Saturday, June 15, 2013

Review Of Star Trek XI (2009)

I was pretty optimistic about this film for one reason only. Leonard Nimoy was in this movie and he approved the script. The writers stated that if Nimoy didn’t like it, they would have rewritten it so that Nimoy would end up liking that. The reviews came out only encourage my enthusiasm for some good trek which was rather missing throughout these years.

However I’m pretty disappointed about this movie and I’m not too sure why Nimoy endorsed it. I believe this script had potential to be a great movie but in the end I felt it was rushed.

I’m going to differ this review with other people by offering solutions to the problems, by pointing out how most of the problems of this movie can be easily solved by a little proof reading or embellishing establish themes in this movie and that it wouldn’t have require drastic changes to fix this movie.

Kirk sucks

I didn’t like Kirk’s character and thought he was a jerk. He destroyed a vintage car for no particular reason. He harasses Uhura for no reason. He gets into pointless fights with security guards for no reason.

However I do know that since this is a change history and Kirk shouldn’t behave like the Captain Kirk we knew from TOS. I would have accepted this if somewhere along the lines he realised that he is behaving like a jerk and grows up and become the Kirk we know and love. I also don’t mind him being showed a jerk if they showed him to be an intelligent person that shows some early signs why he has the potential to be a great Captain.

The problem is that Captain Kirk at the end of the movie was the same as the Kirk at the beginning.

This movie was about how Kirk became a 3rd year cadet to become the Captain of the Enterprise after a single incident. This movie relied on the fact that Kirk does something extraordinary that earns him the captaincy.

However at no point in the movie did we see Kirk do anything to deserve being Captain of the Enterprise. He never showed any sort of leadership ability at all.

The only few helpful things he done in this movie was to warn Pike about Vulcan being attacked and relieving Spock from command and decided to pursue Nero’s ship by himself and then offer Spock fire support at the end as Spock saved the day. That’s not much.

When Kirk decided to pursue Nero, I was thinking what great plan he has up his sleaves to take on Nero.

It turns out his plan was this:

Chekov: “Based on the Nerada’s course from Vulcan I have projected that Nero will travel pass Saturn. Like you said we need to stay invisible to Nero or he'll destroy us. If Mr. Scott can get us to warp factor 4 and if we drop out of warp behind one of Saturn's moons, say Titan. The magnetic distortion from the planet's rings... will make us invisible to Nero's sensors. From there, as long as the drill is not activated we can beam aboard the enemy ship.

Spock: Mr. Chekov is correct. I can confirm his telemetry. If Mr. Sulu is able to maneuver us into position I can beam aboard Nero's ship, steal back the black hole device and if possible bring back captain Pike.

This was the point IMO when the film became irredeemable because Kirk didn’t save the day. Spock and Chekov did.

It's not good leadership to suggest the Enterprise to attack head on against a ship with superior weapons. It's actually bad leadership as most of the time it is suicidal. It's only good leadership if you find a way to make it work.

In the end, the only thing the movie demonstrated was that Spock should have been captain. Yes he was emotionally compromised from the Vulcan getting destroyed but once he recovered from it, he ended up saving Earth. Now Kirk deserves some credit in forcing Spock to confront his emotional turmoil and being his side kick in fighting Nero but that doesn’t make you a good captain. The only thing that should be awarded for that is a pardon for academic misconduct.

Hence this film is completely broken because the basic narrative is flawed. A movie that tries to tell an origin story of how Kirk became Captain, failed to demonstrate why he should become captain. The mistake made by this movie is equivalent to seeing Han Solo destroy the Death Star in Star Wars and then Luke Skywalker being celebrated as a hero at the end. I could end this review just here because this is the only mistake needed to completely wreck the film but my own obsessive compulsion means I have to continue on for a few more thousand words :).

Wouldn't it been great if Kirk suggested the plan to take out Nero ship and save Earth? That while the rest of his ship thought it was suicide, that Kirk created a great elaborate plan utilizing the strength of each of his crew that saves the day as he outwits Nero. Essentially that is what happens in TOS in most episodes and some movies. We like James T Kirk because he is a clever, intuitive and creative leader which enables him to escape death with overwhelming odds. If we saw Kirk outwitting the villain with a clever plan similar to Kirk outwitting Khan in “Wrath of Khan” or the Romulan Commander in “Balance Of Terror”, the promotion from 3rd year cadet to captain could have been far less jarring. In this movie we don't see that at all and Kirk never demonstrated he had either the character or the intelligence to be captain.

