Posted by: David Stewart | May 17, 2009

Red Matter! Black Holes! Blue Bridges! (Movie Review|Star Trek)

I thought the new Star Trek movie had about as much in common with its namesake 60s series as a iPhone has with a princess phone: they were both cool in their time, they serve roughly the same basic function, but that’s where the similarity ends.

The 2009 movie is a muscular space romp that crafts a creative origin story while trying not to be too creative. After all, there are rabid trekkies out there who can turn their metaphorical phasers on kill if things stray too much from the gospel according to St Gene of Roddenberry.

To solve this particular problem, director JJ Abrams employs the deus ex machina of rampant time travel to explain that his story line doesn’t have to make sense, so let’s just get on with it. Just as Lost is beginning to use time travel to turn that show into a Will it Blend commercial.

It mostly works – Star Trek explores the beginnings of the relationships of the three main characters from the show: Kirk, Spock and McCoy, and throws in enough cool special effects and pseudo-science to hold the whole thing together. But at some point it becomes clear that the science part of this show is just a throw-away to move things along – Red matter and black holes are played with from the shiny new blue bridge to mist over the lack of story depth.

In fact, this Star Trek seemed to have a lot more in common with Galaxy Quest, the Trek parody. Complete with a big spiny choppy thing, set to kill off the parody Scotty.

It’s a diverting summer romp, but I guess I was expecting more.




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