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Star Trek
Star Trek (2009)
8 years ago via Flixster

Right... It's been a couple of weeks now, I think I'm finally ready to sit down and type my review!

In the interim I have downgraded my review from a 1 1/2 stars to a single star, and in no particular order, here are the reasons why this movie sucks bell-ends.

- Firstly, by no means most importantly, but mainly because it was the first thing to really bug me about this movie, the MASSIVE in-your-face Nokia plug right near the beginning of the movie. Never mind the fact that he's driving a car at the time - the equivalent to you or I riding a horse and cart for a delinquent joyride. Not only is this as unexpected and out of place as it is brazen, but straight away it demonstrates JJ Abrams' lack of knowledge of Star Trek lore and the level to which he cares about appeasing said lore. Given that it is established that the future Star Trek universe would have a different type of economics to now, this product placement is not only cheap but frankly ridiculous.

- Kirk, as played by Chris Pine, is an arsehole. He is a self-centred, egotistical brat. I highly doubt anyone who imagined Kirk's Kobiyashi Maru test as described in Star Trek II would have thought he would have been as smug as this movie suggests. Shatner, for all his faults, played a loveable rogue. His Kirk would have beaten the Kobiyashi Maru with some humility, and with a sense of how he thought the test's principles were invalid. Pine's Kirk beat the test because he wanted to show that he could. That's the level of depth of the new movie.

- Many of the plot turns are absurd when they're not highly convenient. If it wasn't bad enough that Nero's time traveller doesn't just tell Romulus in the past what's going to happen to the planet? If it wasn't bad enough that Kirk goes from disgraced undergraduate cadet to Captain of the flagship in a single promotion (despite the numerous other qualified officers onboard)? If it wasn't bad enough that Kirk lands on "Hoth" within walking distance of both old Spock and Scotty (who apparently has a pet now)? You have the most idiotic piece of plotting I've ever seen in any Star Trek (and admittedly, it can be shaky from time to time - Star Trek V), the fact that Spock - Acting Captain of the Enterprise - decides it is a reasonable response to the fact that he and Kirk had a bit of a tiff, to jettison him from the ship! Isn't there a brig onboard? If not, can he not just be placed under arrest and held in his quarters? Surely that's preferable to marooning him on some ice wilderness, hoping that he'll freeze to death before some monstrous creature eats him alive? Remember, Starfleet's primary mission, far from being military, is one of peace and exploration - but the Acting Captain of the flagship is quite content to chuck a dissenter out of a porthole to his death. Hmm?

- The science is laughable. Star Trek has always been unscientific, but it would always at least try to be plausible. Mentions of "Red Matter", which can create a black hole (which one can survive being pulled through by the way), being used to stop a supernova which puts the entire galaxy at risk? All of this has been pulled straight from thin air. Like I say, Star Trek has been unscientific before, but it kept within its own parameters, and for the most part avoided cringe worthy Sci-Fi terminology like "Retro Rockets GO!" That is until now.

- Finally, it isn't true to anything Star Trek. It would be as well not calling itself Star Trek at all. I don?t just mean in the way it doesn't hold true to portrayals of certain characters; or the fact that it invents technologies not even available in later series; or even the fact that its plain to see not one of the writers bothered to check the established timeline of Trek (seems Scotty pissed off Admiral Archer, even though the Admiral would be at least 100 years old by the time Scotty was born). No, more importantly, there was absolutely no underlying theme, other than that of an origin story. Nothing to think about afterwards. No depth at all. Star Trek II and First Contact showed the lengths to which revenge can consume a man. Star Trek VI showed how difficult it can be to open up to new possibilities and to adapt to the future. Numerous episodes of the series' were thought-provoking, and challenged the viewer to take issues on board in ways which they had not had them previously presented. Of course sometimes it could be heavy-handed, at times pretentious, but at least it had something to say. JJ Abrams' creation is Diet Star Trek; Star Trek without any of the yukky substance which marked the earlier encounters. It is this which I find most unforgivable. There is no vision, no comment and no brains; just limbs flailing wildly in an attempt to distract your attention.

PS. If you're wondering where it earned a star, the special effects are spectacular. Light years (pun intended!) beyond previous efforts, and a testament to how much money was being thrown at the production by Paramount. Karl Urban was also very good as Bones, and Zachary Quinto was ok as Spock. That is all!