Thursday, May 14, 2009

Super Geeky Star Trek Post

Not that this will be a big surprise to anyone, but I am a geek. There, I said it. I program computers for a living and I like Star Trek. And Dr. Who. It probably gets worse but I'm not going to go into it any more. I'm not the worst kind of geek, though, because I don't dress up in chain mail and stage medeival swordfights with my friends. On the chart below, I think I fall under "Science Fiction Televison Fans" or "Heinlein Fans." Or maybe even "Trekkies," do I need to own Star Trek paraphernalia to be there? I do own a light saber... but moving on. My point is, I haven't rolled a 20 sided die in at least 25 years. But I've still seen every Star Trek movie ever made and probably 95% of the TV show episodes. All of them, even Voyager. OK - maybe I'm a trekkie.

The Geek Heirarchy

I finally saw the new Star Trek movie last night. I am not going to pretend to be a movie reviewer, but I wanted to throw out a few things that crossed my mind during the film. Most people (e.g., my friends who won't shut up about it) seem to be gushing endless praise and making vacation plans around seeing it at least four more times, I wanted to throw in my two cents. I really liked the movie. It was fun, well cast, and looked great. I did not think it was the second coming of Star Wars. And by that I mean Star Wars, the first time it came out, before it was called "Episode IV: A New Hope." You know, that would have been a great name for this latest Star Trek movie... a new hope for a dead franchise, that is.

Anyway, what follows is not criticism or praise so much as observations. So here we go. Yes... many spoilers follow.

1. The bad guy, Nero, wasn't that scary. After the vicious and dark opening sequence, it was looking like we had a live one. But he just never really got under your skin. I mean, blowing up the planet Vulcan is pretty badass, but what intergalactic bad guy hasn't done that? Darth Vader blew up Alderaan a long time ago. Well, it was in a galaxy far, far, away, but the point is, it's been done, and a lot more dramatically.

2. Nero's motives weren't pure evil. It's hard to hate the guy that much. Mostly, he was trying to prevent his homeworld from being destroyed in the future. Okay - his methods might have been a little extreme, and he definitely had some personal issues with Spock over the original Romulus blowing-up incident, but his raison d'etre wasn't totally revenge - it was also self-preservation.

This isn't the first time we've had this problem with Star Trek. Dr. Tolian Soran from Star Trek: Generations, was much the same kind of jerk. (I had to look up his name. I'm not that geeky.) He just wanted to go back to this Nexus thingy. In the Nexus, in case you don't remember, it's basically the same as being doped out of your mind on the most awesome heroin and LSD at the same time for all eternity. One can hardly blame him. Unfortunately, the only way he could get back into it required... wait for it... destroying a planet. But you had a hard time really hating this guy, because even though he was a dick, he didn't have any personal beef with anyone. He just had a massive Nexus jones.

3. The Romulan ship was pretty scary looking but it didn't make any sense. That thing can travel at Warp 9? You must be kidding. All those tentacles or crazy robot arms or whatever would fly off in a second. All the other ships in the history of this show look aerodynamic, at least. This thing looks like a trash barge on the Hudson river. All right, I'm not here to debate minor plot holes and all that, since I'm sure there are expanations involving forcefields and gravitivity and relativity and whatnot. I'm just saying it just doesn't look like a spaceship.

4. Back to the bad guy not being that scary. There weren't really any times in the movie where you felt like the home team was doomed, facing impossible odds, with no solution in sight, when suddenly they come back from certain death and vanquish the bad guy. Actually, it mostly felt like things were going pretty OK for the good guys, with the exception of the planet being destroyed thing. But where are the impossible odds? Where is snatching victory from the jaws of defeat? Our heroes were never more than a step behind the bad guys.

In fact, the only time I really felt like the home team was kinda screwed was when Kirk was on the Ice Planet Hoth being chased by that creature from Starship Troopers. That was pretty sketchy. Of course, it was a total sidebar having nothing to do with the real bad guy. That scene, while kinda fun, didn't have anything to do with the movie.

5. The Enterprise was badass. It looked cool and high-tech on the bridge, and like a boiler room elsewhere. Perfect.

6. The scene with Scotty materializing in the water pipe... umm... can you say Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?

7. That guy playing Kirk. Jesus. He could BE William Shatner at age 23. Awesome. Actually, I thought the leads were all great and captured the essence of their originals without coming off as a sad facsimile. Well done on the casting.

8. The ending... Galaxy Quest. So, the reborn franchise borrows from the (actually very good) film that made fun of the original franchise... hmmm....

9. Nero is not dead. I predict he returns in the 3rd sequel.

10. Spock and Uhura? Yeaaaahhhh.....

Overall I enjoyed it immensely, it was a lot of fun. My complaints are minor and didn't detract much from my enjoyment of the film. It's just that I'm a geek, so it is my responsibility to be nitpicky. Oh - and Leonard Nimoy should have a cameo in every future Star Trek movie as long as he is alive. I don't care if that means time-travel has to be part of the plot every single time. The guy just gets more and more classy as he gets older.

And thanks to my excellent movie date, who also provided the geek chart. This post would not have been possible without you. Hopefully, this won't make you reconsider taking me out to the movies in the future...


Malnurtured Snay said...

But you could hate Soren because he was so STUPID! How'd he get in there the first place? Oh yeah, he was in a ship which crossed paths with the Nexxus. So why'd he have to blow up a planet? He couldn't find a shuttle to steal and steer into the damn thing?!

Malnurtured Snay said...


I also enjoyed the movie, and have seen it twice. Future viewings will ensure because, y'know, I'm a fucking dork. (Well, I'm a dork, there is sadly no fucking of any kind going on in my life).