I’m not going to go and create an elaborate plan on how Kirk destroys Nero’s ship. However even just minor changes to the script would have improved the scene greatly.

Instead of Chekov informing Kirk about how to hide from Nero’s sensor imagine this conversation took place:

Kirk asked Chekov "Is there a location in our solar system where we can hide from Nero's sensor?"
Then Chekov responding "Yes, we can hide at the rings of titan sir. The gravitational pull should be strong enough to escape from Nero’s sensor" etc

See the difference?
The movie had Chekov saving Kirk's arse.

This idea would have Kirk having a plan but recognizes the individual crews specialty to help implement it. eg. managing the resource of his crew like a good captain suppose to do. Of course that’s not enough to show ingenuity capable of promoting a 3rd year cadet into captain but if the movie had more of those type of dialogue then perhaps they could have pulled it off.

Even as an action hero, Kirk failed in this movie. He gets his arse kick by random Romulans, he gets his arse kick by Nero, he gets his arse kick by Spock and he gets his arse kick by Red shirts. Yes red shirts – the cannon fodder of TOS. Oh Kirk how far have you fallen? Perhaps if he was replace by Zapp Brannigan this movie could have worked?

Nero sucks

 My 2nd problem with the movie was the villain. He was awful and probably the worst Star Trek Villain in movie history. Let’s imagine that there was an accident and your wife is hurt. A doctor tried to save your wife’s life but couldn’t get there in time. By some miracle you went back in time and instead of trying to change history and prevent the accident, you end up kidnapping the doctor and force him to watch as you slaughter his family. That is absolutely retarded. He believes the Federation and Vulcan deliberately let Romulus died without justifying it. He didn’t give us any legitimate reasons why he believed they were responsible.

 Now some people have defended the villain by saying that he is insane and irrational. My response is that I don’t want to see a villain acting stupid and irrational if all the other characters in the film don't recognise that the villain is acting stupid and irrational. What I want to see in a villain is an intelligent villain. A good villain should be someone you can empathise with even if you find his action repulsive. Saying the villain is irrational and not thinking straight as an excuse for idiotic behaviour that no one in the film calls out is a cop out.
Even in somehow Nero believes that the Federation and Vulcan deliberately allowed Romulus to die (which that motivation was never mention in the film). It doesn’t explain the line when Pike accused Nero of genocide and Nero responded “No, I prevented genocide”. How did he prevent genocide by destroying Vulcan? How would destroying the Federation will  prevent the sun going supernova and destroying Romulus. So how did he prevent genocide by destroying Vulcan?

What the movie needed was a scene where Nero captured the old Spock and then Nero blaming his people for letting Romulus die and most importantly explained WHY he believed Vulcan and Federation let Romulus die while Spock defended himself. Remember that this is the feud between Spock and Nero and you never seen them talking to each other throughout the movie which is absolutely bizarre. They should mention what happen in the comic and make it that Vulcan were the only race that had developed red matter and only they were capable of saving Romulus but they refuse to give Romulus help because they believe that by helping the Romulans, they may learn about red matter and turn it into a weapon to be used against Vulcans as the Vulcan still distrust Romulans.

Maybe following that add the scenario that although Federation officially disapprove of Vulcan decision to refuse help and sympathises with the Romulan government they only gave the Vulcan government a slap in the wrist. As red matter is a Vulcan technology and as an autonomous state of the Federation, they decided that this was an internal policy of the Vulcan government to refuse assistant of Romulus and due to the prime directive the Federation can’t interfere and force the Vulcan government to help. The only thing the Federation done was to send ships to help evacuate Romulus but they got there too late to evacuate everyone. It was only Spock that unilaterally tried to save Romulus by stealing the ship containing red matter from the Vulcan government.

