Star Trek (2009)
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This was not Star Trek and it infuriates me that they would try to pass it off as such.
Why couldn't they simply make up new names for the characters or at least give the film a subtitle instead of allowing JJ Abrams to prove his arrogance and ignorance to the real themes behind the Star Trek name? Unnecessary is the most accurate word to describe this film, with its paper thin plot and cardboard cut-out characters. But I realize that is what makes a summer blockbuster these days: big explosions, juvenile humor, and the standard "bad guy must die" scenario.
Young Kirk listening to the Beastie Boys and talking on his Nokia phone??? Give me a break, give me The Undiscovered Country any day. At least that film had a message beyond trying to sell me merchandise.
And why did Sulu have a katana if he was an expert in fencing??? Wouldn't it make more sense for him to use a rapier since a katana would be useless with a fencing background? I heard George Takei - in the original series - refused to use a katana because he thought it was too racist and that was why they made Sulu a fencing expert in the first place.
Though I think the most annoying thing about the film - for me - was the cinematography. Even if I ignored how little this movie cared about the substance of the original series or any subsequent Star Trek series, it was still a terrible film. Constant close-ups and a shaky camera anytime the screen isn't completely CG does not substitute for cinematography, it's just lazy film making.
I don't understand why this film needed to be made. JJ Abrams is not a director, he is my childhood's rapist.
Oh and watch for Abrams' Cloverfield monster to make a nice appearance on the ice planet Hoth, I guess that's one creature I can check off my "Where are they now?" list.
Secondly: For those of us with a memory, this movie is an insult. Repudiate years of my interest in a series solely because you have lazy writers is a huge insult to those of us who have wasted four decades watching Star Trek just to have every television program and movie repudiated to give these idiots "creative space"? Only the truly talentless could be so arrogant.
Goodbye Star Trek.
I don't even know where to begin. This film is a mess. It doesn't work for me as a popcorn movie, let alone as Star Trek. The plot is ridiculous and full of holes. (Black holes, get it?) Trekkies have always been able to forgive ridiculous plots (e.g. Star Trek movies three through six), as long as it meant we'd get to see Kirk and crew back in action. This so-called reboot is barely recognizable.
Rather than doing a sustained impression of William Shatner's Kirk, Chris Pine appears to have opted instead for a sustained impression of Christian Slater. Never mind how Pine plays Kirk, the character hardly resembles the original anyway. Instead of James T. Kirk, the master tactician who lived and breathed Starfleet, but wasn't afraid to buck the system, we get James T. Kirk, the reckless a-hole who has issues with authority.
Then there is Spock. Instead of cool, logical, level-headed but still part human Spock, we get vindictive, whiny Spock -- who is having a hot affair with Lt. Uhura, who herself appears to be a descendant of Beyonce.
All of the remaining characters -- including the villain -- are written and played fairly one-dimensionally. The only characters that seem to come close to the originals are Scotty -- who is in the film all too briefly -- and Chekhov.
Yeah, I know, this is now "alternate universe" Star Trek, because Nero and "Spock Prime" went back in time and changed the past, present and future. That shouldn't mean everything has to suck.
Woe to Leonard Nimoy, for not being able to resist a little more Spock money. The producers obviously lured him into this film to give it some Trek credibility (Trekibility), but it doesn't help. Shatner should be glad he wasn't asked.
Well, I know I am going against the grain here. This film has done huge box office, so JJ Abrams and crew will make more of them. Let me save you the trouble of waiting, or traveling to the future to see them: They will also suck.
You know, I don't even want to waste any more time listing the other many idiotic elements of this un-inspired lame movie (the enemy was flat, the story had been done over and over, etc.). Uhura and Spock!?! Right, another stupid move. They go on and on. I will say that I liked the shuttlecraft (except the stupid idea of beaming across light years from one).
If you hate Star Trek, go see this movie. It's juvenile and standard Abrams, so you may like it. If you have any respect for Star Trek then this is a slap in the face to you.
This film completely rewrites 42 years of Trek history. Everything is different, and they used the cheapest of all plot devices (time travel) to do it. As with all time travel plots, the paradoxes and logical inconsistencies batter you about the head until you just give up thinking. TIME TRAVEL IS SCIENCE FICTION FOR MORONS.
I won't bother to list all the specifics - you can read them here in other reviews, and they are legion. Vulcan is destroyed. There are two Spocks, the younger of which is having an affair with Uhura. Spock's mother and Kirk's father (and billions of other current and future people) are now dead or will never exist. The Federation (somehow) knows about Romulans and Cardassians already. It goes on and on.
Oh, and despite the Burger King commercials, there are no Klingons in the film. Klingons are mentioned a couple of times as a minor plot device.
The short version is this: if you liked Trek before this film, you will not like this film. This film brazenly "reboots" everything you ever knew. None of it ever happened.
