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Where No Joke Has Gone Before

Movie title: Star Trek (2009)
Spoilers ahead: No

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I am beside myself with anger over this absurd and ironically “illogical” excuse for a Star Trek. I’ll endure the trash talk and say it loud: I can’t for the life of me believe how charmed everyone is with it. The critics are overwhelmingly praising this film, and almost nobody has anything negative to say about it. It’s like the whole world is under a spell except for the 5% of smart critics who have the guts to call this what it is. The story was a joke, a smeared window of a plot, with melodrama and shotty cinematography. Worse yet, nearly nothing of it fit with the forerunning series it is based on.

Let’s deal with first things first; we have the now well-known kid Kirk (Jimmy Bennett) in a ‘60s Corvette scene—totally insulting to anyone who loves Star Trek and/or Corvettes. Anyone who has ever seen the old Star Treks knows that Kirk had immense trouble driving earth-bound vehicles. He certainly was no hot-rodder. Where did he get…no, nevermind…how did he get his hands on a 250+ year old car? Why would anyone in the 23rd century care to take a Corvette out of the museum to drive it? How was it maintained, and why, and how did anyone get their hands on the gasoline to fuel it in the 23rd century? That cop should have shot Kirk’s sorry little rump right then and there so I wouldn’t have had to watch the rest of the movie.

We have Vulcan getting attacked, but most interestingly, Vulcan’s fighters are nowhere to be found. Not a single visible Vulcan ship comes to the planet’s defense. Star Fleet ships instead are the ones to fight Vulcan’s battle for them. That’s how the Enterprise is led to face a mean, renegade, time-traveling Romulan named (oddly enough) “Nero” (Eric Bana). The rest of the time, you get to see the cast of the Enterprise introduce themselves in their younger counterparts. It’s sappy, it’s self-absorbed, and it deserves boycotting. And Winona Ryder plays Spock’s mother…can you believe it?

They got so much wrong in this film that I am surprised to the point of speechlessness that more people haven’t caught it. On a side note, what are the odds that Romulus’ sun goes supernova? We learned in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country that the Klingon moon Praxis exploded, allowing only fifty years of life to remain on the Klingon home world, Kronos. Is Earth the only planet in the galaxy with a stable solar system? Add to that, the Romulans don’t look like Romulans. They look like tanned, unshaven Irish monks with tattoos who spent a little too much time in the local pub.

The plot was marred beyond recognition in the destruction of Vulcan. Yes, that’s right; the planet that the Enterprise crew must return to in order to switch out the mental “marbles” of a regenerated Spock with McCoy in Star Trek III is gone now, thanks to this overzealous film. The flimsy explanation given to justify the film’s compulsive adulteration of the earlier Star Trek story is that Nero, the rogue renegade Romulan warlord who traveled back in time to kill Spock, changed the time continuum.

Oh, real nice! You see, that catchall excuse gives the halfwit non-Trekkie writers license to screw everything up further. The problem for them is that because the movie takes place before the Enterprise’s five-year mission begins, a lot can’t happen in the show that was supposed to happen. Just totally disregard all other Star Trek episodes. Forget every other Star Trek-based film or TV series you ever saw. This loose canon portrays not just the fraternizing immaturity of the young enterprise crew, but its own writers’ youth-ish arrogance in disregarding all other Star Treks that came before it. No true Trekkie can appreciate that.

The sci-fi element is screwed up. Technology is purposely downplayed in most every area, and then things go the other direction when Spock (Leonard Nimoy) inexplicably has the ability to create a small red capsule that can absorb the power of a supernova to save a planet. It is worthy to note that it would be far easier to actually move an endangered planet out of orbit and tow it to a safe solar system than it would be to absorb the full power of a collapsing star, but despite being able to pull off this great technological feat, still no one is a match for the Romulan super-ship.

Just for nostalgia's sake, they threw in that nasty, brain-eating bug that made home in Chekov's ear in Star Trek II. Not to be topped, we have young Spock (Zachary Quinto) ejecting young Kirk (Chris Pine) from the Enterprise and onto a cold, barren planet inhabited with snow monsters. As chance would have it, that planet turns out to be the very same planet that Nero banished old Spock to years earlier. What Star Fleet regulation calls for ejecting an insubordinate crewman from the ship? It’s like no one stopped to read over the script to check it for plausibility.

And I can keep going…at no time do the Romulans on their ship speak Romulan to each other, even in the presence of enemy humans, why? Why are there no guardrails on their “bridge”? For a futuristic super-ship, that sure is needlessly dangerous. One wrong step and you will be sent plummeting to your death. But what I can’t shake is how this renegade Romulan runamock ruler defied the Romulan authorities in his own time and escaped to the past without getting resistance. Futuristic beings with super-ships who can travel back in time and make quick work of multiple Klingon vessels with shields stronger than the Enterprise should attract other super-ships. Don’t the Romulans regulate the use of this time-travel technology of theirs?

Being neither a sequel, nor a prequel, it is nothing but a mess and a failure. The melodrama, especially at the beginning, is thick. Made for clueless kids, it’s the “Dawson’s Trek” you never thought you’d see. Unceasing is that feeling throughout the whole two hours and six minutes that everyone is supposed to be applauded once they are introduced, like cameo star appearances on a sitcom. It made me sick, and it sickens me how so many are blown into non-cognizance seeing something like this.

It was that way with 2002’s Minority Report. Then, as now with Star Trek, the hype and excitement blew everyone away, even the critics. Only a few objective thinkers took the time to consider the film’s ruining plot-holes (I don’t have time to give examples, so stop and think for a minute). It’s sad, really, a sign of a less critical age.

(JH)

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Grade: D- (1 star)
Rated: PG-13
Summation: The young crew of the Enterprise bands together to fight Romulan warlord Nero.
Director: J.J. Abrams
Starring: Chris Pine “James T. Kirk,” Zachary Quinto “young Spock,” Leonard Nimoy “old Spock,” Eric Bana “Nero,” Bruce Greenwood “Capt. Christopher Pike,” Karl Urban “Dr. Leonard 'Bones' McCoy,” Zoe Saldana “Nyota Uhura,” Simon Pegg “Scotty,” John Cho “Hikaru Sulu,” Anton Yelchin “Pavel Chekov,” Ben Cross “Sarek,” Winona Ryder “Amanda Grayson”
Genre: Action / Adventure / Sci-Fi

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