Adventures into the Madness

Tepring’s Review of Star Trek 2009


People keep asking, (as if I have some sage, inside wisdom) “What did you think about the new Star Trek movie?”  Well, here goes.  My long considered, long overdue review of Star Trek 2009.


With one, tiny exception:  THEY KILLED ME OFF!

Ok (spoilers be damned), in the new timeline created by crazy Romulan Nero, Vulcan is destroyed.  A mere handful of Vulcans in the universe survive.  The odds that Spock’s two-timing betrothed has somehow survived the holocaust are somewhat slim.  In the face of sheer probability, T’Pring is a clump of atoms cozying up with the rest of the planet inside the improbably small black hole that is all that remains of Vulcan.

When I have bemoaned this likelihood to friends, however, I have been overwhelmingly reassured that no good story can go unplagiarized.  With the unwavering faith of fans and skeptics alike, I have been told that surely some way will be found to explain T’Pring’s survival, ensuring that she can, yet again, dump Spock at the altar.  The notion tickled me.  Were I to put myself in her place (my place?)  I would most likely find myself vexed that Spock risked life and limb to rescue mummy and daddy, but didn’t even bother to drop his bride-to-be a text message.  A simple “Hey Babe, plnt 2 mplde.  Get 2 shp.  L8r.” would have been nice.  Do we not have to repopulate the species here?

Namesake musings aside, I found Star Trek 2009 thoroughly entertaining.  It is, by far, the best looking and best acted of all the Star Trek movies.  The scripting and storytelling rate right up there with “Voyage Home” (the one with the whales) and “Wrath of Khan” (the one with the wrath of Khan).  There were oodles of inside jokes and homages to satisfy the most devout of fans.  My very clever friend caught several nods that I missed in the first viewing.

A work of art it was not:  The bugs in the snow were stupid.  Kirk hanging from the edge of <insert scary high place> was overused.  The Nero plot was puzzling and it took a second viewing and watercooler conversation to get it sorted out.  Some of this confusion may have stemmed from the expectation that they would sort things out in the end, set the timeline right.  So when the story kept veering from that solution, it felt wrong somehow.

The worst scene of the whole movie was the Spock mind-meld explanation of his events in the future.  Spock-prime’s line “The unthinkable happened.  Romulus was destroyed.” was the biggest cop out in plot complication history.  At least give me “The Supernova was more unstable than had been predicted” or some technobabble to make it sound more like a tragedy.  As written, I sort of wondered if Spock had simply stopped at the QT and dawdled a little too long over the “magazines” on his way to the nova.  I’m still wondering how a supernova could be a “Threat to the universe/galaxy” whichever it was.

Ultimately, the flaws were resoundingly overshadowed by great dialog, fantastic acting and the prettiest special effects Star Trek has ever seen.  The Enterprise never looked so good – I really want a poster of the moment when it comes screaming out of warp to attack Nero’s ship, phasers blazing.

I laughed out loud many times.  I liked all the young versions of my favorite characters.  And best of all, Abrams and the writers somehow managed to capture that Star Trek at its best feeling:  Enemies can be conquered, and heroes are “well-adjusted and altruistic”.  (10 points for naming the reference…)

I just hope I’m not dead.

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