I'm ashamed of Leonard Nimoy for selling out for this piece of garbage. Kudos to everyone else from the *REAL* Trek who stayed far away. In my opinion, this film will be rejected by fans as never having happened. This "alternate timeline" will never be true Trek to me, just like Greedo still doesn't shoot first. Retcon it all you want - I will ignore it.
If those things are what you look for in a movie like this, you'll probably rank it a lot higher! From a Trekkie point of view, this movie was awful! Even for a parallel universe (which is a cop-out), I have HUGE issues with the movie. Starting with plot holes and writing issues:
* When children tease other children, they do it to feel superior. It is an emotional thing to do. So the Vulcan children that were teasing Spock, trying to get him to show emotion were doing so out of emotion themselves.
* Sarek (Spock's father) was one of the most logical Vulcan's ever in Star Trek. I can't imagine any universe ever when Sarek would tell Spock it is okay to feel anger and the reason he married Amanda (Spock's mother) was because he loved her.
* Romulus was ultimately destroyed by a star that went supernova. The only star that could destroy Romulus by going supernova would be the star at the center of Romulus' system. If the mysterious "Red Matter" were placed in the star to prevent the supernova, Romulus would be without a star anyway and the planet would freeze and die. Beyond that, a black hole in the center of a solar system would eat all the planets in the system too, including Romulus. So the planet was doomed no matter what.
* Apparently none of the writers or set designers had ever watched an original episode of Star Trek or seen a schematic. The lattice structures and water pipes in the Enterprise were ridiculous. Likewise, the bridge was horrible. A turbo lift where it should be, but a second door that doesn't lead to a turbo lift, but out onto the ship! The bridge is at the top of the ship...you can't have a door that leads to the rest of the ship.
* According to canon, the Enterprise was commissioned in 2245 under the command of Robert April. This would have been when Kirk was 12 years old. April commanded the ship for 9 years before Pike took command in 2254. Surely the destruction of the Kelvin wouldn't have changed these facts! But in the movie, the Enterprise is brand new when Pike takes command.
* A cadet (Kirk) that had not yet graduated from the academy (that was on academic suspension no less) got a field commission to first officer!?
* The hearing at the end of the movie appears to happen days after Nero is defeated. Consequently, Kirk is given command of the Enterprise. So Star Fleet saw fit to promote Kirk from Cadet past Ensign, Lieutenant JG, Lieutenant, Lieutenant Cmdr and Commander straight to Captain and give him command of the Flag Ship of the Federation!? Kirk was born in 2233 and this movie most likely took place in 2254. That would make Kirk 21 when he takes command.
* According to canon, Spock was born in 2232, making him one year older than Kirk. Yet in this movie, Spock is a full fledged Commander at the age of 22.
* Romulans are not first seen until 2266 (TOS: "Balance of Terror"), yet everybody seems to recognize the Romulans as Romulans!
Those are just a few of the larger plot holes that I noted. Second, Star Trek has always been based on science. Warp drive, transporters, tractor beams, etc. They are all based on science. Beyond that, Star Trek science has rules just like real world science has rules. For example, there is a limit on Warp drive and there is a range on transporters. Here are a few of the science issues that I had:
* "Red Matter" – what is that all about? No explanation whatsoever. When it is placed in the center of a massive body (a planet, star, etc), it creates a singularity (black hole). A single drop yet the massive blob on Spock's ship is stable. And if it is stable because it is being suspended and not touching other matter, how is the hypodermic needle used to extract the red matter explained? At least antimatter has always been based on science. If it comes into contact with matter, the two annihilate each other (destructively). Hence the reason for antimatter containment chambers, warp core breaches, etc.
* Transporters have a range! In "Star Trek 6: The Undiscovered Country", Kirk and crew need to beam down to Khitomer to stop an assassination. Kirk asked if they are in transporter range and Spock says "not yet" and starts a countdown. They are well within the boundaries of the solar system at this point. In this new movie, Kirk and Scotty beam to the Enterprise from Delta Vega. The Enterprise was traveling at Warp 4, away from Delta Vega. That is roughly 100 times the speed of light: 18.6 million miles/sec or 67 billion miles/hour. If we assume Kirk was on the surface for 3 hours before he and Scotty beamed back to the Enterprise, the ship would be roughly 200 billion miles away from the planet. It is roughly 2.7 billion miles from Earth to Neptune (the outer limits of our Solar System). So they transported to a ship traveling at Warp 4 from a distance equal to almost 75 times the distance from Earth to Neptune. Oh, and earlier in the movie, they were having a hard time locking onto Kirk and Sulu because they were falling (not holding still).
I hope the world of Star Trek will quietly ignore this movie! Seemed to me like a simple excuse to try to shake the money tree once again.
