Sunday, May 10, 2009

Into the Critic's Dungeon!

Hoo boy. The Critic's Dungeon's many implements of cinematic torture and humiliation are dripping with blood and less savory fluids (like stale Coca-Cola) following my viewing of the latest sci-fi action teener flick from J.J. Abrams, Star Trek: 90210.

Right. I'm a bit of a purist regarding the Star Trek franchise (I'm old enough to have watched the original series as first-run episodes, thank you very much), so I tried - I really, really tried - to face this movie without preconceptions. All of the hype surrounding it had that it was a complete restart of the series, and even ("Scathing Reviews for Bitchy People")'s review of the movie wasn't all that bad.

For what it's worth, here's my opinion of it.

"Mr. Sulu, go to Warp Factor Suck!"

Seriously, the special effects were quite good, the action sequences were chaotic as hell (which I think is the current Gold Standard in cinema these days - if you're not giving the audience vertigo you're doing it wrong), and all of the cliches are in place and you could time their insertion with a stop watch.

And it was worth watching Spock snap and start beating the shit out of Kirk. Hell, by that point in the movie I'm amazed that the rest of the crew wasn't lining up by seniority to take their turn at him. I would have beamed aboard to join in.

My major objections have to do with certain areas, enumerated below:

1. What's the deal with Iowa having a gigantic canyon running through it?

2. Who the hell builds a starship on the ground? The Enterprise weighed out at about 100,000 metric tonnes as I recall; how the hell do you get that amount of mass out of Earth's gravity well?

3. Why are all of the Starfleet areas looking like sewage treatment plants, waterworks or air conditioning farms? Was the location scout a spaz or something?

4. And they brought in time travel - the lamest Deus ex Machina they could have ever dredged up - as an excuse to entice Leonard Nimoy back into Vulcan drag.

5. What's the deal with an Orion slave girl being a Starfleet cadet? Does this new vision of the Federation include geishas?

6. And what the fuck is the deal with Uhura and Spock snogging on each other?

7. Checking back to #2 above, why does every single enemy ship in the cosmos have to look like Cthulhu gone Goth? "Make it dead black so people can't see all of it! Oh, and give it all kinds of spiky bits, so everyone will know that it's evil!" Give it a rest, folks.

8. The moments of comic relief were labored, and went on for a bit too long, as did the sequences showing how much of a wild child Kirk became after his father's death. Oh, and Kirk's manipulation of the computer programming on the Kobayashi Maru scenario would have had to have been much more subtle, or it would have been caught immediately (not even Preppie Spock was that dim).

So, what does that leave us?

Well, this movie was a disappointment to me, and I spent $14.50 on it (ticket, Coke, Raisinets). The Critic's Dungeon gives Star Trek: The New Degradation three whips and a nipple clamp.

So there. I will now slather my back with Bactine and watch a cut apple turning brown.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, you're a dumb ass:

1) It was obviously a quarry. He crashed through a gate and the sides of the canyon were very straight. Where do you think all the ore for a spaceship-yard comes from?

2) Yeah, the Enterprise was supposed to have been built in space, but whatever, it could have just been the outside and the inside was done in space.

3)That was a shipyard. That's what shipyards look like.

4)Why not? Generations? First Contact?

5) Wow, that's racist and sexist at the same time. Why couldn't she be a cadet?

6) Why not?

and the rest of your points are too nitpicky to bother with. Stay home and fap it to your 'canon' Star Trek novels. There are legitimate reasons not to like the movie, but yours are all complete bullshit.

11:50 PM EDT  
Anonymous James F. Trumm said...

Agree completely with what you wrote. But there's an even more significant problem: No Big Idea.

When Star Trek works, it explores big ideas. The individual vs. the collective. Divinity. Whether in war the ends justify the means. The distinction between justice and revenge.

There was no theme to the movie beyond this-is-how-they-met. What we got was Trek Lite: looks great, but not (ful)filling.

10:03 PM EDT  

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