Star Trek Reviews
I am deeply disappointed to see how widely praised this movie is. As a Star Trek film, it is an abomination. As an action film, it is underwhelming. As a sci-fi film, it is lackluster and generic.
In short, captain, this film... is without honor.
Spoiler alert: it was a good movie.
In Star Trek the Vulcan apocalypse is caused by the actions of one man and the vengeance directed his way: Spock. The 2009 release of Star Trek is most definitely one of the most Spock centric movies to date. It used Time travel to bring fanboy dreams true and keep the original series both intact and completely cannon while introducing a new timeline and thus a new cannon for the current cinematic stories All it took was a Romulan miner bent on vengeance to kick off the events of this fascinating twist on the Star Trek origin redux.
In the beginning of the film a romulan mining vessel emerges from a black hole directly in front of a Federation ship. This is the first shift in the timeline as James T Kirk's father sacrifices himself to save the evacuees including his wife and newborn son. This led to a slightly more rebellious young Kirk, though certainly not a less arrogant one. You may wonder why I call this the Spock centric one when it clearly starts with kirk's birth. But it starts with kirk as an establishing point for how the universe has changed because of his father's sacrifice. The movie continues showing Kirk as the same rule breaking hot head he is in the original series with a penchant for falling for green women. That gives nice continuity nods to watchers of the Star Trek original series and assures them that in a new timeline it is still the character's we know and love.
They introduce young Spock as well. Though not necessarily as expected. We see him being bullied over his half human status. We see him break from accepted Vulcan behavior and pummel a Vulcan because he dared insult his mother. It was entertaining to see him become a pissed off administrator when Kirk cheats to beat the unbeatable scenario. The fan placation and nods were strong within this movie.Though few fans even dreamed of a Spock-Uhura relationship it was a sweet and touching change. This definitely was an indicator of the shift in the timeline though.
Old Spock's introduction was certainly an interesting way to solidify that the old series still exists. By having Spock going back in time after he tries and fails to save the Romulan home planet from a supernova and then accidentally dragging the Romulan ship with him, he sets in action the events of the film. It greatly amused me though that Old Spock was able to bring equations from the future to help out the young Kirk and Scotty. He again made the plot of the movie move forward, though his implications that paradoxes would ensue should Young Spock ever know of him were made funnier when he actually went to meet his younger counterpart and no such thing happened. Spock's very presence and existence confirmed that both the movie and the old series canon still exist, though they are literally separate timelines as time travel is involved. The sympathy for his emotional hurt as the Romulan takes his vengeance and Both Spocks watch their home planet implode is a little too poignant though.
The antagonist that implodes the planet, a bitter captain of a Romulan Mining vessel from the future, is so motivated by his hatred for Spock's inability to save his planet that he waits for twenty years for Old Spock to show up. Granted Captain Nemo could not put into action his implode the planet plan of vengeance until he had the Mcguffin of the Red Matter in Old Spock's ship, which we never do find out how he found out about. But perhaps he was just waiting to take his vengeance on Spock and incorporated the Red Matter into his plans after he capture the Old Ambassador. Nemo carries the air of a Romulan that has lost everything and is barely containing the pure rage and hatred he has for the one who did this to him. It creates a strong screen presence for the antagonist.
That tightly controlled rage directly paralleled young Spock throughout the movie. The snark with which he refuses the Vulcan council at the mere mention of his 'disadvantage' of being only half Vulcan as well as the rage Spock shows when he breaks on the bridge leading to him almost choking Kirk out are signs of the anger that burns deep inside the young Vulcan leading him to make split second decisions just as it led to him beating someone senseless in his younger years. Spocks journey through the movie shows him trying to avoid favoritism with Uhura, though she takes none of that and demands to be assigned to the USS Enterprise. When in command of the ship it is Spock who endangers himself to rescue his parents and the culture council of Vulcan and it is young Spock who literally watches his mother fall to her death. This has an even more painful emotional impact than Old Spock watching his planet disappear from the surface of another planet. It is Spock coming to terms with the fact that Kirk makes a good captain that leads to the conclusion and final take down of Captain Nemo.
So as it was Old Spock who was responsible for the plot moving along, young Spock was responsible for it coming to a satisfying conclusion. Star Trek was a fascinating journey into a new timeline and a lovely new age of special effects for the Star Trek Franchise. Spock and Spock did an amazing job at the center of this film motivating and inspiring friend and rival alike. If there is anything else I could ask of this franchise it is of course that it will, "Live long and prosper."