In this case we have a prequel that recasts the original cast. Questionable, but if there is a lot of story to tell then that should be acceptable. But that is exactly the problem. There was no way to tell a new story without destroying the existing storyline. So they made a new one. Makes no sense right? Well, in Star Trek you can just call it an alternative timeline and suddenly it's acceptable.
The movie starts and any fan of Star Trek will be shocked by the cinematic style. The camera shakes like crazy, lighting effects literally blind you. They can't get a solid shot of someone face or of two people talking. No, they give you shaking closeups with only part of their face actually on screen, quickly switching between the two persons.
The 4 of the 5 first scenes with Kirk are horrifying. In the first he apparently tries to commit suicide. Or he almost accidentally wins a Darwin award, can't tell. In the second he gets beaten to bloody pulp while touching breasts. Then afterward his father's friend just bluntly tells him to join Starfleet, and he does it. Makes no sense. In the third he has sex with a female Shrek-lookalike. I had to press stop again and regain my composure. The fourth is where he has a conversation with McCoy. This is stiff as wood and not redeeming, but the contrast with the previous scenes is big. They throw out some old one-liners but that doesn't work either. In the 5th he takes the Kobayashi Maru test for the third time, while eating an apple and acting like it is one big joke. Apparently this is this movie's attempt at humor.
Here I had to stop the movie for a third time.
Now you have to remember the comments the director made. He said he disliked Star Trek and thus never watched any of it himself. This explains the complete lack of the slow-paced dialogue driver story. Isn't that what Star Trek is all about? Social issues, ethical dilemmas, philosophical explorations. And what about Gene Roddenberry's vision? Wasn't Star Trek to inspire kids not only to be inspired to study very hard on math and science but also to instill hope in them that in the future we would be able to improve our societies and values?
Star Trek was able to do what it did by not requiring the viewer to suspend disbelief in many cases, so you were able to do it when it mattered. In this movie even basic dialogue seems awkward. Why the hell does Kirk join Starfleet? Just one stupid fight? Or just because this Pike guy wants him to? This movie has no story to tell. They decided they wanted to make another ST movie first. Then they had to make up a story: "Big evil ship piloted by the big bad guy is out to destroy the universe, merely out of spite." They decided upon that. Didn't we already have exactly that with Star Trek Nemesis? And isn't that already the most basic SF storyline you can come up with? Khan?
One of the most glaring problems of this movie is the decisions the characters make. You expect all decisions to be reasonable or at least within a certain range making it believable enough. Sometimes the writer may want to move the story in a certain direction and it is difficult or apparently impossible to make the characters sway in that direction. This is where writing skill comes in. But they decided that at any point the story can do whatever they want no matter what. This is why Starfleet can load up their flagship with fresh cadets. This is why McCoy desperately tries to get Kirk on the ship as if he already knows why Kirk has to be on the ship. This is why for example Kirk can take over as captain of the ship while Starfleet judges him to be completely incompetent.
The third biggest problem about this movie is that every dialogue is unnatural. There has been this trend in Hollywood where a natural dialogue is going to be awkward because the viewer expects an artificial style dialogue. People speak a certain way in Hollywood movies which is different from a natural dialogue. This makes them look fake even more.
We all know Hollywood can't tell a story. But what is best about Star Trek is worst about this movie. This movie is to Star Wars as Star Wars is to Star Trek. If you think Star Wars was too cerebral then maybe this movie is for you. This movie is literally intentionally made for people that hate Star Trek. This movie is literally made so that people that like Star Trek hate this movie.
So the big question to me is: why? Why make this movie. Why make a movie that is nothing like Star Trek in the Star Trek universe and even with a recast of the original characters? Money of course. And I don't really blame them. But the fact that they succeed amazes me. How the hell does this movie have such a high score on IMDb. And also on Rotten Tomatoes. WTF is wrong with you people? Look at the insane box office revenue. This movie literally is Star Trek from a parallel universe; a universe where humanity isn't smart enough to get into the industrial revolution even if it hit them in the face. I blame the people liking this movie. They create demand for this kind of trash. Shame on you!
In one fell swoop it destroys all other Star Trek stories and histories (apart from the predated last TV series Enterprise). IT ALL NEVER HAPPENED...nada...zip...niente...all absolutely and completely and irrevocably nullified.
And having thus performed genocide, from here on in it allows this cabal of contemptuous filmmakers to commit further evil against the Star Trek characters and their universe, totally unfettered by Star Trek, as we know it. The Star Trek they are cannibalising only continues to exist today because devoted fans have - for over forty years - lovingly burnished and enhanced the patina of this pop culture treasure.
Within the real Star Trek universe, respect for the time-line is a key ethical principle for the Federation and its officers. The forces that have brought the world this film are unburdened by ethics of any kind. It is not surprising then, to find that while they use time-travel to sack, rape and pillage Star Trek, they are unwilling or unable to carry it out to its logical conclusions.
