Star Trek, Mission Implausible in Space.
I am huge fan of Sherlock and I like Star Trek so I am eagerly awaiting the release of the upcoming sequel to the 2009 reboot. I also happened to catch the trailer at the theater when we went to see Argo and it looked impressive. So to get up to speed, I got the 2009 reboot of Trek’s original series by J J Abrams, from my local library, since I missed seeing it the summer it was released.
I have caught reruns of a few episodes of the Original Series (TOS) so I am some what familiar with Kirk and his crew. But my exposure to Star Trek was mostly The Next Generation (TNG), Deep Space 9 (DS9) and Voyager. To me DS9 is the best Trek. Voyager has some good episodes but was by and large a wasted opportunity. TNG can be a tad too preachy and feels some what dated now, but its cerebral Captain and thoughtful approach to moral dilemmas made it compelling viewing, when I first saw it in the early nineties. Of late though, Trek has been disappointing. I could not stand the Enterprise series at all, I did not make it beyond the first few episodes. The less said about the last Trek movie, Nemesis, the better. It was by far one of the worst movies I have ever seen, I could not sit through all of it. Even the actors seemed bored with the screenplay like I was.
I had heard good things about the 2009 movie and I was curious to see it. I am disappointed. It was action packed but lacked emotion or logic. I will say that this outing of the Trek is not as tired as the last one, but the Romulan villain played by Eric Bana was as compelling the Romulan villain played by Tom Hardy. Another Bald Romulan Baddie. Not scary at all, cartoonish and ridiculous. That’s what I concluded after watching the frenetic opening sequence with lots of explosions and our hero being born. Not a good omen for the rest of the movie.
The part where the movie worked for me was the introduction of Kirk and his crew. They were all good but Quinto stood out as the young Spock. Zoe Saldana, had nothing much to do except look pretty and kiss one of the leading men, you can guess who. Kirk’s promotion to Captain was a bit silly. Original Spock also makes an appearance and plays an important role. My reaction, to his presence, highly illogical.
What was yawn inducing was the plot of the planet destroying super villain, who wants to destroy Vulcan and then the earth. He is from the future, and he is pissed at Spock. The planet sized plot holes and logical inconsistencies in the script made the spectacle on the screen difficult to enjoy. BTW those worried about US supremacy in the future should rest easy. Because in the future’s future even planet destroying evil Romulan super villain speaks with barely a trace of an accent. However the mystery that confounded me for the rest of the duration of the movie was why earthlings in Kirk’s era speak with their accents intact but the Romulan in Kirk’s future doesn’t.
I was surprised by the high marks this movie received from both critics and audiences alike. It was a summer action blockbuster with less depth than The Independence Day. The movie was slick but not thought provoking which the best Trek can be, see for example TNG’s Darmok or DS9’s In the Pale Moon Light. This movie was all action without a strong story line to back it up. It was like junk food, delicious but without nutrition. Even the destruction of Vulcan and killing off Spock’s mother had little emotional resonance for me.
I do like the dynamic between new Kirk and new Spock, so I will give the sequel a chance and see it when it is released in May. Cumberbatch’s villain in the sequel is not Romulan and has hair, so that gives me some hope.