Sunday, May 10, 2009
Star Trek 2009
... or as I will call it from now on, Star Trek Supplemental. Seriously though, the movie was a great achievement. It had about everything I wanted. Leonard Nimoy as Spock, a great cast (except John Cho and Zachary Quinto), and a nice origin story. It was action-packed, fun, and most of all, revitalizing. Let's face it everyone, this going from one Trekkie/Trekker to everyone else, the series had a lot in common with the current Republican Party. So much that it's actually very funny. How, I hear you say? Well.... People stopped watching Trek just as much as people left that party, it had been taken over by people obsessed with everything being canon/party line, and it's attempt to go back to it's roots (Enterprise/no spending) just didn't mesh with people anymore.
The series needed to get a mainstream audience to make more money. It needed to go moderate without pissing off its base. In most respects, the movie does this quite well. I'm very happy that the original canonical series and films are not affected here. Due to circumstances in this movie, we have a Back To The Future II situation where the "time line SKEWED into this tangent, bringing us to an alternate" Star Trek. I've heard many say that this was just an easy way out to dodge Trekkie loyalists. Well, they kind of had to do this. Trekkies are very anal. I should know. These are people who sometimes don't count Star Trek VI as canon because Gene Roddenberry didn't like it. In fact, most Trekkies loved this movie.
I didn't love this movie. I did really like it, but it didn't feel right to me, just like Enterprise and Star Trek Nemesis didn't. To me, Star Trek is about a few things. Without these, Star Trek would be simply another science fiction franchise. Star Trek is about exploring new worlds, the Federation hegemony, social commentary, and the trifecta of Bones, Spock, and Kirk. This movie gives us two of those pretty well in the trifecta and the hegemony. I can deal with not exploring new worlds. Most of the films didn't do that anyway, and even the shows left that mission after a while. Star Trek was first and foremost a social commentary though. Look at the best of the old episodes and that's what they are. Yes, even Wrath of Khan, because it was about the terrifying possibilities of what even a peaceful helpful tool could become with the Genesis device. People blame Rick Berman and Brannon Bragga for destroying Star Trek in the 1990s. They didn't. Trekkies did by being so devotional to canon. You know who else is like that with their series? George Lucas. And we see how that turned out. Lots of changes to once great movies.
As you can plainly see, I'm very conflicted with this movie. I understand this was needed, but I will miss the old series, and the next few years are going to be hell. Just like when Batman Begins came out, everyone is jumping on the bandwagon about how the original Trek movies and series were crap, and that those of us who didn't completely love the new movie are out of touch, nerds, and irrelevant. Can we fight back at that? No. It's useless. Today's movie culture dictates that you have to agree with the majority, or they'll beat you into the ground with the tyranny of majority. It's kinda like that first scene in Clockwork Orange with Alex and his friends beating up that old drunk guy while he's down. And ya know what? It makes me want to hate the new Star Trek when I really don't. I tell people I like it, but have issues with it, and they attack me. Sorry folks, new and cool doesn't exactly mean better. I just hope that in a few months people start to see the movie's shortcomings, like they did when Transformers got old. Everyone loved that when it came out, now it apparently sucks. I think it was okay.
People, movies do not have just two categories, Suck and Rule. There are movies that are mediocre, average, and good as well. This was a good movie. It was a mediocre Trek movie if you are comparing it to the ideals and outlines of the Trek series.
It truly is supplemental to me. It's a "what if" scenario that I'm okay with calling canon along with the original series. However, it is just an aside. I prefer the stories about the Federation working to better man and alien-kind and trying to make new allies to that of let's have a rootin' tootin' adventure about national defense. I mean, yeah, that's fine. It worked for this origin story. I just hope that future films in this series start to be about exploring new worlds and seeking out new life and new civilizations. Hey, it's possible. I trust that JJ Abrams will push for that. Heck, in some ways that's what Lost is about, even. I'm not sure I trust the writers of Transformers to do it though.
I know this wasn't really a review, but more of a critique. My review would be about the same as Joe's, which is right below this. However, I'd actually give the movie a better rating. It's a good movie by itself. Hmmm...
** out of ***** as a Star Trek film.
**** out of ***** as a movie by itself.