At the very least, from the moment of the destruction of Vulcan (in itself a breathtaking and staggering insolence by the filmmakers), Ambassador Spock, Nero and their ships would have ceased to exist in the current time-line because the future events that led to their being there would not have occurred. No planet Vulcan, no Vulcan Science Academy, no Spock's ship with its enormous load of 'red matter', no failed rescue mission for Ambassador Spock, no avenging Nero, no ridiculous black hole/wormhole to the time and place of Kirk's birth etc.
This is not a parallel universe story. This is a changed timeline. Although the Temporal Prime Directive is still hundreds of years hence in the Star Trek canon, this is exactly what it seeks to prevent.
So it's all a con. This is not Star Trek. A bunch of bully-boys have invaded the playing field, rewritten the rules of the game to suit themselves and then refused to even abide by their own rules. On the back of the commercial success of this movie, they will continue to do what they please, churning out movies in their new franchise, but it won't be Star Trek. They don't know what made Star Trek great and they are therefore doomed to twist and distort its corpse until it becomes obvious to all who care to think about that it's dead and lifeless and that this movie killed it.
First of all the plot is so full of holes the whole starfleet could fly through. Why is it that a cadet crew (some not even cadets yet) are the only ones who can save a planet or two? The movie relies too much on visual effects and too little on plot. The effects got boring after awhile. The time travel thing has been done and done so many times it's obvious the writers can't come up with new ideas. Even if we are to accept this is some alternate universe/timeline, it still doesn't explain how Chekhov aged so closely to Kirk. In the original series he was only 22 and Kirk in his 30's. In the original series no one knew what Romulans looked like or that they were similar to Vulcans, yet it's common knowledge in the film. None of the movie makes sense. You have to have a lack of imagination to truly enjoy this film. Leonard Nimoy doesn't even seem like his old character.
I saw this with both trek and non trek fans and everyone agreed it dragged on too long, was boring & they couldn't wait for it to be over. Star Trek needs to take another long rest and any future movies must not involve JJ Abrams. This is not Star Trek reimagined, it is Star Trek rewritten.
This isn't even Star Trek and has no business being called Star Trek. Oh sure the names are there, and yes it's glitzy and expensive with lots of explosions...
Spocks mom dies...
for the really hardcore, there is a reference of Cardasians...
OH yeah, and there is Uhura making out with Spock on the transporter pad, and before that asking him if, and I quote "just tell me what you want of me and i'll do it" in a turbo lift as a way to console Spock after Vulcan had just been destroyed. What a way to make Uhura a cheap thrill ride...
It's okay though, cause OLD Spock, played poorly by Leonard Nimoy says that is an "alternate time line" and because of that it makes everything better...
Let me put my view into perspective. I watch the Old series, I watch the Next Generation, I watch DS9, I watch Enterprise. And I'm not even one of those guys who wears the uniform and lives the lifestyle...
But you know, I am so tired of Hollywood butchering the things that I grew up on.
And Trekkies? Oh the Trekkies will hate this.
Yeah, sure there is the Kobayashi Maru, which in all honesty is about the only thing canonical to this whole mess of a film, but other wise it was just one slight after another.
Chekhov is suddenly this wiz kid physicist, scotty is basically a garage mechanic, Uhura is suddenly this linguistic genius, Spock is just a tool, Sulu is a ninja, and Kirk... Well, Kirk is apparently the smartest person in Iowa with a genius I.Q. and a pension for being a rebellious wild child.
And for a moment let's talk about the Leonard Nimoy cameo. Why it's got Leonard Nimoys endorsement it must be good! And look he even says some key Spock Quotes! OOOO...
Yeah so what. It is a cheap ploy to get the trekkies to spend their money on something that will very soon be universally known as the absolute worst Star Trek in history.
It's even worse then 5...
In my many years and dollars of going to see movies, I have only walked out on 1. Tonight was my second. I never in a million years thought that I would walk out on a Star Trek movie. Never. But I went in there expecting and knowing it would be a reboot...
I never imagined this being a slap in the face.
People who know nothing of Star Trek will probably love it. However when they go back to watch the originals, they wont get it.
People who love Star Trek will hate this, and be thankful that there will always be the series.
But you know? It's okay that Spocks mom dies! It's okay that Spock and Uhura are lovers, and that she throws herself at like a cheap call-girl, it's okay that Chekhov is even there and all these things are okay! Because it's an alternate time line! And that makes everything better!!!!!!!! True Fans, you have been warned. This is not anything remotely close to the Star Trek that we know and love. It is hurtful and near hateful towards the series that has inspired us to look up into the star and dream of boldly going where no man has gone before.
It is disrespectful towards all of the black woman who were inspired by Nichelle Nichols to rise above the stereotypes of that day and age and become more then what they told they could be.
It is a perversion towards all of us kids who dreamed of being Captain Kirk, and discovering new life and new civilizations. A Kirk who was a seasoned hero and not hot headed firebrand who was given command like being given an expensive sports car by a rich uncle.