I believe they should make it that Nero recognised that Spock tried to help and spared his life and then mentions they were friends before hand (like they were in the comics) and also mention that he was part of Spock’s underground group. He should tell Spock, that he spent a lot of his life in Romulus preaching reunification with Vulcan when perhaps he should have stayed on Vulcan preaching that same message as they are the ones that needed persuading. Nero then says that you deserve to live but your people and the Federation must pay for their sins. Spock recognise that his people were wrong and too distrustful but beg for mercy and forgiveness and that destroying Vulcan is not going to bring his family back to life. Nero says that he will use the red matter to destroy Vulcan and the Federation and then uses the remaining red matter to stop the supernova from occurring when that time arises. He will save Romulus and get his revenge.

This would tie in the theme of revenge and dealing with loss of love ones I will eventually go through. It would give Nero a bit of humanity and sympathy and make him more then a one dimensional character for him to recognise that Spock deserve mercy. As an added bonus we could have finally have a movie that critiques aspects of the prime directive. I could imagine Spock telling young Kirk that he learnt from the main Kirk that you shouldn't let the prime directive interfere on what was right.

No Theme

Mainly due to stuffing up Kirks and Nero's character, one of the biggest problems about this movie is that it doesn’t really have an overall theme or message. It’s basically Nero wanting to destroy the federation and the crew of the Enterprise must stop them. That’s it.

The sad thing is that it had the potential to be so much more. This movie had a perfect theme staring at its face. This movie could have been about losing a love one and how we deal with it and we could have seen 3 contrasting ways in how the characters dealt with this issue.

Nero lost his family and was driven by revenge. He never moved on from it. According to the comics “Countdown” the Romulans drew pictures to represent loves one on their skin. When the pictures faded out, it showed that the grieving process is over and it’s time to move on. However Nero and his crew tattoo the pictures on the skin and said that their lost will define us and that they’ll never move on from their deaths.

Spock dealt with the lost of loves one by suppressing his emotions and withdrawing further away from his human side as the lost of his human mother also reflects the lost of humanity inside himself. However later on in the movie after the emotional outburst and his chat with his dad, he then realize that he has to accept his human side and accept the emotions. This tragedy helps him accept his human side far earlier then in the other universe where only in Star Trek: The Motion Picture did Spock ever embrace his human side. To be fair, this was the only theme this Star Trek movie touch upon.

The final character would be Kirk who lost his father and in response became a juvenile delinquent and a rebel without a cause. He was very bright, creative and intelligent but he wasted life away being a bum and a criminal and he became a waste of potential. Instead of him destroying the car for no reason, maybe have him being an arsehole whilst at the same time shows he is a gifted intelligent person at the beginning so there is a glimpse that he had potential to be a great captain. Eventually he meets up with Captain Pike. Pike sees the potential in him and become the father figure he never had and straighten Kirk out. Through conversation with Pike, Kirk realise that his father sacrifice his life to save his life for him to live a long and meaningful life and not to waste his potential. He realise that if he continued to live life this way he would make his father sacrifice to be in vain. He then decided to join Starfleet.

However his character growth wouldn’t have been fulfilled yet. In Starfleet, Kirk turns out to be incredibly gifted, creative and intelligence. However his weakness is his arrogance and that he is not a team player. With Kirk, it’s either his way or the highway and because of that by the time he gets on the Enterprise he manages to brush up the entire crew in the wrong way. So by the time Kirk had the argument with Spock about whether to pursue Nero’s ship or not, the rest of the crew may have secretly agreed with him but no one is willing to stand up to him because he is an arsehole whilst they actually like Spock.

When Kirk meets up with Nimoy’s Spock, he finds out that Nimoy’s Spock was best friend with Kirk in his universe. He finds out that Kirk right now would have been the Captain of the Enterprise.  Kirk then asks how come they are friends as they hate each other in this universe. Nimoy’s Spock then explains the qualities of Captain Kirk in why he is such a great man and such a great Captain, he tells him that he is a leader of men, he naturally get along well with the crew, understands the personality of other people and then able to get the best out of the crew and lead by examples etc. Also he was the person who could balance his passions, intuition with logical thinking and the ability to control his emotions. This will be a role reversal of TOS where normally Kirk and co will lecture Spock about the importance of emotions but in this situation Nimoy will counsel Kirk about controlling his passions. Kirk when listening to Nimoy’s Spock talking about Kirk from the other universe then realize that he stuffed up. That the reason why he failed because he never had the maturity of the Kirk in the other universe and then he learned from it.

When he returns on the Enterprise and regain the captaincy, he apologise to Uhura and think of the plan to take down Nero’s ship whilst cleverly using the expertise of the entire crew instead of being so individualistic.

