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Old May 9 2009, 02:18 AM   #771
startrekwatcher
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Re: The Official STAR TREK Grading & Discussion Thread [SPOILERS]

Well I just got back and here's my thoughts. Sorry if I repeat anything but I haven't read the thread yet. I figured I'd post first then wade through it all.

Above average; 3 stars out of 4.

Taken on its as just an enjoyable action adventure summer blockbuster based on Trek it worked. It had a lot of exciting visual effects sequences--the Narada vs the Kelvin, Spock's ramming of the Narada with the ship from the future--, epic visuals--Vulcan's destruction-- and inventive stunts like the atmospheric jump to the drill. I loved the updates on the TOS uniform. The colors were vibrant and rich and looked good on everyone. I didn't mind the cosmetic license the designers took with the Enterprise from either the interior or from the outside. I loved the clean white look and have ever since seeing it on the Prometheus from Voyager's "Message in a Bottle" and the Engineering set paid homage to the original and looked like I envisioned if it had a bigger budget. The Enterprise was a beauty to behold as was the Narada.

All the actors were well cast. I thought Chekov, McCoy, Kirk, Spock and Amanda did an excellent job capturing the mannerisms and essence of their original counterparts. Uhura felt a little different. On TOS, she was more of a gentle wilting flower or damsel-in-distress. Here she had a bit of spunk and sass which wasn't a bad thing. Scotty was a little over-the-top for my tastes. Doohan's Scotty was light-hearted and fun but Pegg needed to pull it back. From what little we saw this crew had chemistry and I liked all of them. If there was one thing that I felt was missing was the emotion. Trek is at its best when mixing its humanity with the action. Even weaker Trek films like Generations or Insurrection had those moments of reflection that were pretty much absent here. This was mostly jumping from one action piece to the next.

I also thought Nero was more of a plot device than a flesh and blood adversary. I would have liked more interesting/intriguing definition to his motivations. And while I didn't mind the time travel aspect to the story but could it have been any more basic. It preserves TOS/TNG/DS9/VOY/ENT and allows from here on out for Abrams to play around and bring in races that in the original timeline couldn't appear and do shocking things like destroy Vulcan which I was surprised by but I would have liked a more interesting scenario than simply Romulus being destroyed by a super nova. I had a bit more faith that someone like Abrams who has come up with such inventive mysteries and situations on LOST could have done a bit better than this. It was pretty simple all said. And it was too bad we didn't get to see more of the late 24th century than the very brief glimpses via Spock's mind meld. It looks like there is some peace between the two worlds so to some extend Spock's efforts worked just how far we'll probably never know. Obviously, the writers didn't want to drag too much backstory from the Trek canon into the film but would it have been that confusing with a bit of exposition imparted to Kirk to catch up the new comers. I don't think so.

As far as Nimoy's Spock's inclusion it might have been handled better. When I heard he was going to be in the film and that we would see the origins of the TOS crew it seemed an interesting way to merge these is to have Spock on his deathbed remembering these individuals and reflecting on his life maybe via a mindmeld with someone. I think that might have been more interesting and certainly more poignant. Given that this in all liklihood will be the last time we ever see Old Spock I would have liked a more satisfying use of him other than as a plot device and a more satisfying sense of closure akin to Sarek's sendoff in "Unification". Here they left it open. I can understand why he wouldn't have attempted to open another hole given he had no idea where it would end up and I understand why the writers didn't bring up the slingshot from Star Trek IV. But if this is ever the last time we see Old Spock it's disappointing that he didn't receive a better curtain call. And I found it a tad too convenient Kirk runs into Old Spock and then Scotty the way they did but I like Scotty's little alien buddy.

On the superficial front, we needed more Chris Pine in his briefs. Three nods to ENT with Admiral Archer, Porthos and using Vulcan High Command. I could have taken it or left it. And wasn't that a Ceti eel Nero used on Pike but it sounded like he referred to it as something else. I guess the writers didn't feel the need to honor Balance of Terror since everyone knew Romulans and Vulcans related and looked identical. I liked the idea of the Narada being a mining vessel--ties into Remus being a mining world. Nice tip of the hat to Pike being wheelchair bound. I didn't really like the updated transporter effect. At first I thought the teaser took place in the 24th century because the uniform reminded me of those worn in the "All Good Things" future. And what good is looking like a Romulan do if Spock is wearing a Starfleet uniform when he beamed over the Narada. I guess Abrams decided to go back to Romulans looking like Vulcans without the forehead ridges.

The Spock/Uhura romance I don't know what to make of it. It didn't get the way but I'm not that into the idea but then we didn't get a lot of insight into it and I think might have used a different alien other than the slave girl as Kirk's conquest.

I guess my one complaint is it lacked substance and despite all these issues I had fun and enjoyed myself. I intend to see it again on Sunday but it wasn't all it might have been. It was too simple and bare bones without a lot of meat I like. As an action film it works as a Trek film it has its issues.
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