And it is an insult to all of us who crave knowledge and that delicate balance between logic and emotion.
A few days later I went and saw the new Star Trek. I liked it to a point, and then Spock's mother dies when Vulcan is destroyed, the use of an alternate time line came into play and everything Gene Roddenberry, Shatner, Nimoy and the generations that came after them put on screen, was made null and void.
Kirk is a young rebel rouser from Iowa who in a matter of moments it seems is recruited into Star Fleet and through a 'just happened to be there at the right time' scenario, is put in charge of the Enterprise. Gone is a story about how a young officer worked his way up the ranks at Star Fleet to achieve his later success. Instead we see a bar room brawler who takes command of NCC - 1701 by means of a hurried and contrived plot.
JJ Abrams made no attempt to make the Enterprise look anything like it did in 1967, he has publicly stated he has never sen Star Trek and that is fairly obvious from this over done film. JJ Abrams gave us 'Lost' and with all of the shaky camera work in this film I expected Ben Linus and the smoke monster to appear at any time.
I know the film was made for the short attention spans of today's audiences but some respect for Star Trek fans would have helped. One reviewer stated that the bridge of the Enterprise looked like a perfume counter at the mall, I couldn't agree more. The characters gratuitously speak their famous catch phrases to remind us that we're still watching a Star Trek film. We see Uhura and Spock have romantic scenes together and we see Kirk hiding under a bed in Uhura's room at Starfleet and both are in their underwear. Was this really necessary? The special effects were good yet typically overdone as always in today's movies. The characters were too amped up and the story never took time for the quieter moments that made the original Star Trek great. All of the people involved in the original Star Trek, who have since passed on, are probably rolling in their graves.
The original Star Trek was only on the air for three years but has since become a legend. Sure it was campy and you saw the fake rocks and the zippers in the aliens costumes, but it deserves more respect than the treatment given by JJ Abrams.
At the Detroit Science Center they had a, wall length, display of the entire franchise in chronological order from Enterprise to the current fiasco. Much was on display of characters and plot points. At the very end of the display was this new movie. All it had written by it was 'The adventure continues.' After seeing this new film, I certainly hope not.
To my great delight, I was fortunate enough to see an advanced screening last night of JJ Abrams re-imaging of "Star Trek". I must admit that I was skeptical at first about taking such iconic characters and recasting them, even in younger iterations, because most people think of the characters of Kirk, Spock, Bones, Scotty, Uhura, Sulu and Chekov with the actors that originally portrayed them. These portrayals are engrained in the pop culture consciousness of the world and hence my skepticism arose. Fortunately, my doubts were unnecessary.
This is not your father's "Star Trek". From the moment the movie begins, so does the action and it never lets up. However, this movie has more than just incredible and intense action, it also pays homage to the series of old. Sure, they wanted to bring us a Trek for the 21st century, but they also realized that they needed to respect the source material and fans of a series that has been around more than 40 years. However, you don't need to know much about Star Trek to enjoy this movie. Each character has been given a background and history that lets you know a little something about each one. There's a lot to be told in an origin movie and it is handled deftly by both the writers and the director.
But, what really made the movies for me were the actors chosen to play these roles, especially Chris Pine as Kirk, Zachary Quinto as Spock and Karl Urban as Dr. McCoy, aka "Bones". This movie would not have worked if the casting of these three characters had not been spot on. Both Mr. Quinto and Urban uncannily channel their predecessors, Leonard Nimoy and DeForest Kelley. They took on some of their inflections, mannerisms and expressions to really give you a sense that they are just younger versions of the originals. Chris Pine, however, takes on the most memorable role in Trek history and makes it his own. This Kirk is not only the womanizer, lover, and captain that you already know, but as portrayed by Mr. Pine also has a swagger, bravado, intelligence, and is a complete adrenaline junkie. We could not have asked for a better Kirk in this movie.
They have laid a solid foundation for a new series, with new life, perfect cast and a director with a true vision. If the first movie can be this good, my expectations for further adventures have risen exponentially.
This is my first review for our website and as such might not be very good since I have no experience at writing reviews. I intentionally didn't reveal any plot points so as to not spoil anything for whoever may read this. I may in the future reveal areas that may have spoilers but mark these sections so you can skip over them. I'll be seeing Wolverine tomorrow and hope to have a review up by tomorrow night. Until we meet again, "Live long and Prosper!"
The actors who play the adult Kirk and Spock are both good if you ignore the story and script they have to work with. Both look the parts and carry them surprisingly well. The less said about their kid versions the better, but let's just say young Anakin looks a lot better in this light.
The rest of the cast are either horribly mis-cast (Simon Pegg), instantly forgettable or just plain horrible (Uhura).
