Short version of my previous post: I really didn’t like the movie. To me, it not only doesn’t work as Star Trek, it just doesn’t work as a movie, period. It has Big Stupid Summer Action Blockbuster in its very cinematic DNA.
Lots of fans seem to be embracing it, though. Ironically, I could do worse to underscore my points than merely to quote a few bits from this review, which strains far too hard to be positive by way of excusing its myriad flaws:
“It’s clear there was something about Shatner’s Kirk, the very human but sometimes high-flown soldier-philosopher, which the filmmakers either couldn’t relate to or felt no longer spoke to modern audiences.”
“McCoy is in there pitching throughout the movie, often seeming to reprise every trademark line the Doctor ever uttered in the series—but he doesn’t get the kind of intimate, key scene with Kirk where he can truly function as the film’s conscience.”
“The one unfortunate artifact from the success of 1982’s The Wrath of Khan is the need to have a madman out for vengeance in every other Star Trek movie.”
“Nitpickers will have a field day with some of the movie’s science, tech and logic issues…. [and] may also wince at the amount of coincidence that drives the plot.”
Really, after making all those apologetic exceptions, what’s left? I’m particularly amused by the dismissal of “nitpickers”—as if plausible science were too much to ask for in a science fiction film, or coherent plot logic in any kind of film at all.
Meanwhile, while reflecting back on the movie and surfing the tide of opinions about it, yet another continuity snafu occurred to me: has it struck anyone that Nero’s revenge plan actually guaranteed the destruction of Romulus in the new timeline just as in the old? It was the Vulcans who created the “red matter” that defused the supernova, but with Vulcan destroyed, there’s nobody left to do that. However, an altered timeline does nothing to change the internal processes of the star itself. It will presumably still explode on schedule, except this time with no way to stop it at all. 25 years cooling his heels, and yet it didn’t occur to Nero that he could save his race; instead, he doomed it.
And another, almost too obvious to mention (at least among Trekkers): somehow Nero’s single initial time-change must have greatly increased the Federation’s contact with and knowledge of the Romulans. (In “Balance of Terror,” one of the best TOS episodes, Starfleet hadn’t encountered them in a century, had no idea what they looked like, and didn’t know they shared a heritage with Vulcans.)
And another, just a bit of sheer idiocy: Spock’s claim that it’s “logical” for him to go aboard Nero’s ship because that “shared heritage” would help him decipher the Romulan computer systems. What, even though the cultures split two thousand years earlier? Really?
And another scientific whopper: the villain’s final defeat is achieved by opening yet another massive black hole, in Earth’s solar system. Possibly just a wee bit of danger in that?
There were so many of these little jarring moments in the film that it just wasn’t possible to keep them all at the top of my mind. But they keep bubbling to the surface again…Tags: Alex Kurtzman, Bob Orci, continuity, J.J. Abrams, movies, Star Trek