This is a guest post (actually an email rant) by my good friend @thatmashguy.
You may have a different point of view, but you can not argue with the logic on this one… and it is definitely worth reading.
Star Trek. Where to begin. Bloody hell. Leaden War on Terror allegory. Really stupid plot. Awful attempts to pay homage to Wrath of Khan. At the beginning and end they have two scenes where its basically a real life Kobayashi Maru test. I get what they were trying to do but its poorly conceived!! He’s not willing to let his friend die at the beginning but by the end he is willing to sacrifice himself.
There’s so many bits where they over explain things.
Khan is shit. He’s crap. So badly written.
The Warp Speed fight! Lol are you kidding me! Imagine how fast they are both going… So then the phaser shots must be even faster!
And why the hell do they needed Khan’s body when they have 72 super people in cryostasis?
End of the day it just doesn’t feel like Star Trek. Not even crap Star Trek. It’s something else… In fancy dress. That’s what you get when you let a star Wars fan make a star trek movie.
Something interesting though. Why do you guys think Americans always evoke 9/11 imagery in their films? Are they trying to compete?
I couldn’t believe it when they rolled out the real Spock. Again!!! And why?
To tell the audience that Khan is a really bad guy… Because they didn’t actually show it. First he’s a terrorist… Then they give him a scene where he yaps about his family and cries. This is to humanise the terrorist and give him a noble cause. He actually makes a fair case for being angry.
But then we need Spock to tell us… Those Muslims..sorry… That Khan… He will not hesitate to kill you all…
Then Captain Kirk has to join forces with him (what is this Fast & Furious). And that Whole scene of them flying across to the other ship. Seriously!? How easily does his screen crack. And how does Khan knock himself out if he’s a superhuman. Shouldn’t he have super reflexes? He was pretty awesome beating the (faceless) Klingons
Are the Klingons the Muslims of this film? They are definitely the mirror other of the federation.
You can’t blatantly pay homage to Wrath of Khan and then complain that people compare it to the older and far far better film. It’s blatantly playing with the mythology. The bit where Spock screams Khaaaan! As my sister would say OH EM JEE!!!!! And there’s numerous call outs to the old film. Like when Spock says ‘The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few’ he just randomly says it without any kind of context and then they forget about it.
The thing about the new films that really gets my goat is something that is common in a lot of modern films. These people that are apparently the best at what they do… are consistently incompetent. Kirk is the Captain of the newest and best Starship in the fleet. He’s responsible for the safety of hundreds of people but he’s an irresponsible jerk, why would you give this guy a Starship? Because he has greatness in him.. it’s a Prophecy people!!
See with the 2009 film they decided they needed an origin story so he goes to Starfleet. Now if you ever watched Star Trek: TNG you will remember that Ensign Wesley Crusher went to Starfleet and he was there for YEARS, until the Traveler came along again and took him off to become a Timelord.
But they couldn’t be bothered with dealing with that or then the there is the fact once he has left Starfleet that he would need to earn his way to a Starship, which would take even more time. They didn’t want to tell that story, they just wanted young hot actors in the roles so they ignored it. There’s no value in working your way up and actually learning some responsibility on your way to EARNING a Captaincy of a Starship. You know.. because the process of promotion might actually weed out people not suited to commanding starships.
But hey Pike believes in him because he knew his Dad so he gets Starfleet to give him their newest ship.
I really think Americans hate the idea of anyone being good at what they do, someone actually having brains and skills. They want to believe anyone can do anything. Or maybe it’s the fact that we live in an age where people don’t believe they should have to work for anything. They just think they deserve it right now without any effort. Maybe that’s what it is.
So in the new film it just gets worse. So at the beginning in the volcano they bugger it up and Spock almost dies. This is fake drama. Why are Kirk and Bones playing Indiana Jones? What’s that got to do with the Volcano, if they wanted that scroll which they then discard… couldn’t they just have teleported it. Why does Spock need to go into the Volcano himself? Why can’t they just send a drone? Does he really need to manually arm the bomb? My phone is more advanced than that stupid bomb.
