11 May 2009

Star Trek

Against all odds, this may actually be a good picture. I may have to discover a taste for crow. On the other hand, wasn't "angry Romulan with big ship tries to blow up planets" pretty much the plot of the last TNG movie?

Interestingly, a common refrain in many of the positive reviews I've seen so far is how much people are pleased that this isn't a typical "Trek" product. Meaning, usually, that the film eschews the usual high-minded moral and ethical dilemmas for a standard character-driven action movie. And there's nothing particularly wrong with that, except that it's, well, somehow fundamentally not Star Trek without them.

I'm not opposed to a reboot of the franchise; in fact, I think it's been sorely needed for years. But if you're going to make "Star Trek for people who don't like Star Trek"--which is rather insulting in itself to people who do--why not create your own universe with its own characters instead of recycling someone else's?

At least the film is continuing the Trek tradition of shoehorning an unnecessary and poorly-reasoned time-travel subplot. I haven't yet seen a good time-travel episode of Trek, but for some reason space opera writers keep going back to the well as if it's an inexhaustible fountain of plot-enhancing magic. The best film I've seen about time travel was a little low-budget joint called "Primer." It made little sense to me, but a serious treatment of time travel shouldn't be resolved lightly.