I know I am in the minority. My intent is not to just 'stir the pot'. I've enjoyed Star Trek as much as anyone, which is why I have such a strong opinion about this movie. So give me a chance and hear me out.
This post is an extension of a thread I started at Rotten Tomatoes ST XI forum, which to my surprise has some viewers agreeing with me. In response to recent feedback I'll do my best to balance this post but make no mistake about it, I believe this is one of the worst Start Trek films ever produced.
I understand and agree with the need for a 'reboot", but certainly not at the expense of everything the classic Start Trek meant. One poster on RT responded that I should not look at what was but what the new ST is and cited some examples. Frankly I don't care what it is because so much of what made this an enduring series has been stripped away.
Ask yourself this question: If they were trying to establish a Star Trek franchise today, not just another summer sequel, using this film as a base, would it last? I think the answer is clearly... NO!
No one will remember this film.
This is at best a visually appealing romp that unfortunately fails to capture (in fact it seems to purposely neglect) the essence of Gene Roddenberry's original themes. This movie is less of a reboot than an excuse to lure a built in Trekkie fan base into another over produced CGI fest that sacrifices substance for visual appeal.
I'll admit in some scenes it's beautifully rendered and it's something past ST films needed.JJ Abrams' cast (via the vehicles of the screenplay and script) for the most part fails to carry the weight of this story and, to this reviewer at least, certainly doesn't seem capable of shouldering Star Trek's long legacy.
The scenes are clipped and disjointed sacrificing continuity and pace. Instead the actors' conflicted and somewhat manic (and supposedly humorous) performances only seem to serve as a painful respite between each overproduced action sequence. I've always considered such cinematography as was used in this film as a lazy way to build suspense and drama where none clearly exists. I can't think of a better example in recent history.
I do not fault the actors as I'm of the opinion that several are truly talented. Feature films are a director's medium. The characters as they are portrayed in this film are mostly a joke.
Leonard Nimoy's performance, through no fault of his own, seems out of place. As the only actor who would have been capable of grounding this farce by lending his considerable on screen weight, it really is a shame that his character was not properly developed, but then again none of them really had a chance.
The characters seem lost between a the roles of comedians and vulnerable heroes. Really, a 'flagship' crewed almost solely by teenagers? Ok, Kirk, Spock and some of the other crew are in their mid to late twenties, but let's face it, in context they are almost completely unbelievable . In the past ST universe pitch battles were often fought strategically. The weight of the event powered through. Now it's a slugfest with all guns blazing until something blows up beautifully, more work for ILM I guess.
In a vain attempt to recapture the wit and humor of the classic series they've instead filled the feature mostly with cheap slapstick hammy jokes delivered at the most inappropriate times. The dialogue is lacking and under developed, enough said there.
The story delivers little in terms science fiction believability and therefore lacks the chance to provide the escapist experience that most great sci-fi easily conveys. This was a franchise that always prided itself on developing its' sci fi tech to weave the story together.
The use of tech in STXI to fill in for the lazy writing is shameful. In a attempt to match the current trend of creating a gritty and urgent feel at every turn JJ Abrams has instead taken a step away from giving this movie and the future of the franchise any sense of identity. Only viewers who haven't had the opportunity to view the best of Star Trek's previous features will be taken in by the illusion.
Yes, I know that Star Trek needs to move on. That Shatner, Nimoy and the rest of the original cast will never be seen on screen again. That TNG, DS9, Voyager, Enterprise, and the TNG films weren't perfect. But it was always STAR TREK and for the most part you always knew it.
Overall this latest rendition of Star Trek disappoints and doesn't deserve the title of space epic or even a reboot. It should be forgotten. Give the franchise a rest and begin again with a properly themed screenplay and script. One can only hope that this is not the direction that this venerable franchise will take moving forward.