The Videogum Movie Club: Star Trek
Obviously, I don’t care about the Star Trek franchise. No one does. I mean, supposedly lots of people care about it, some of them caring about it too much even, but I don’t know any of them. And I don’t know anyone who knows any of them. As far as I am concerned, they don’t exist. They’re the punchline to a hack comedian’s riff on “endangered nerd species.” Now that science fiction has become a mainstream genre of popular culture, antiquated high-nerd franchises are increasingly irrelevant. We’re all on board. In fact, it’s a sign of just how on board we all are with this kind of stuff that everyone who doesn’t care about Star Trek was as excited if not more for this “reboot” than the fanboys. As far as the rest of us are concerned, there is no legacy to tarnish, and there are no mythologies that can’t be rewritten. “Spock is from planet Pepsi now, and Captain Kirk is in a speed metal band.” Cool, Pepsi is delicious, and speed metal is certainly no worse than, say, old Star Trek.
So, with little to no allegiance/investment to/in the source material, how was it?
It was great! Now THAT is a summer movie. Especially in comparison to last week’s “summer kick-off,” it just goes to show you that you should not throw the terms “summer” and “kick-off” around loosely. Nothing in this movie even looked photoshopped! Man, so many fun and exciting scenes! Space battles! Origin stories! Time travel! This movie is an adamantium bullet to Wolverine‘s face. It won’t kill him, but it will make him forget why he made that movie in the first place.
The casting was almost all great. I had no idea who Chris Pine was, and I still don’t, but good job, Chris Pine! Zachary Quinto, of course, plays Sylar on one of the worst shows on television, but he was very good in this. Very logical! But sometimes very emotional! And I wouldn’t kick Uhuru out of space bed for eating space crackers, if you know what I space mean (she was very space pretty). Simon Pegg: great. Even Leonard Nimoy was pretty good, although they could have cut his part in half. And then cut the half in half. And then had it only be one scene because we get it already. That would leave room for more baby Spock!
Baby Spock was the baby best.
Admittedly, Winona Ryder? Huh. OK. And, the elephant in the ship: TYLER PERRY. What was that all about? Did we learn nothing from the Lesson of Cornel West in Matrix Revolutions? The lesson is what was that all about? I am surprised they didn’t work in a holographic plug for the new season of Meet the Browns. Very funny.
Also, Eric Bana.
Intergalactic Chopper Read from the future! Yikes! (In a good way! Good yikes!)
There were, of course, little eastereggs for Star Trek superfans. As someone, again, who just does not care, I don’t know how those easter eggs played to the nerderati, but they were fun for the casual viewer. “God damn it, I’m a doctor,” and “giving her all she’s got, Captain,” and all that. I get it! I’ve heard those things before! It’s possible that it went deeper library than that, and that I didn’t even recognize the layers upon layers of reference play going on. I don’t even know. I probably missed half the movie, right nerds?
Boy does JJ Abrams love time travel! WHEN is the Star Trek? We have to go back to the Star Trek! That stuff always kind of melts my brain. Like, Scottie will eventually create an algorithm for beaming people onto ships in warp drive, but he hasn’t invented it, so future Spock shows him the algorithm that he will one day invent which is how he invents it? Time travel is your boyfriend, and it is going to take you to the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance. But as my friend Max pointed out in reference to my problems with time travel, “that’s more of Gabe criticism than a Star Trek criticism.” Fair enough. I give Gabe one stars.
In any case, JJ Abrams is really very good at this stuff. He should continue to be employed by Hollywood. No need to fire him.
Right, you guys?