By and large the action/sfx scenes reminded me mostly of the end of Armageddon - shiny drivel that makes you want to punch people in the neck. The first ten minutes epitomises this (slight spoiler but you won't miss anything, the film has no surprises in it) : teeny tiny research ship vs huge planet-killing machine from a vastly more advanced race AND 150 years in the future, the smaller ship is so boned by the first 5 seconds of the fight, during which the baddies don't even really try, that it's evacuated. It is then flown in a dead straight line at the enemy guns for about 90 seconds with no shields, no defences and no evasive manoeuvres. Despite this it is somehow unharmed and it's pilot manages to happily converse with his wife by radio while presumably the conversation aboard the enemy ship goes something like "I think he's going to ram us sir", "oh?", "shall we do something?", "shoot wildly over his head", "yes sir"..... time passes.... "he's still coming sir, very very slowly", "oh well shoot more just don't hit him that would spoil the moment". I'm sure Futurama had almost this exact scene but it was a joke when they did it.....
It's this kind of lazy, tired, pathetic trash that I expected from Abrams and he delivers it in spades. The whole film is saturated with laziness from top to bottom. Given that the Trek franchise invented and then flogged to death most of the great clichés of sci-fi you might think this is all just tongue-in-cheek homage but it really isn't, this is the best this hackneyed joke of a director has to offer and you can tell he honestly thinks it doesn't stink. The pinnacle of this laziness has to be "Red matter" which is probably the worst McGuffin in the history of cinema. Oh yes and let's not forget that the entire plot hinges on the premise that Spock (something of an icon for learning) has never heard of "velocity equals distance over time".
All of this is from a purely non-Trek perspective. I could point out no end of issues on that front (Cardassians in Kirk's era, Ships built on the surface of the planet, everything about Pike, one of the most advanced species in the galaxy defeated by a ship whose main weapon is a 10 mile long undefended phallus which takes a week to shoot it's load, etc. etc. etc.).
First off scotty, spock, and jim all end up on the same planet by accident. The bad guy, whatever his name was, was motivated by an event spock had no control over and was trying to prevent. "Jim" was just a prick, not cool, and no one in there right mind would give him control of a star ship acting like that. LOL. Absurd, Absurd, Absurd.
Really, A cartoon has deeper and more coherent plot lines.
This movie is a joke, appealing to those that enjoy visual effects, and big explosions, that's all you'll get, if that is what you want, this is the movie for you, if you want something with a better storyline than "See Spot Run", save the gas.
In a sentence, this movie was idiotic eye candy. Strong, meaningless emotions were intermingled with fancy special effects and a nonsense plot. If you want to see the movie because of the trailer, stick with the trailer; it's all the content you get. Anyone that says this movie was good wasn't paying attention at all. The target demographic of this movie must have been toddlers.
They quickly rushed between scenes ignoring any relevance to, or continuity of, the plot. Characters made bold speeches and impassioned decisions that were either meaningless or simply defied in the next ten seconds. Characters also blatantly threw out their catch lines every chance they got to speak. I got a sense this movie wasn't geared toward trekkies but to people who just knew the catch lines. Awful.
I back up what I say; here's a list..
-The first scene where the young kirk threw a car off a cliff had nothing to do with anything.. at all.
-The plot was free of any logic. Romulus's planet is destroyed. Why didn't they evacuate? Why was one man (spoc) charged with billions of lives? How did a miner find a way back in time? If it was common knowledge why didn't everyone just go back in time to destroy the supernova? Why didn't he just save his planet when he got to the past? Obviously even if he destroys the federation and the vulcans the supernova will still destroy his planet. And how the hell did he go back in time? Oh he got sucked into a black hole. Just like the one he put in the center of the vulcan planet? Just like the one that destroyed him at the end? Why didn't they all just go back in time at the end and save EVERYONE??
-If you really payed attention, few scenes actually made sense with regard to where they were and what they were doing.
-Kirk makes spock beat his face in and then becomes captain. Spock has a severe emotional breakdown and they're best friends in less than two minutes.
-You don't have to drill to destroy a planet with a black hole. A planet wouldn't be around for minutes if it had a black hole at it's center. At the end they create a black whole with like 10000 times the red matter as before right next to earth.
-Romulus could kill kirk at one point but just doesn't.. for no real reason..
-At some points they're warping around faster than light speed. Sometimes it takes them a few minutes to get somewhere. Sometimes it takes half the movie.
I have more points (like why were the drill operators wielding axes from 150 years in the future, like, they don't have guns in the future??) but suffice to say I felt dumber having watched this movie. I hope it tanks.
While some of the casting was spot on (I truly loved Karl Urban's portrayal of McCoy) others were horrible. This movie turned Uhura from the elegant professional she was into an oversexed adolescent. Scotty went from a dedicated professional to a buffoon. The worst, however, is Chris Pine's take on Kirk. Pine's Kirk is just another rubber stamp "action hero" – the same character we've seen in dozens of big budget action movies before. At no time did I believe him as James T Kirk.
