039_kirk.jpgManaged to see Star Trek 11 this weekend.  Cost for two online generated tickets, a large bag of popcorn, a large drink and some Swedish fish came to about 35 bucks.  K and I arrived half an hour early.  Got the two seats in the back next to the handicapped zone, so we avoided any droids behind us or to the side.  Luckily, the people in front didn’t jerk their seats or block our view.  For a roll of the dice fleecing, not bad.  So far, so good.

Hate for the commericals.  They have a “movie channel” they play on the screen which is just irrelevant advertisements for stuff I’ll never buy and music videos for vapid product I’ll never put on my iPod.  Just a lot of noise and distraction, to keep you sedated until the film starts.  Honestly, could theaters make going out to the movies any less a fun experience?

The previews of Transformers, Terminator: Salvation and GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra all looked the same to me:  Explosions, Guns and Infantile Action Heroes screaming at the camera for you to care about the same old “us versus them” plots that have pretty much taken over Hollywood, the forbidden palace capital of the country.  It’s all about the hidden enemy, the ‘they’re robots so they don’t feel” enemy, and the unlimited toys for evil enemy.  But it’s all about the ENEMY.

That’s what this movie is about too.  The big enemy that is so much bigger than us that only good old American Earth know-how can defeat it.  Visions of the future?  Explorations of consciousness?  What are you, some kind of hippie?  This is gunboat diplomacy and the Monroe Doctrine for the 21st century.  Starfleet is made up of cannon fodder and incompetents who couldn’t run today’s society, let alone whatever advanced civilization might exist several hundred years from now.

Most importantly, there’s nothing fresh or “rebooted” about this movie.  The only thing that’s new are the actors.  The movie recycles every cliche from every other Star Trek movie ever made.  This is now the fourth movie where the crew save the earth (1, 4, 8 before it), and the fourth one involving time travel (4, 7 and 8).  There’s a reason why Galaxyquest’s mock of the franchise rings true:  We’ve seen it all before, many many times.

The story barely makes sense even as a mindless action flick.  The technobabble and pseudo-science gloves are way off.  God help you if you actually reflect on the dysfunctional elements.  Seriously, this story could have been any number of throw-away episodes from Star Trek: Voyager, it’s so nonsensical.  Didn’t anybody read this script?  Wasn’t this movie supposed to be more accessible to non-Trekkies?

The action and special effects are average.  As a chaser, I watched Galaxyquest and marveled at how much better it was—and it’s mocking Star Trek!  The screen isn’t cluttered with noise, it’s clear to see who is firing at whom and what the results are.  There’s closure in each scene.  Even something as ridiculous as Captain Jason Nesmith being chased by a living boulder has more fun in it than Captain Kirk being chased by a big red gooey alien.

Actually, the more I think about it, the more Star Trek 11 is the parody of itself that Galaxyquest suggests Star Trek has become.  You have the science officer hating the captain until they learn to work together.  There’s the wacky high-jinks of Scotty in the pipes just as there is the obstacle of the chompers in Galaxyquest.  The Romulon bad guy’s ship basically just fires lots of missiles like the bad guy Sarris in Galaxyquest.  The transporter has to be touch-screened like a video game to lock-on to moving targets, just like the joystick-operated digitizer in Galaxyquest.

It’s derivative of every other Star Trek movie or show ever made.  There are no new ideas at all.  Star Trek is dead, Jim.