Reviewing the new Star Trek film


*Spoiler alert! Spoiler spotted off  the starboard bow. Take evasive action if necessary. Shields up. Set phasers to stun, etc, etc*

Further to my earlier Star Trek post, I hope my Paintbrush comrades will allow some further nerdery on my part. I went to see the new Star Trek film the other night and feel the need to pass on my thoughts.

I had written that I was feeling pessimistic about it. This was primarily because I am a wee bit of a film snob (though not as much as another blogger here who finds it hard to appreciate a film if it’s not black-and-white et en francais). I prefer dialogue and steady character development to big explosions and things moving too fast. Reading that director JJ Abrams was determined to make an action blockbuster out of t’ Trek made me worried that it would be too populist for my high-brow tastes.

More fool Jako. The film manages to combine a witty, engaging script with some genuinely exciting scenes. At one point Kirk, Sulu, and some anoymous bloke have to jump out of a spaceship and parachute onto a platform suspended in the atmosphere of the planet Vulcan. It sounds silly but works quite well. Obviously the anonymous fella comes to a grizzly end, as always happened in the TV series! Kirk and Sulu find themselves falling out of the sky and are beamed back aboard the Enterprise a split second before they would have got well and truly splatted. The audience gave a collective gasp when that happened – something I don’t think I’ve heard in a cinema for a long time.

Ok, the plot wasn’t especially convincing. The whole time-travelling aspect of it seemed a bit convoluted. I don’t understand why there weren’t any other Starfleet ships defending Earth (defence budget cuts?). And it was too much of a happy coincidence that Kirk landed so close to the cave Spock was hanging out in when he was marooned on that planet.

But it managed to refrain from being as ridiculous or boring as many of the previous Star Trek films, so that was obviously a plus. Great casting distracted from the plot doubts. Simon Pegg is superb as Scotty. Nice to see that Leonard Nimoy is still alive and willing to confirm in the public mind that he can never be anything else but that Spock fella from Star Trek (although it’s probably better to be remembered for playing Spock than for singing this). 

There were lots of men in the cinema who gone to see the film by themselves. Surely, I thought, some Trekkie social networking site could arrange a pairing up scheme so that these guys don’t have to conform to all of the most degrading stereotypes? (“Single ticket to see Star Trek, please. Yes, just the one. Unless you want to boldly go with me? No? Ok.“)

I went with my other half who has never watched any of the original episodes and still managed to enjoy it a reasonable amount – though of course all the geekiest Trek in-jokes went way over her head and there was no point me even trying to explain to her what she was missing out on. She thought that the whole thing seemed quite imperialist, which got my knickers in a twist as that is expressely not what Gene Roddenberry created Star Trek to be about. I reminded her of Captain Pike’s words to Kirk: “Starfleet has a peace-keeping and humanitarian mission”. And then there was sexy Lieutenant Uhura managing to resist Kirk’s advances – clearly showing her to be a feminist role model who refused to submit to male domination.

All in all ’twas a good watch and I left the Vue feeling most contented. I wonder if Trek-appreciating MP Tom Harris has gone to see it yet? I think he should organise a Parliamentary Labour Party trip to the cinema to raise morale. All of those caught fiddling their expenses can buy the popcorn for everybody else.


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4 Responses to “Reviewing the new Star Trek film”

  1. voteredgogreen Says:

    “I hope my Paintbrush comrades will allow some further nerdery on my part.”


  2. captainjako Says:

    I accept that this post plus your one earlier today might make us seem like a bunch of nerdlingers. I promise I won’t mention Star Trek again for a month. Can someone please write about something cool now?

  3. voteredgogreen Says:

    Cool? I think that ship has sailed, comrade.

  4. manofkent86 Says:

    It’s fortunate you guys recruited me to appeal to the hip young kids out there!

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