The set designer for this movie should be blacklisted from Hollywood for the cheesy crap he/she threw at us. The engineering "set" looked like something from a bad Sci Fi Channel movie! I understand it was filmed in a power plant. They had $150 million to make this movie, and they couldn't build some actual sets? Ditto for Scotty's "outpost". The auditorium at Starfleet Academy looked like (and probably was) a tired and worn college lecture hall; complete with dingy 70's curtains. I could almost smell the mildew. Every time they showed that garbage, I was rudely jerked out of the tiny amount of suspension of disbelief that I was able to muster.
There were so many plot holes you could use this movie as a doily.
It felt as if the producers really hated Star Trek and were going out of the way to wipe out 40 years of canon. When they destroyed Vulcan and killed Spock's Mother, I nearly walked out.
This movie is not Star Trek. There is no heart, no soul. Nothing but over the top effects and violence. I know that this is what adolescent audiences want nowadays, but why pander to the lowest expectations? Why not give us something that wows us, and not just because it has awesome explosions, but because it engages our minds and imaginations. Even if you ignore it being Star Trek and examine it as just another effects laden Sci Fi movie, it comes up short.
This movie had so much potential. It was all wasted.
Right out of the gate, they Jump the Shark on the Spock character turning him into an impulsive, brash, horny Vulcan youth with a heart full of angst. Then they turn Kirk into a stone-jawed loudmouth playboy from a Michael Bay style Cars-n'-Sluts flick, complete with multiple pointless car chases, hopeless henchmen, comedic extras and sweaty bar fights over girls.
There's no character depth or development as suddenly all the characters from the series are thrown together in their twenties starting off as geniuses at each of their respective tasks, as if no one with promise has to rise through ranks, earn knowledge or hone talent to become something. That uniquely American perspective coupled with the tiresome oversexualization or alternatively, casting-into-comedic roles of every single character, followed by constant mindless action sequences drags the script of this movie below the Canned-Tuna quality we see in all the Star Wars prequels. It even comes complete with hoverbikes and giant digitized monster chases.
What happened to the cerebral and highly character-driven plots that Star Trek has come to be known for? Why pollute an otherwise acceptable premise with silly fantasy elements and spoil a carefully thought out universe with a tired old Deus Ex Machina like time travel through black holes? It never came together, and I got really sick of the constantly switching camera angles and lens flare; I felt like I was skydiving during a thunderstorm for the entire movie. Star Trek would have been better as an amusement ride like Star Tours at Disneyland than something seen in a Theatre.
I did think it was cool that they got Mike Tyson to play the Romulan commander. Who knew he could act?
I had large reservations about this movie that only became larger as the previews gave more details. I am in no way a Trekkie and I have found my share of flaws in the Star Trek movies and TV shows, but even I couldn't stand the errors in this movie.
To me it was like a cross between Galaxy Quest and Starship Troopers.
And what star was going supernova and endangering the whole galaxy? It would have to have been enormous millions of times larger than any star we can see to directly threaten any worlds outside its own system let alone the whole galaxy. You don't need a degree in stellar physics to know that. We have seen the effects of several stars that have gone supernova in our galaxy and in nearby galaxies and none have been anywhere near that big.
None of the actors had the character they were playing right and Chris Pine seemed to think the role of Kirk was nothing but a joke, Kirk was cavalier but just plain stupid was not part of the character, he wouldn't get a job as dish washer let alone ship's captain. Scotty was nothing like in the TV shows or movies; He had little or no technical abilities and was just the joke of the scenes he was in.
The only character I think they had right was Dr. Leonard 'Bones' McCoy; Karl Urban had it perfect right down to the insults and paranoia.
This was more like a Star Trek parody than anything else. Did Abrams ever watch any of the Star Trek shows or movies, I haven't been this disappointed by a Star Trek movie since Star Trek the Motion Picture.
As the story goes, Nero is furious at Spock, and by extension his whole race of Vulcans, because Spock did not get to Romulus' star in time to save it from super nova, which destroyed his planet and all those he loved and cared for. In the process both he and Spock are sucked into a black hole and spit out the other side well in the past, except at different times, Nero 25 years before Spock. In waiting 25 years for Spock to come through the black hole as he had, Nero and his crew seethe with rage and plot their revenge against Spock and his evil race of Vulcans.
But why? Did Spock create the super nova? No. That was explained as a natural disaster. Did Spock try to save his planet? Yes. In fact, he had every reason to believe that he was going to die in the process. After failing to stave off the super nova, he was sucked into a black hole, which is assumed to destroy anything entering it (after all, black holes literally crush atoms to the point of not existing). Personally I think that makes Spock a hero to the Romulans! Having a vendetta against Spock and the Vulcans would be like tracking down and killing the family of a fire fighter who died in your house while he tried to save your wife and kids. That makes no sense. None. Last, Nero is now in the past, no? Why doesn't he just go about saving his planet from destruction? He's got the "red matter" to do it.
