Saturday, May 30, 2009

Star Trek: Don't Let The Name Fool You

Let me say up front, I was skeptical of the whole idea of an original Star Trek remake. Excuse me, a reboot, as it's referred to. If I rebooted my computer and it changed that much, I doubt Microsoft would be the giant it is today. So, let's just call this movie a similar story with the same name. Because, it's NOT the same Star Trek story that we have grown to love the past 44 years. Star Trek did not need another episode of "In A Mirror Darkly', but we got one.

In all fairness, this is a great film. Just not a good Star Trek film. It's a great story with action, comedy, special effects, and good acting. They did a fairly good job of finding likenesses of the crew. All through the movie it felt like I was watching a well made Trek parody on Saturday Night Live or MadTV.

The movie is riddled with historical Trek verbiage and nostalgia. They broke ALL the Trek rules. From the very beginning, the story exits from the chronicles that began in 1965. Kirk is a bad boy growing up. Spock is sexually involved with Uhura. Vulcan is destroyed, Romulus is destroyed. Ambassador Spoke meets and co-exists with his younger self. Spocks Mother (played by Winona Ryder) is killed when Vulcan is destroyed.

Towards the end, I was anxiously awaiting for the "miracle", "the turn back the clock", to put things back to where they re supposed to be. That never happened. The credits rolled and I went home disappointed.

Remarkably it has performed very well at the box office, approaching $200 million. What's not to like, right? I went to see the movie the weekend it opened, on May 9th. It was a Saturday 4:00PM matinee. I really expected there to be long lines and hoards of people waiting. Instead, I walked right up to the ticket counter, and then proceeded to the viewing room. It was dark and the movie had already started. I took a seat in the back, there was only one person in the row. After the movie was over, and the lights came on, there wasn't more than 15 people in the audience, all with disappointed looks on their faces.

Right now Gene Roddenberry and his late wife are turning over in their graves. It's blasphemy I say. They must have paid Leonard Nimoy a bundle of money to come out of retirement to do this film (and to do Fringe). I hate to think of what will happen in the sequels. Maybe they should bring Scott Bakula on-board, he has considerable experience "putting things right that once went wrong". This irony would have fit perfectly into J.J. Abrams twisted plot.

BTW, there is a sequel already in the plans, Untitled Star Trek sequel.

John Crawford

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