Star Trek 2009 (Review)

"Hurry the Fuck up TOG!"

“Hurry the Fuck up TOG!”

Please keep in mind before reading this, the preamble was written before I went to this flick or heard anything about it.

A total Star Trek newbie’s view.

We go straight into the action, a ship that looks like a spiny anteater attacks a ship that is not the Starship Enterprise, but is a ship crewed by good-looking fit people all wearing form fitting coloured shirts of many colours.

Why the different colours? Are they all showing their love for various M & M s?

An ultimatum comes from the enemy ship, as the Captain leaves the ship he says to one guy “You’re Captain now Mr Kirk.”

Now I’m no scientist but I already know the former Captain is fucked.

The bad guys are called the Romulans and they are lead by Eric Bana as Nero, although he looks a lot like Tom Cruise as a vampire from many angles.

Now that one of the members of Hi-5 is Captain Kirk, his first order is to evacuate the ship, bad first day so far. It seems everything on the ship except the automated voice that explains this, and Kirk’s perfect hair, is broken

Soooooo, Kirk makes the “big sacrifice” and decides to pilot the ship solo straight into the enemy ship to allow the others to escape.

Including his wife. Now did I mention that his wife is not only heavily pregnant, but in labour? I’m pretty sure I mentioned it? Didn’t I?

Well she was and as Kirk is moving onwards to his destiny they name a young James Kirk over the radio.

Fast Forward many years. >>>>>>>>>>>

A mop haired kid steals an “antique” car for a joyride, he looks about 8 but drives better than most Dakar Rally participants, after a short police chase we realize…..

“Oh SHIT! It’s Kirk!!” (Gee didn’t see that one coming.)

Cut to a young Spock. A talented Vulcan lad taking the concept of turtleneck jumpers to new extremes. Apparently he is half Vulcan, half human, and being a logical being it takes a lot to set him off.

It turns out that it takes other lads months to work out what almost everyone in the schoolyard (or especially the basketball court) finds out in 30 seconds flat.

Diss the man’s Mama.

Being that Winona Ryder plays Spock’s Mum, might I suggest “Gee your Mum was totally miscast in Alien:Resurrection?” Or perhaps “Your Mum is a shoplifter who really can’t do accents hey?”

Anyway the Spock can lose it plot device seems clumsy and I think will be more prominent in “Star Trek 2: Dey is all grown’d up” than it was here, were it was unnecessary.

A grown up Spock decides to forego a massive honour bestowed by his Vulcan chiefs (Why? Cause they dissed his Mama!) and slums it with the Star Fleet instead.

Righto we’ve met the leads, let’s meet the rest of the crew.

Funky music takes us to a space bar where Big Jim Kirk, no longer a boy, but still looking like a Backstreet Boy. Perhaps it was because he grew up without a Dad (Awww yeah, I went there!) but Kirk is an arrogant tossbag.

He immediately chats up Uhura, who is hot so I can’t blame him there, but in a way where I can’t see how anyone male or female would say “Yeah he’s a good bloke”.

He inevitably gets into a fight with the locals and is beaten up, when he wakes up a high up in the Star Fleet is there to help, explaining (to the audience) that although Kirk scored exceptionally well in all areas he until now decided not to join the Star Fleet. I guess that makes him Good Kirk Hunting.

No, wait. Kirk enrolls in the Star Fleet, and in the trip to training base (I guess) meets Doc McCoy, who sets up his own nickname even though it is never used in the film, dunno why.

Fast Forward again 3 years. >>>>>>>>>>>

OK, so Futurama has told me that there are 6 key crew members in Star Trek:

  1. Kirk
  2. Spock
  3. Black Chick
  4. Doctor
  5. Scottie
  6. Asian Guy

I’m two away from Star Trek Bingo!!

Kirk is mid foreplay with a green chick (totally PG foreplay by the way, no below the waist contact whatsoever, even with undies on) when her flatmate comes home. Not only is Kirk not horny enough to say “bugger off” or even “give me 5 minutes”, he stands up and walks out. My only possible explanations are that:

1/ He only just realized that she was green and needed and excuse out.
2/ He is halfway thru banging all the colours of the rainbow and went out looking for a bar where purple chicks hang out.

Or.

3/ He thought he had been environmentally friendly enough for now, and would “go green” another day.

Now where is that drum roll?

The next scene takes us to a war games scenario where all I could figure is that Kirk is a tosser, tosser, tosser.

Tosser.

He passed the test and is accused of cheating by Spock, I don’t think it was ever proven but cheating or not he was just a dick. Again.

Digression please – This is my major problem with Star Trek, I know Kirk is meant to be a hot shot and all that, but can’t he have some redeemable qualities aside from being brave. If someone is brave 10% of the time but a wanker 90% of the time, they are a wanker. Don’t ask me to like them.

War Were Declared

The plot device of saying to your young cadets, “you aren’t ready, but go in anyway” seems familiar, I wonder if it has been used somewhere before?

Perhaps in Stripes / Heartbreak Ridge / Starship Troopers and an (different episode) of Futurama!

Apparently the planet Vulcan is in trouble (ooooh Lightning Storm!!) and the gang needs to check it out.

Kirk is in disgrace and needs Doc McCoy to get him onto the ship using an ingenious plan, he injects him with a virus so that he can get him past….. I mean so he displays symptoms of…. I mean to justify treating him on the……

Oh who cares why, seeing as Kirk could have just fake-coughed a few times and gotten on the ship unmolested it all seems pointless anyway. Cause that’s just what happened.

Yay we’re on the USS Enterprise!!
Captain: Captain Christopher Pike.

As we cross the bridge: Not to racially profile but I think I found the Asian Guy, cause there is Harold himself John Cho. He identifies himself as Sulu. (SCORE!)

