Keep on Trekkin'

Is it just me, or was the JJ Abrams Trek reboot that everyone is gushing over not such a good movie?

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it, and I'm happy to accept these as the new faces of Trek, it was visually very attractive, and I'll go and see the next one but... without the good will of the former installments of the franchise to prop itself up, would this have been as well accepted? Try to imagine this movie with no former knowledge of the characters. Would it even make sense? We have 20 years of Trek history that tells us that Spock left Starfleet to become an ambassador to Romulus to heal the schism between the Vulcans and the Romulans. The movie gives us less than a minute's explanation of Old Spock's role in the former history of the universe, and without my prior knowledge I doubt I would have followed it very well. There is no real explanation of why the Kobiashi Maru is so difficult and dreaded, and why it is so staggering that Kirk "beat" it. There's no discussion of who the Vulcan's are and what their stance on logic and emotion is.... etc. etc. The movie seems like it expects us to KNOW all that back story.

Look at it like this, if you had absolutely ZERO prior knowledge of these characters what you end up with is a story about a not very competent organization that allows a troupe of half trained, hopped up cadets, who routinely lie about their abilities to lead a mission. Kirk is douchebag with anger management issues who charms his way into a completely undeserved field promotion (were there are NO senior officers on that ship other than Pike?) that he then builds upon by coercing and manipulating his superior officer. Sulu lies about being combat trained and possibly about being an experienced pilot. McCoy lies and commits fraud to get his friend onto the ship. Uhura abuses her personal relationship with her superior to get a plum assignment. Scotty assumes command of the engineering section of a ship that he isn't even assigned to after abandoning the facility that he WAS assigned to, not to mention marooning his fellow officer. Spock assaults a member of his crew, nearly killing him, but is allowed to walk off the bridge with nothing more than a sad look from Uhura. These people come off as a collection of reprobates and assholes... but we accept them because we know from previous experience that they are actually a competent and thoughtful group that are really very good at their jobs. (Or at least will be when they grow up.) Without that... I feel like what you have is a pretty bad movie. Agree? Disagree?

1 Response to "Keep on Trekkin'"

  • addisonbr Says:

    I have just a surface knowledge of the characters, maybe some trivia sprinkled in here or there, and I didn't know what the heck was going on 75% of the time.