Monday, May 11, 2009

Because no one demanded it: My review of the new Star Trek movie follows.

First, this move grabs you by the throat in the first ten minutes and keeps you on the edge of your seat till the end. Second, great special effects! And, third, almost perfect casting. Watch it. It's awesome.

But. . .

1. My biggest gripe about the whole movie

December 7, 1941 - Annapolis, Maryland. A cadet is being investigated for cheating, a severe violation of the Academy's code of Conduct. Suddenly, the presiding officer gets a note that Pearl Harbor has been attacked. He stops the proceedings and orders all cadets to the docks to man the ships rushing to the Pacific. The cadet who cheated sneaks aboard, and is promoted to first officer. And the entire bridge crew is cadets. When the captain is incapacitated, the cadet assumes command.

Star Fleet has no senior officers? Or did they all get killed in the first attack? Wow! That was a pretty selective weapon. And at the end of the movie, the entire cadet crew of the Enterprise becomes the senior staff of the flag ship of the fleet? No. Don't buy it.

2. The second biggest gripe
Apparently all Starfleet ships are bigger inside than they appear from the outside. And except for living quarters and a couple of corridors, are empty except for pipes and conduits going everywhere. It reminds me of the Southern Sun from Space Mutiny!

And now the nits: 3. Karl Urban certainly resembles DeForrest Kelley. Did he have to try to imitate him too?

3. I know that the new Battlestar Galactica made the shaky cam special effects popular, but I quit watching BSG because of that. And this movie is chock full of shaky cam. Bring dramamine.

4. Kirk studied fighting at the Jonathan Archer Dojo. For those of you unfamiliar with this technique, you basically allow your opponent to pummel you into unconciousness. Kirk wound up on his back, beaten and bloody, four times in the movie. Once by Star Fleet cadets in a bar fight, twice by Romulans, and once by Spock.

5. Three times--THREE TIMES--Kirk hang from a cliff by his fingers. Um, JJ, couldn't you find some other way to build suspense? Or is it a metaphor for the movie, that universe hangs by a thread? Spock's sanity it hanging by it's fingernails. Although, there was also a lot of falling in the movie, too. Hmm. Kirk, Sulu and redshirt jump onto drill and redshirt misses. Amanda falls out of transporter lock, and assorted Romulans fall from platforms.

6. Scotty was always cheerful, but comic relief? And why make him dress like Doctor Who? And what's with the Ooompah Loompah sidekick?

7. No light sabers, but Sulu's sword comes close. And that is not a fencing Épée, but a kind of ninja/samurai sword with a tanto point. I don't know why Sulu said he fenced.

8. Early in the movie, Admiral Tyler Perry orders all the cadets to the space dock to board all the ships on hand. All but the Enterprise are destroyed. When Nero attacks Earth, they show the Academy again, and the place was swarming with cadets. They replaced the dead awfully quick, didn't they?

And, finally, 9. Everyone was pretty sanguine about creating an alternate timeline. Normally Spock is pretty fastidious about the timeline. Now? Halfway through the movie, someone says "We're living in an alternate timeline," and no one panics.

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