This movie could also be about Kirk growing up and fulfilling his potential as the great man we know from TOS and would have shown character development. So when the scene where Kirk faces off with Nero could have been the climactic moment in the film where Nero said to him “James T Kirk was considered to be a great man, when on to captain the USS Enterprise but that was another life. A life I will deprive you of.”

It could have been a great scene because Nero through his time travel intervention changed history, in this time period Kirk didn’t become a great man and didn’t fulfill his potential however with Nimoy's Spock intervening and putting him back on track, for Kirk to reach his potential and become a great man he has to defeat Nero who was responsible for depriving it in the beginning.

You see this movie set up throughout the movie that Kirk is an immature person and the movie was waiting for the character growth moment where Kirk grows up but it never happen. The themes in the movie that were staring at the face of the writers were mostly unexplored and if they did touch on the scenes, it was only superficially.

Plot Holes

Now contrary to most people who hated this movie. This is a relatively minor problem of the film. If they have done the first three points well I would have liked the movie and have forgiven these following flaws. However since the hero was unlikeable, the villain was idiotic and this movie has a broken story, plot holes become more noticeable.

However I will give a concession. This movie was film during the stage of the writers strike. It turns out that JJ Abrams was frustrated that they couldn’t make revision to the script without breaking the strike. I guess that it was quite possible that some of these plot holes were here and they notice it but it was too late for them to change it.

The first major problem was the issue that if the Red Matter ended up extinguishing the supernova explosion, well Romulus is still doomed. I mean no planet can support life without a sun. So the whole plan to save Romulus would have been ineffective.

The opening scene had George Kirk sacrificing his life to save his family and buy time for the escape pods to escape Nero’s ship was problematic due to the way the scene was shot. “Autopilot” was destroyed and Kirk typed in a few coordinates and just sat there speaking to his wife as the ship collided into Nero’s mining vessel. There was no need for George Kirk to sacrifice his life if the only thing he needed to do is type in coordinates. Let’s remember that in space in the vacuum with the law of motion, “An object in motion remains in motion, and at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by a force” so it is realistic that’s the only thing Kirk needed to do for a collision course and it doesn’t make logical sense that autopilot would fail as all it needs is to set a collision course and let inertia do the rest. What needed to be done was George Kirk taking control of the vessel and trying to evade the shots from Nero’s ship to prevent the ship being destroyed before collision and to fire back at Nero’s ship to make it more believable that his self-sacrifice is necessary to save his family and crew.

I like the idea of having red shirt getting killed off as homage to TOS, but don’t make him a complete idiot. Why didn’t he pull his parachute despite being ordered to by Kirk and Sulu? This reminds me of Joe Tormolen idiotically infecting himself and the rest of the crew because he took off his protective gloves to scratch his nose in “The Naked Time”. Having crewmember behaving like imbeciles didn’t work then and it doesn’t work now. Just make him killed off during a fight with the Romulans would have done the job. If they wanted to be more of a homage to TOS then they should have McCoy monitoring his life signs from aboard the Enterprise and when the red shirt was killed, he say “He's dead Jim” over the radio to Kirk. Ok that would be unrealistic and a bit of a forced catch phrase but it would have been a funny moment in the movie.

Now let’s look at Kirk’s battle with the Romulans on the drill.  Kirk didn’t pull out the phaser and shoot him. Instead he ran up to the Romulans and wrestled them to the ground. Only when they were struggling did he then tried pulling out a phaser which was knocked out of his hands and off the drill. So we discover from that scene that Kirk is an idiot. Also it turns out that Sulu wasn’t arm with a phaser and only had a sword to protect him. Looks like Federation can’t afford to equip all away team members with weapons. They should have just pulled out phasers and started shooting. If they really wanted hand to hand combat. They should have just set up a situation where someone pops up behind them when they are both shooting and then knocked the phaser out of the hand instead of having Kirk behaving idiotically and having Federation look incompetent.

