I finally managed to see Star Trek on Friday. In a nutshell: I was very well entertained.
Here’s just some things I liked and disliked in brief.
What I liked
: For me, the characters were the thing that made this work. Some of the material with Kirk, McKoy, Spock, and Uhura was really entertaining and fun. I think they’ve managed to establish a great basis and can move on very well from here. I also think it was a great move to set up Spock and Uhura as a couple.
: The movie was very funny in parts. Some of the scenes surrounding Kirk, in particular, really had me laughing quite a bit at the cinema. The timing was good, and I think they used it well to keep the movie fun.
: I really liked what they did with some of the designs such as the costumes and the bridge. This is what I had hoped to see back on ENT. It all looks modern or futuristic but has a retro feel to it that pre-dates that of TOS. That’s how to make it feel
like a prequel.
What I didn’t like
- Opening scenes
: The opening with the birth and the chatter between Kirk’s parents was one of the worst scenes I have ever seen on film. I have no idea what they were thinking when they wrote, let alone filmed this. Myself as well as all of my friends with me at the theater absolutely cringed
at these scenes. I can’t state enough how bad and
unnecessary they were in my mind. I also found the scene with kid Kirk annoying. I get the point they’re trying to make. But what they put on screen was probably one of the most annoying ways to do it, I felt. On the bright side, they actually managed to lump together the two worst scenes in the entire movie at the very beginning, and it just kept getting better from there on.
- Bad guy’s plan
: Really, wasn’t there one single little ground-based vessel or missile or torpedo that could have simply killed the drill? You could damage it with a phaser, so it shouldn’t have been that hard to take out. Plus the whole drilling really seemed to take some time. Kill the drill, and the bad guy’s plan is passť. Plus I do have to wonder about the strength of that ship. It may be from the future, but it’s still just a mining vessel. I would have been happier with a battle ship, I think.
: I said above that I liked the humor. I also have to say, however, that I did feel the movie was really
goofy at times. A prime example is Scotty ending up in the conveniently see-through water pipes that lead straight to the rotating knives (or some such). Scenes like that felt more like watching a Galaxy Quest movie rather than a new Star Trek film.
: Some of the action could get a little tiresome and didn’t really feel very engaging, I thought. The space battles, in particular, came across to me as little more than a colorful frenzy with lots of noise. All in all, however, I thought the amount of action wasn’t too excessive and the fight scenes, in particular, were quite enjoyable.
- Lense flares
: Maybe I only noticed this because I’d read about them, but I really feel they need to cut down on the amount of lense flares in the next film.
One more thing I’d like to note that struck me as odd (but it’s hard to really hold it against the film at this point) is that, to me anyway, the Federation seemed just a tad totalitarian. There were quite a few scenes on Earth that reminded me of Starship Troopers. And a cop coming up to someone and calling them “citizen” never seems like a good thing in my mind.
I’m a bit concerned about where the reborn franchise will go in terms of portraying the Federation. I fear it might become a ‘friendly’ but essentially totalitarian and militaristic organization that’s depicted as far more benevolent than it would be in the real world. But, again, this is nothing I’m holding against this film. We simply haven’t seen enough to be able to form an opinion on this matter, I think.
Anyway, I came out of the film having really enjoyed myself. My friends also had a great time, and we talked quite a bit about the film afterwards. It also really motivated me for the first time in a long, long time to use and enjoy the Vulcan greeting as well as saying what I will use to finish this post:
Live long and prosper.
P.S.: I almost forgot to grade the film
. I was generous and went with "Above Average" although I almost chose "Average". I think for a Trek film it certainly is above average. I'd certainly take it over TFF, GEN, INS, or NEM any time. I'd probably put it a bit above TSFS (which is quite average for a Trek film, I think). I think I see it more or less on par with TMP, TWOK, and TVH but below TUC and FC. A really amazing sequel might yet shift the whole scale a little, we'll see.