The other thing that ticked me off was the silly string of "accidents" that put a gang of 22 year-olds in command of the Federation's flagship. Do they not have even a single 40 year-old who has actually been in space before? It's even worse than that if you think about it. Before the ship takes off Kirk is about to be booted out of Starfleet—but now he's put in charge?
I'm willing to suspend disbelief in sci-fi movie, but there's a difference between suspending disbelief and watching a movie like I'm a 3-year old. 3 stars out of 10.
The relationship between Kirk and Spock was built around each providing a counterpoint for the other's strengths, with Spock, of course, balancing Kirk's passion with a healthy dose of reason. Between them, they formed a symbiotic medium, reflecting the human condition that leadership and advancement comes from a balance of both reason and passion.
The original Kirk was passionate and decisive, but was not reckless. Nor was he consumed by his own crude, punk emotions. He was a leader who understood that his responsibilities extended to his ship, his crew, Star Fleet, and the rules and aims of the larger society. He let this guide his decisions. Even by himself, there was responsibility, rationality and reason within him. Spock represented, and added to, the pure rational component of any argument. Put together, the two characters showed us that goals and problems are best addressed by moving the human condition towards a stronger sense of responsibility, rationality and reason. It was a vision for the future.
Against that, in this new movie, both characters have moved decidedly away from the rational and towards the emotional. Kirk is now just some one-dimensional, self-obsessed, reckless angry rebel who treats every situation as an opportunity to start a bar fight (literally and/or figuratively). One expects future dialog to be along the lines of "Spock, did you see the way that ambassador glanced at me during negotiations? He needs a lesson in respect. Fire all photon torpedoes!!" Who in their right mind would want such a character as a starship captain?
And the new Spock has had the strengths of his rational side completely neutered. This new movie makes it obvious that his rational Vulcan side is ineffective, unimportant and weak, and that the emotional human side is where all the important cool parts are. The arc of the story in this movie seems to be constantly telling him: "Dude...stop thinking so much! What you need is to do is get yourself a girlfriend, get laid, have a few shots of Jack Daniels, and go punch a few people."
Similar dumbing-down occurs with the destruction of Vulcan. Six billion lives lost from a culture that was as advanced, peaceful and intelligent as the Vulcans (remember...it was the Vulcan's who first reached out to humanity to make First Contact) is an tragic, important event. The original series would have made THAT the point of the event, as it should be. But in this movie, the only really important thing was that Spock's mother was killed. Well! Now it's personal I guess! No wonder he's mad! Why is it that movies such as this can't talk in the important abstract? Why is there always the need to introduce the personal vendetta? Why can we not have an important cause that is worth struggling for in its own right?
In the aggregate, whereas the point of the original relationship between Spock and Kirk was that the addition of stronger reasoning adds to our human capacity, the point of this movie seems to be the opposite: that what humans need to do is reason less, think less, make everything personal, give authority and responsibility the finger, break as many rules as possible, and get into as many bar fights as we possibly can. I was hoping that we'd left that attitude behind us with the passing of the Bush years...but I guess not.
As a side rant on that...the American psyche is frustrating in its contradictions. We live in gated communities to keep us away from exactly the bar-fighting trash represented by Kirk in this movie. We want harsh, lock-em-away laws if such characters challenge our peace of mind. But in the movies, we celebrate those same characters fighting authority, breaking all the rules, thumbing their noses at exactly us and those we appoint, punching anyone who asks them to be reasonable, killing anyone who tries to stop them, and winning only by fighting, not by thinking or working together. The same effect shows up in shows like Prison Break. How does a society both impose capital punishment AND cheer for the (supposedly) wrongly convicted to fight against the police that are trying to enforce the very laws that us as a society put in place? If we recognize that people are sometimes wrongly convicted...why are we killing them?
The other sad direction in this movie was the removal of Vulcans and Romulans as alternate societies. Again, we seem to be taking the attitude that only "us" humans matter. The "others" are uninteresting, unimportant, and potentially get in the way. Whereas the original series celebrated the idea of different societies, and recognized that any society (even all of humanity itself) will benefit by coming together into a larger common society with others of sympathetic goals, this movie promotes the idea that we would be better off if everyone was more like us, or better yet, if everyone else BUT us would disappear. In this movie the "us" is humanity compared to the "them" of other planets. In our world, the "us" is our culture or country compared to the "them" of other cultures or countries. Again...I was hoping that such a provincial attitude would pass with the Bush years...but again sadly, I must be mistaken.
The original series was a vision for the future...a larger, more interesting future. The new movie is a vision for the past...a provincial, isolationist, fearful past. In the end, the world, and the galaxy, are both poorer places because of this movie when compared to the vision and intellect of the original series.