There is also a Russian guy with a heavy accent who seems to almost be the narrator of what is happening.

We’re now 45 minutes in and there’s been a bit of action and we’ve met almost all the crew. Slow ride up until now.

Kirk wakes from a medically induced sleep and immediately sees what no-one else can and decides they are heading into a trap, and he’s RIGHT! The next battle plays out in very similar fashion to the opening: Ship comes under fire, Nero gives ultimatum, Captain leaves.

Only this time the Captain says to Kirk “Come with me Kirk, you’re not supposed to be here anyway.” That’s it? Fuck protocol and years of Star Fleet training, this’ll be fun!!

OK this is the Little Einstein’s first day aboard, Doc is immediately promoted to ship doctor, Sulu is taking over from someone and leaves the handbrake on (similar at least) and Uhura gets a quick promotion to head linguistics hot chickie. It’s not yet lunchtime and Kirk is already behind the rest of the class.

Now apparently the Romulans are creating a black hole in the centre of the planet Vulcan to implode the planet. I thought black holes suck everything into the centre and compress them, this seems weird but what do I know.

Note: Black Holes are real things, not a sci-fi device, so it should be important that they get that right.

Spock heads down to the surface as the Vulcans are obviously too dumb to realize their planet is falling down around them, and Kirk and Sulu go to break a signal blocker that prevents them from simply warping down and back. (Basically justifies a fight scene so carry on.)

As Vulcan falls and Nero fiddles (with his instrument panel) rocks crush some escaping Vulcan elders, I felt like someone should say “Rocks are falling Fuckers! Look up!”

So now that Alderaan…. I mean Vulcan is no more and Vulcan people are now Limited Edition collectibles (collect the whole set kids!) we discover that the Romulans have come from the future to Terminate Federation planets, to prevent the termination of their home planet in the future, reminds me of another series of movies, can’t remember which.

At the risk of describing too much I will finish the plot summary with this, most baffling of clumsy development.

After a stoush which prompted me to jot down “I can’t see any scenario where this gung-ho idiot should be trusted to lead 100s of other people”, Kirk is exiled to an ice planet (I think called Hoth). On this ice planet he rapidly learns that “There is always a bigger fish”, and as he is on the run from a big groobly (™ OGR Productions) he heads into a cave which extends into a tunnel, where he is saved by……. A guy waving a flaming torch!?!?! That’s it? On an uninhabited Ice Planet he happens across the local Obi-Wan who is carrying a big Redhead? Puh-Leeeeze. (Point off the final score for that insult.) He just happened to be chilling in the ice cave that day?????

That’s it regarding this nonsense, I think my computer question mark key just malfunctioned.

OK final thoughts on the Final 6:

Kirk – Dickhead. Not a leader, even though by the end of the film he is. (Oh like that’s a spoiler. The guy they call Captain Kirk ends up a Captain!)
Spock – Good character well played and aside from the “goes against character” bit I liked him.
Uhura – Good early but by the end of the film is already the “Just come home safe” pining missus. (She is hot though.)
Doc McCoy – Not much for him to do here but when he is onscreen he is over-acting.
Sulu – Also underused aside from one fight.
Russian Guy – Essentially the narrator. Meh.
Scottie – Underused (Especially as it was Simon Pegg!). The accent sounds good to me and it is obvious that he is meant to be comic relief.

Random other thoughts:

Several times someone said something that seemed out of place yet familiar, I later found these to be backward references to previous films. Many of them just sounded clumsy here to a newbie.

The commanding crew have about 12 days active experience in this film…. By the end of the first mission that is. [email protected] (That’s meant be a question mark.)

Red Dwarf have used the plot device before over a decade ago, to greater effect.

I have made Kirk out to be extremely “hittable” many times, and obviously he is, cause he gets hit a lot in this. (Still not enough.)

The alternate timeline idea neatly sets up and justifies future sequels with plots that differ from the original 57 Star Trek films.

Like T4, the reintroduction of key characters from previous films was well thought out and perfectly justifiable, not forced or pointless.

In Summary

I’ve written this as the “Spock” version of the movie, I have been unbiased, logical and dispassionate, even when criticizing the movie, I assume as a bit of a fanboy TOG might have more of a “Scottie” take, entertaining but ultimately pointless.

I get the “good reboot” bit, but in no way do I get the All Time great stuff.

It’s just a movie folks. This film has no iconic moments or even any “Wow that’s so cool” moments. Apologies to Star Trekkies, but ask yourself once you’ve seen it what would be the one bit you used to highlight it to [email protected] I can’t come up with one personally.

You want examples?

How about:

This was two hours of “meet the crew” to give you a taste, before ST2 introduces the Klingons. Not sure if I really care to spend another two hours meeting them.

It also didn’t change my (previously uninformed) view that Star Trek is simply a more sterile and techie view of Star Wars.

I couldn’t decide between 6 and 6.5, and I didn’t want to disappoint Trekkie TOG.

So I re-read my own Movies Ratings Guide, and I quote:

6.0/10 – “OK, so you made a movie, do you want a medal?”

6.5/10 – “I like that one scene”, ”At least it had boobies.”

Final Rating – 6 / 10. I couldn’t honestly say yes to either comment pertaining to 6.5, so 6 it is. (Sorry TOG.) Perhaps Star Trek is more for Trekkies than Newbies?

About OGR

While I try to throw a joke or two into proceedings when I can all of the opinions presented in my reviews are genuine. I don't expect that all will agree with my thoughts at all times nor would it be any fun if you did, so don't be shy in telling me where you think I went wrong... and hopefully if you think I got it right for once. Don't be shy, half the fun is in the conversation after the movie.
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