Fake drama because they needed to manufacture a scene where Kirk breaks the rules to save Spock.
So then he gets kicked back to Starfleet for about 5minutes but then Pike believes in his Prophecy and gets him back on the Enterprise. Because it’s his destiny in case you didn’t know.
This thing about incompetence being rewarded runs through the film.
Scotty resigns and they get Chekov to become the Chief Engineer!!!!!! Just like that.. Seriously!? Of a brand new Starship!?
Then when they go to the Klingon home world they almost get killed until a superhero saves them. And you know he’s a badass because of how he holds that badass gun and kills tons of random Klingons who we never hear from again even though the Enterprise is stuck in their star system.
The hot blonde is supposed to be a weapons specialist but when she’s trying to disarm the photon torpedo she’s clueless and has to ‘improvise’ and it works. Great bod though.
To top it all off. At the end when the ship is falling into Earth’s Atmosphere. Kirk goes into the engine room. That’s problematic on a number of levels.
First of all. It’s supposed to show that he’s learned his lesson and understands the value of sacrifice which I guess is his character arc in this film. But it’s also supposed to show that Spock and Kirks roles have been reversed. Spock does what Kirk would have done with the torpedoes… by being a sly mofo and blowing them up on the big ship This is actually pretty cool and fitting until you realise that earlier in the film they said that Khan had removed the explosives from the torpedoes and replaced them with the cryo-people. So how do they explode, even if you accept that they replaced the people with explosives, I’m pretty sure that advanced starship would have been able to read the signature and realise this. But I’m willing to let that one slide.
So then Kirk is supposed to make the logical choice of sacrificing himself for the good of the ship. But really he’s still a selfish prick but now with a martyr complex. The problem is he’s not a science engineer like Spock, so he wouldn’t know what to do once he’s in the room. So Kirk knocks Scotty out so he can go and be the hero again. What has he actually learned? It’s still ME ME ME. It’s still about his personal glory. But Scotty is a gifted engineer, the LOGICAL thing would be for him to go in.. or Spock! It makes sense that he goes in. And this would still work with the story because now Kirk has changed from the beginning and is willing to make the tough decisions a Starship captain had to make and sacrifice his friend. That would work way better, sacrificing someoone else for the good of the crew.
But these films are not about the collective ensemble anymore. They are about Kirk & Spock with little bits of Uhuru and Bones to add some colour. So it has to be Kirk being a hero.
So anyway – Kirk then goes into the radioactive engine room of a futuristic starship… and the solution to the problem? Kicking some engine bit as hard as he can. Really!!? This is the same starship that Scotty resigned from because he was not comfortable having weapons on board that might interfere with the sensitive engines and cause problems. What if it the problem had actually required some skill!?? What would he have done. And how did that thing get knocked out of place anyway when everything else looks completely fine. No wonder he didn’t care about promoting Chekov to Chief engineer.
In a way this scene is a fitting metaphor for these new Star Trek films – Captain Kirk, Saving his crew… by kicking a thing really really hard!!
It’s never about them being GOOD at what they do and actually being effective. This the supposed to be cream of the crop of Starfleet?
The best thing in these films is Dr McCoy. He’s brilliant.
The thing about Star Trek. The world has rules and processes and real stakes. They are generally slow character based stories with high emotional stakes and they’re all different types of films. Just watch any of the old shows and some of the movies.
ST1 is an old school 2001: ASO influenced hard Sci-fi flick. ST2 is a popcorn movie about vegeance and getting old, Khan is really an apparition of Kirks previous decisions coming back to haunt him and this is mirrored with the fact that he has a son that he has never really acknowledged. ST3 gets straight up biblical with all the Genesis stuff. ST4 is a fish out of water comedy. Number 6 is a political thriller.
These new films are just bullshit filled with shortcuts to get to the next action scene. They’re so bland. I don’t think that’s their fault though, that’s modern films in general. They are producsts of their time. Hollywood has forgotten how to make a great story with realy stakes, emotion and tension. They’re too in love with the fun toys and creating green screen worlds and big explosions to understand that you need to give a crap about the characters first.