sixties – no one would have noticed that, because nothing is sharp! The 24 camera technique is fixated and motionless in comparison.
If they haven’t done so already, they should claim a patent for this. It probably saves millions of dollars for digital effects, because it doesn’t matter anymore what would have been in the picture, because you just blur it out into unrecognizability.

The feeling is as bad with the sounds. A major strength of ST was always, that every sound was known and it sounded good. Bridge sounds are no longer cool. Most sounds (consoles, weapons…) are really too high-pitched and sometimes create a slight discomfort.
The soundtrack itself has no familiarity to earlier Trek tunes and is neither good or bad, it doesn’t have an edge to it. In that regard, it might be perfect for the movie.

What’s further totally dense and disappointing, the Enterprise has NO engine room! Everything inside the ship, except the bridge and the sickbay, consists of a series of tubes, uselessly intertwined! Not kidding. There is nothing else! That’s probably how they imagine technology works. It’s not rocket science, pun intended. It bothers me.
What’s funny now, is that people laughed about the original series, when Scotty stands in front of some apparatus and it looks all fake. At least he HAD a device and there was SOMETHING in it. Now IT’S ALL TUBES. The stuff strongly reminds of a late 19th, early 20th century industrial revolution flair with its steam engines. I almost expected a train to arrive… Maybe in the sequel!

The romulan mining ship (which obviously come heavily armed, much more as warships) is very similar (and looks like Leviathan from Wing Commander: Prophecy). The complete interior consists of small platforms, that are connected by narrow gangplanks (without any handrail), but there are hundreds of meters of free space below them, before eventually hitting bottom.
One false step and your are dead. Or if the ship shakes a little, another crewman is gone. I don’t know why that is. Maybe Romulans totally go for cave-diving and the like (and need to have it during longer trips in space)…

All in all I’m really surprised they didn’t change the serial number of the Enterprise. Still the same. Maybe they couldn’t think of a “cooler” number?
There are only 3 reasons why it doesn’t completely suck, good actors like Bones, Scotty and Chekov make up for a lot of weaknesses. I didn’t even have problems with Kirk. He caused several laughs.

Bottom line: All of this makes the flick into a film with several good actors, a horrible, poorly written and unimaginative plot (there’s also no noticeable dialog; e.g. Nero, as the main antagonist, barely plays a role), that can call itself lucky it’s legally allowed to use the Star Trek franchise’s name and results into nothing that’s worth watching a second time. I certainly won’t. That’s a certainty I hadn’t with any other Trek (movie). There is no cool atmosphere or emotional response to the material that might redeem the bad plot and/or overall soulless product.

I would rate it with a 6 to 6.5 max.

Also watch the Star Wars / Star Trek video!

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