Betsy Speicher

Star Trek (2009)

Rate this Movie   9 votes

  1. 1. Artistic Merit

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  2. 2. Sense of Life or Personal Value

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    • 8
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5 posts in this topic

On another FORUM thread dealing with this movie, I had expressed some apprehension that the work might turn out to be another "action blockbuster." And, unfortunately, that's what we have. The trailer had given me the impression that the content would be more action than reflection, or more style over substance. But, it even fell short on style (some choppy editing and camera-shaking).

The "critics" liked the movie: it has, so far, garnered a 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. One notable demurral came from Roger Ebert, with whom I do not generally agree. But his blurb (I have not read his review) named the essential problem:

"The Gene Roddenberry years, when stories might play with questions of science, ideals or philosophy, have been replaced by stories reduced to loud and colorful action."

Yet, the movie is not all bad. As I noted to a friend, the heroism of the good guys is largely unbroken: there is very little humanization of the characters. The benevolence universe premise is pronounced, in the Michael Bay/Jerry Bruckheimer style. And there is some loyalty to the original personalities.

To sum it up, it is Star Trek, as understood by JJ Abrams (Alias, Mission Impossible 3), i.e., not very much.

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Sorry, that should read:

The benevolent universe premise is pronounced, in the Michael Bay/Jerry Bruckheimer style. And there is some loyalty to the original personalities.

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I saw the movie last week, I liked it. Nevertheless, I agree that they tried too much to make it an action flick, with a crew that looks too young.

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Not half bad for a Star Trek movie, I gave it 8 and 8. Perhaps the only cliche lacking was "He's dead, Jim." The relationship between Uhura and Spock was novel. Where does that leave Nurse Chapel? I agree that I was surprised at Chekov being only 17, yet, this itself does not contradict the assumption of the "best and brightest" for the flagship.

As for the lack of ideas and ideology, The Onion had a nice quip about true fans being disappointed by the lack of pointless discussions about ethics. In other words, from our own point of view, given the mixed-premise nature of much Star Trek philosophy how happy could you expect to be? As it was, they tossed in aside from the Categorical Imperative. Star Trek's morality has always been deontological, which is to be expected, given its military context. Quark was a nice change of pace, but traders have not come off well since the days Harcourt Fenton Mudd.

Reading yourself into (or out of) Star Trek is what people do. Go to a trekker board and read the comments from political ideologues. Everyone wants the future to turn out their way.

I had a good time. It was worth the $6.50 each for twilight admission.

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