Sunday, May 31, 2009

Hey! That's not Spock!

I just saw the new Star Trek. Can't say I agree with the rave reviews. The guy who plays young Spock comes across as something of a humorless prig rather than stern and hard like Leonard Nimoy did. The difference is subtle, but it's there. Nimoy was in the movie as the old Spock and he wasn't very good either. It may be mean to say it, but the truth is that Nimoy has aged so much that he now looks too feeble to play a Vulcan.

The movie makes sure you know that Kirk was a rotten rebellious kid, a rotten rebellious young adult, and a rebellious but just so darn brave slightly older young adult. They passed silently over the question of how someone who was so defiant of authority managed to get through Starfleet Academy, and with such high ratings that just three years later he was made first officer of the fleet's flagship during a major emergency, and then when he performed well in that event he was made captain of the fleet's flagship. I'm sorry, but it just beggars the imagination that a 23-year-old with a few days of experience would be made captain of any big ship, must less the flagship of the fleet --especially a 23-year-old with a juvenile criminal record and a history of defying his superiors.

It might be great cinema, but I'll bet in real navies, they aren't actually impressed with loud-mouth kids who won't follow orders because they just know that they're right and everyone else is wrong --even if said loud-mouth kid gets lucky and turns out to be right.

On the other hand, Uhura was a babe in this movie and there were some very good, very funny moments that remind you of the original series. The guy who plays the young McCoy is pretty good but doesn't have quite the comedic sense of his predecessor. The young Sulu is passable. The young Chekov and the young Scotty are very funny.

The bad guys are very good. I mean good bad guys, not good as in good guys. The special effects are up to modern standards; that is, they would have been awesome a few years ago.

And, people hate it when you pick on science errors, but the cosmology of the movie is every bit as ridiculous as it was in the series. There was a super nova that was close enough to vaporize a planet but far enough away that light didn't reach the planet for several days after the explosion and that replacing the star with a black hole was going to leave the planet safe. And no one could predict how long it would take for the light to get that far, apparently. A different planet is consumed by a black hole, and its moon (which was just referred to as another planet, but had to be as close as the Earth to the Moon from what they showed) was apparently in no danger.

No comments: