Monday, May 11, 2009

Star Trek

I've been reworking chapter 20 of Echoes from a different angle (which may necessitate a chapter title change; too bad, I liked "Prodigal Daughter" so much, but this angle works a lot better to tie things together, so I'm sticking with it for now).  I've also put a second look on "Glimpse," and I may be posting that shortly.  For now, however, let's talk Star Trek.

I'm a big Star Trek fan, have been for years now.  I've watched most of the series before Enterprise, rather like how I watched basically all of Stargate SG-1 but disconnected with Atlantis.  But, I was intrigued to hear of the new film, and thus, at 10:40 this Mother's Day morning, I went to see it at the AMC by the mall.


I'd read the review on IGN.  The commentator said that there were logical snags, but if you could suspend your disbelief, you would overall enjoy the movie, and I agree with that assessment.  Indeed, I viewed these snags as, for the most part, what they were intended to be:  moments to increase dramatic impact that, sadly, were awkward to handle.  Spock being marooned on another planet to witness the destruction of Vulcan has all manner of physics fail unless we're talking about a moon, after all, something that was never said.  The idea that the Enterprise couldn't escape a black hole at warp and had to "eject the core" to create a blast to get away was total and utter bull, as well.  The mark of bad artistic license is when there are perfectly good ways to avoid such liberties:  keeping Spock on Nero's ship, for example, would easily accomplish what he wanted and wouldn't be as mind-numbingly stupid as to leave him on a planet where he could be found.  I can see why they didn't--it allowed them to work in Scotty and so on and so forth, but already the movie feels like a set of amazing coincidences, perhaps suggestive of fate, perhaps of laziness.

But overall, it's a fun movie.  I liked it quite a lot, especially the visual style used to make the Enterprise look both futuristic and grounded in the real world.  The one thing that really bugs me, though, is the ending:  that we're stuck with an altered reality, one where things did not turn out as they should, with Vulcans decimated to all but extinction levels.  Personally, I would've liked to see old Spock find some way to undo the damage, restore the old timeline, and check in with the Enterprise just to make sure that everything's all right and they way it should be.  It would've worked.  Maybe this is a sequel hook, but it does...bug me.

Something they said in the IGN review is that the movie is a bit soulless, lacking Roddenberry's exploration of scientific and moral issues.  In truth, I feel these aspects are best suited to the episodic nature of television.  For a movie, you have to choose one big thing, and the choice here was character, the growth of Kirk and Spock into heroes.  Spocks Vulcan/Human conflict, Kirk's own reluctance to meet authority and come into his own--these things are eternal and will transcend our time in ways that a more prescient film may not.  There's room for both, of course; it's just a choice.

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