The new Star Trek Sucks! Several Things You Should Consider Before Admitting You Like The New Star Trek Film. Like many of my friends, nerd and non-nerd alike, I anxiously anticipated the release of J.J. Abrams’ production of the new motion picture version of “Star Trek”. But after seeing the film, I was mystified by the positive reviews I was getting from the media, and more surprisingly, friends whose opinions and intelligence I respect. What was up here? Did I get this film all-wrong? Was it actually a satire like, “Young Frankenstein” or “Airplane,” and I just wasn’t seeing it?
In my quest for answers, I searched my “katra”, re-read the Trek movie journal I keep, and even considered a little mindmeld regression therapy until finally, it came to me. No! You’re all fucking wrong! And it’s not just my opinion; I can prove it on paper. So that’s what I’m going to do. The following is an investigation of the various elements, and misguided attitudes concerning the new Star Trek film that will finally make crystal clear what a giant turd this movie really is. Get ready to get angry!
1. “The original Star Trek was silly and campy. Why take this movie so seriously?” Okay, first of all, the original Star Trek was not silly and campy. It may seem that way to people now because it was made in the 1960’s. Actually, it was one of the few science fiction vehicles at the time to treat its subject matter with respect and intelligence. Star Trek featured revered writers like, Robert Bloch (Psycho), Theodore Sturgeon, and Harlan Ellison who won the WGA award for Best Dramatic Episode in 1968 for his episode, “City on the Edge of Forever.” The show itself was nominated two years in a row for an Emmy for Best Dramatic series and Leonard Nimoy was nominated all three years of its run for acting. Star Trek also won two Hugo awards and the animated series (yes, a cartoon) went on to finally win the Emmy in 1975. At the time of the original Star Trek’s debut, its only real sci-fi competition was “Lost in Space,” whose last episode featured a talking carrot man. Now that’s silly and campy, my friends.
2. Captain Jerk I know the character of Captain Kirk is supposed to be an iconoclast who plays by his own rules but this present incarnation comes off more like a frat boy in a “Girls Gone Wild” video. At no point do we ever see any sign of the leadership qualities, or basic charm for that matter that would make anyone put up with his spring break inspired antics. The “Kobayashi Maru” sequence doesn’t show out-of-the-box thinking; rather a portrait of a cheating, arrogant dickhead who thinks eating an apple loudly is hilarious. I don’t blame actor Chris Pine for any of this. I think he’s a good actor that got some bad direction, although his performance made me long for the quiet subtlety of William Shatner, especially when it came to the ladies. Shatner’s Kirk would shoot a casual leer at the occasional hot yeoman, but Pine’s version takes his girl watching to the point where he’s practically doing an impression of Squiggy from “Laverne & Shirley”. The argument in defense of junior James T’s behavior is that in this film, we are seeing the young, less mature version of Captain Kirk. Great, so exactly how many sequels am I going to have to sit through before this asshole gets likable?
3. Spock and Uhura I have no problem with this version of Spock being a little more comfortable with his emotions and having a relationship with Uhura. But I think even Squiggy” I mean Captain Kirk, would have the social etiquette and military decorum not to openly tongue lock his girlfriend on a transporter pad. I can’t wait to see the deleted scene in the DVD extras where Spock goes for some tittie.
4. The Romulans Quite possibly the worst villains in any movie. Ever. Not only is their vendetta motivation beyond tired and hack, they look like a strange combination of Nosferatu, Vin Diesel, and any customer on L.A. Ink. The outside of their ship resembles an angry hairball and the inside looks like the stage of a Dane Cook special. And can anyone explain why Eric Bana is doing an impression of a typical punk from a “Death Wish” movie? I could also get into stuff like why the hell hadn’t anyone noticed the Romulans waiting around for Spock all those years but that might have to wait for the sequel to this article.
5. Space Drill A space drill? Really? That’s like something out of an old “Doctor Who” episode on its worst day. Why not just have two robot hands come out of the Romulan spaceship and dig a hole with a giant beach shovel? And apparently, this thing wasn’t built to withstand attacks. The minute someone fires a phaser at it, the thing collapses like over-cooked spaghetti. Again, a space drill?
6. Winona Ryder Winona’s performance as Spock’s mother in this film is right out of a high school production of “Arsenic & Old Lace”. The cast of “Little Britain” can do a more convincing old lady than she did. If I were J.J. Abrams, I would have followed Johnny Depp’s lead and replaced her name in the credits with “Wino Forever”. I think it’s time somebody went back to shoplifting.
7. Transporter Bullshit When the Enterprise is having trouble beaming up the crewmembers who fell off the “space drill.” Sorry, I had to stop typing for a moment. I went into another laughing fit when I thought of the “space drill”. Anyway, Checkov runs to save the falling crewmembers yelling, “I can do this!” He then accesses an Atari-like transporter control terminal and beams them from midair onto the ship. Why he needs to run to another terminal to do this is quite obvious. The more running there is, the less likely people will realize this movie is a piece of shit. But I digress. Later Spock, using what I can only describe as anti-logic, decides that rather than beam the Vulcan Council directly to the ship, he’ll beam down onto the planet to rescue them and get in a little running of his own. Upon reaching the Vulcan Council, he leads them through collapsing caves and ground tremors to the arbitrary beam-up point. At the last moment, Spock’s mother slips out of transporter range and falls to her death. Hmmm? So Chekov can beam up three people falling in midair, but clumsy, pretend old ladies are a bit more of a problem? I’m assuming when someone asked the writer, “How the fuck can we get Winona Ryder out of this movie quickly?” He screamed in reply, “I can do this!”
