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Old May 17 2009, 11:03 PM   #11
Re: Could we Trekkers have saved the Trek XI script? [SPOILERS]

Greetings all, this is my first post here. I originally posted the following on another website where everyone was gushing about the new film:-

I finally saw the film tonight and I thought that it was a completely hopeless mishmash of ideas drawn from a variety of sources in sci-fi. In no small way, it reminded me of the Lost in Space film.

There were various points when I began to expect Hayden Christensen to pop up, pull out his lightsaber and utter a toe-curlingly awful line. Appointing Kirk captain straight from Starfleet Academy is a plot device that might even shame George Lucas.

The concept of a "used" tomorrow is hardly new in sci-fi, but it is new in Star Trek. I don't think that it fits. The resources available to the Federation in Star Trek are such that everything is shiny and new...even when it's old. It's a bright tomorrow, an optimistic future. This does not mean that you cannot have darkness and conflict...they managed it in Deep Space Nine, which has a million times more depth than this film will ever aspire to.

I really don't want everything that happened in the Trek that I have known to be written off or set into an alternate timeline. If you want to start again, just do that. Pick a new crew, pick a new timeframe and go for it.

Another poster who suggested that Leonard Nimoy owned the scenes that he appeared in was completely correct. Zachary Quinto donned the wig, plucked his eyebrows and put on the ears, but he was playing Sylar.

What was going on with banishing Kirk from the ship? That made no sense at all. It was inhuman. It was invulcan!

Something needed to be done to Star Trek, but this was not it. Short-term, the masses might enjoy it, but long-term there is no substance upon which to build. Trek might rightly be criticised on many occasions for being slow or pompous, but this is another perfect example of everything that is wrong with the modern blockbuster.

Cameras that move, close shots that deny the viewer a chance to gawp at the scale of what they are watching and the effort that has been taken to ensure that the visual details all hang together. These have been features of many recent blockbusters. These are the traps that were, largely, avoided by Batman Begins and Casino Royale, but they were traps that were fallen into to an extent by Quantum of Solace and spectacularly by The Dark Knight. Will film historians be debating the brilliance of these films in 40 years, or will they still be talking about 2001: A Space Odyssey?

There is nothing wrong with action, but there has to be meaning there, or what's the point? The Dark Knight in particular rushed its action from one plot hole to another in a valiant effort to cover its still failed. Whilst the reviews were generally rave, I agreed with Mark Kermode [film critic for BBC radio and TV in the UK] was nothing special. A disappointing sequel to Batman Begins, which had more substance, better cinematography and a much more coherent plot and characters.

Casino Royale was a roaring success and deserved every rave review it received because it avoided every trap that the previous Bond film, the awful Die Another Day, had fallen into. The pace was slower than many modern films, but would anyone suggest that it is not one of the best movies of recent years? Quantum of Solace crams in more action at a faster pace without taking steps to develop a complex plot properly. Its cinematography of the extreme close-up is painful in comparison to the time taken to ensure wide angle shots set the scene in Casino.

Star Trek was always thought of as concentrating too hard on meaning and taking everything too seriously at the expense of tension and action, but this wasn't the answer. Somehow the attempt to reboot skipped Casino Royale or Batman Begins and landed slap bang in the middle of the worst excesses of The Dark Knight.

Justin Lee Collins just tried to bring back Star Trek, [a programme recently on Channel 4 in the UK] I now hope that someone else follows suit.

The flim lost me in the endless action. What I really can't understand is that when Lucas took Star Wars down the same road, he was rightly slated by the critics. There is no story and regardless of the pointless time-travel alternate timeline backstory for the reboot, there are far too many inconsistencies with classic Star Trek to be explained away.

My whole argument is that it is possible to have action and a story...the best example being Casino Royale. It is possible to have characters that have depth. It is possible to keep a modern audience's attention without 17 jump cuts in 14 seconds and 4 explosions!

Paying a lot more attention to Deep Space Nine might have helped, particularly as there didn't seem to be a single idea in the film that wasn't "borrowed" from another science fiction franchise. Some ideas might have been new to Star Trek, but they were not new ideas. If you're going to borrow on that sort of scale, why not borrow from your own past?
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