Thursday, May 23, 2013

Missing The Boat (Or Spaceship, As The Case May Be)

What makes a great science fiction story? 

Creativity of world-building details.

The underlying story should have memorable characters and timeless themes, but it's the world-building that scifi fans are looking for. We want fantastical new planets to explore, with shocking cultures and inhabitants. We want unique alien creatures. We want fabulous new technology: weapons, spaceships, and more.

If you're going to make a film using one of the most iconic scifi spaceships of all time...The Enterprise, then by God, you better deliver on the scifi portion of the movie.

Perhaps my expectations were too high. After falling in love with the 2009 Star Trek movie, I had very high hopes for Star Trek Into The Darkness. Same amazing cast of characters. And I love the whole concept of going back to the very beginning of space exploration. It is a superb premise for a fresh new twist on the Star Trek series.

Nevertheless, Star Trek Into The Darkness was, in my humble opinion, a big boring, predictable snooze-fest. And worst of all, the "scifi" portion in Star Trek was sorely missing. If you're going to make a movie about a spaceship which explores new frontiers, then for Christ's sake, let it do some god-damned exploring. What made Star Trek scifi? Alien lifeforms, strange new planets and cultures, new and exciting technology. This Star Trek movie had about 50% of the scenes...on EARTH!

The opening sequence was by far the best part of the film. Why? Because we are on an alien planet...gorgeous cinematography, fascinating alien culture, some typical Captain Kirk/Spock interactions. After that, too many of the scenes took place in the boardroom, on Earth, and on the Enterprise itself. The zip and pop and excitement of the first film were missing.

There was one big tease: a discussion of the Klingons. Finally! We're finally gonna get some cool, bad-ass aliens!

And they were FANTASTIC! For all of 60 seconds. And then it was over. The alien planet looked like an outdoor industrial plant. Not too impressive. And then we're back on the Enterprise.

Come back, Klingons! COME BACK!

This turned into a regular old action film, with a lot of guys running around hallways with guns. But every scene was predictable. There was no tension at all in the film.

At the end of the movie when Kirk and Spock have their super emo scene, touching hands through the glass barrier...

I laughed.

Out loud.

In the theater.

(For the record, I went to a 10:20 AM matinee, so it was just me and two other dudes).


I'm not even going to get into the fact that the initial "conflict" made no sense...Kirk getting in trouble for failing to follow the "prime directive" while Spock did the exact same thing...because it's not worth it.

I watched Galaxy Quest recently, the hilarious parody of Star Trek starring Tim Allen, and I found that film more entertaining than this.


I'm hoping Star Trek 3 will be an improvement.

Hopefully they will finally get off the DAMNED EARTH AND DO SOME SPACE EXPLORATION.

Peeved and Pissy,