8. Planet Just So Happens So, on the new Enterprise, when you do something wrong, instead of putting you in the brig, you get shot off the spaceship onto a dangerous planet where you may or may not be killed. This of course, is what Spock did to Kirk and what the writers had to do to awkwardly get us into the next act. I’m sure they thought, clearly the plot holes are becoming too numerous for us to maneuver around, so we’ll simply shoot our lead character over them. Kirk lands on a hostile snow world and in a scene ripped off from, “The Empire Strikes Back”, is attacked by a big, hungry monster. Just as he’s about to get sucked into the vagina jaws of the creature, Old Spock just so happens to shows up in the nick of time to save him. Then, they just so happen to find Scotty (and his Ewokish sidekick, who in my humble opinion is the best written character in the film), who just so happens to be the one who comes up with a way to transport someone on a starship in warp, and just so happens to get Kirk back on the Enterprise (which he never should have left in the first place) in time to save the day. Some will argue that since Spock came from a future/alternative universe, he knew where to be at the right time. Well, I’m going to use my time machine and go back in time to stop you from becoming a person who accepts clumsy time travel plot devices as an excuse for bad screenwriting.
9. Shitty Fight Scenes To be fair, this movie isn’t the only one guilty of this cinematic crime, which really surprises me. You’d think with the influence of Hong Kong action films, we’d finally get away from the let’s film the action in short, blurry close-ups so no one will be able to figure out that none of our actors can actually fight mentality.( Editor’s Note: Thank You, Jason Bourne movies). Where’s Yuen Wo Ping when you need him? But, I am happy to see that everyone in the future can take multiple punches and body slams with no apparent effect. I guess that makes all those mixed martial arts champions a bunch of pussies.
10. Where’s Starfleet? Earth is in danger of being swallowed into a black hole due to an attack by Romulans from an alternative universe with a “space drill” (keep it together, Weinhold), and yet there isn’t one other ship in Starfleet that comes to their aid? What a bad time for every Captain in Starfleet to go on break and turn off their communicators. Curse you shitty script Gods!
11. Red Matter Okay, so one tiny, drop of red matter will implode a planet into a black hole, right? And any explosion will set off the red matter, right? So why is Old Spock flying around with the giant ball of red matter in his spaceship? How about keeping a tiny amount in your ship and keeping the rest in your explosion-proof attic or between the pages of an explosion-proof book? Since we know that a tiny drop of red matter will destroy a planet, I’m assuming that a giant medicine ball of the stuff is probably going to take out pretty much the known universe. But surprise, it doesn’t! Lastly, with the red matter exploding and setting the Romulan ship on a path to destruction, why is Kirk and company hanging around for some macho phaser play instead of getting their stupid ass’ away from the event horizon? Why? Because at this point, everyone connected with the film cinematically just flipped you the bird.
12. “You didn’t like this movie because you’re too loyal to the old Star Trek.” No, that’s not true. Although I do love the old Trek, I absolutely agreed that the Rick Berman era of Star Trek shows and films sucked all the life and joy from the franchise and it was time for a breath of creative fresh air. Even though I thought “Cloverfield” was another really badly written movie (although the monster stuff was great), I was optimistic that J.J. Abrams would rise to the occasion and do Trek right. But what I got was not an affront to my Star Trek devotion. What I got was simply a shitty, unimaginative screenplay to a cookie cutter action film. And don’t give me this, “Lighten up Star Trek nerd! It’s just a popcorn action movie.” NO!!! “Raiders of the Lost Ark” is a well-written movie, and it was successful. “The Road Warrior” managed to put together a great script without suffering in the kick ass car chase department! As Star Trek movies go, I’ll put The Wrath of Khan’s revenge tale up over this clusterfuck of nonsense anytime. So, those are the biggies! Most of the rest of my complaints can be summed up under the heading:
Miscellaneous Stupid Star Trek Shit!
1. All you have to do to be promoted in Starfleet is break all their rules.
2. Thank God Scotty showed up because no one had thought to assign an engineer to the Enterprise.
3. Why don’t the Enterprise’s shields ever work?
4. Is it really a good idea to have a computer on a starship that can’t understand people with thick accents?
5. So, the safest place to store the codes to Earth’s defenses is in Captain Pike’s brain?
6. The writers were not aware that the Dr. McCoy’s nickname of “Bones” comes from the long tradition of doctors being referred to as “saw-bones”.
7. The bridge of the Enterprise must have been modeled after the cosmetics counter at Neiman Marcus.
8. Never talk smack about a half-Vulcan’s mother.
9. If the Romulans’ home world is eventually going to be destroyed by a super nova, why do the alternative universe Romulans make no effort in twenty five years to contact the planet and hip them to this little fact instead of going after Spock and Kirk. (Courtesy of fellow angry Trekker Ken Daly)
10. Black holes have been used poorly in science fiction movies ever since the film “The Black Hole”.
11. I’m sure you can come up with ten more if you really think about it. For now, my work here is done. Hopefully for some of you, I’ve finally wiped the subliminal message induced joy of this film from your minds and replaced it with cold logic. Live long and prosper, you ungrateful bastards.