The other thing I notice is where Sulu was knocked off the platform and Kirk dived down to “rescue” Sulu. I’m curious, how does Kirk jumping off and holding on to Sulu make it easier for the crew of Enterprise to beam Sulu up. Couldn’t the crew beamed up Kirk on the platform and then Chekov runs down to transporter bay and beam up Sulu during free fall. What difference does it make if Sulu was at free fall by himself then if Kirk was free fall with Sulu. There is no difference. This scene should have been cut as it was unnecessary. Simply beam both Kirk and Sulu off the platform after they sabotage the drill and leave it at that. The movie doesn’t need pointless actions scenes that are unrelated to the plot when the character development was underdone in this movie. This is a point I’ll expand later on.

Later on in the film during the argument with Kirk and Spock. Kirk decided to fight the crew for no good reasons after his idea was rejected by Spock. If he won that fight with the Red Shirt what would he achieved? Absolutely nothing because Kirk is an idiot again. Then Spock decides to banish Kirk to Delta Vega. Why? Isn’t there a brig for insubordinate crew member? Marooning Kirk to the planet where there are dangerous life forms was absolutely extreme. It seems to me that the writers needed Kirk to meet up with Spock on the planet. They couldn’t think of a reason so they got both of them to act stupid and illogical for the scenario to occur. In fact Captain Kirk actually says in his log when he was on the planet that his maroon on this planet was a violation of Starfleet code in treatment of prisoners (Kirk said security protocol 49409. Yes I'm a nerd). Therefore the movie actually pointed out that the logical Spock broke Starfleet protocol for petty reasons.

Also some people say that Kirk got himself in danger from getting outside the escape pods. Well, I think by the looks of the big monster who manage to jump out through a thick sheet of ice, I don't think they will have any problems destroying a little escape pod. The escape pod could have easily have landed in an area where the monster was hiding. Also it just takes one monster to fall into the ditch and Kirk would have been stuffed. Either way it was incredibly reckless and illegal behaviour for Spock to maroon Kirk on that planet.

Some people have defended Spock decision to banish Kirk because Spock was emotionally compromised. Again I don’t buy that. It would have made more sense if after his mother died, Spock reacted to the event by retreating to his Vulcan side and becoming more emotionally suppressive and more cold and logical and he should only becomes emotional and illogical when Kirks tips him over the edge later on in the movie where he learns that he can not and should not suppress his humanity and emotion but accept it.

How to resolve this issue? Vulcan who escaped the destruction ended up travelling to the nearest Federation outpost and the outpost which was the one in Delta Vega and it is overwhelm with refugees. Delta Vega needed supplies and therefore Spock sends Kirk in a shuttlecraft carrying various food and medical supplies to Delta Vega as punishment for Kirk’s insubordination. Spock wanted Kirk off the ship as he knows that Kirk if he stays on the Enterprise, he will continue to question his orders and will destabilise his command. Kirk refuses and argues some more but Spock says you either going there willingly or you will spend the rest of the trip on the brig and be court martial and his career in Starfleet is over.

Kirk arrives on Delta Vega and meets up with Scotty. The scene in Delta Vega would serve the point of showing the consequences of Vulcan’s destruction and it would be far more emotional to the audience seeing some impact it had instead of simply being used for shock value. Nimoy’s Spock later on arrived and apparently he was banished on the planet by Nero and he tried to walk hundreds of kilometres to the Federation outpost to warn them of Nero’s plan to destroy Vulcan but just like he was too late to save Romulus, he was also too late to save Vulcan. Spock reveals the plot to Kirk and then transwarp beam Kirk and Scotty back to the Enterprise while Old Spock remains looking after the refugees.

The last of the plot holes that I’ll mention is at the end where Spock’s ship collided to Nero vessel and the red matter created a black hole INSIDE Nero’s ship. Kirk then came and offered to rescue Nero. Nero refused and then Kirk decided to fire at Nero ship. Now the writers had stated that this was because Nero’s vessel was designed to survive black holes. Although that wasn’t mention in this movie to its detriment, even accepting that argument, the black hole was created inside the vessel from a collision with Spock’s ship. I was thinking, Kirk shouldn’t you be escaping this black hole instead of firing at Nero’s ship. After I was thinking that, the Enterprise was in jeopardy and was getting sucked in the black hole as well and only Scotty last ditch ejection of warp core saved the Enterprise from destruction showing how stupid Kirk’s decision was.

There are many more plot holes and character mismanagement such as mining ship with powerful weapons and how villains don’t care about occupational health and safety and the underwhelming Kobayashi Maru scene but I find all of those to be relatively minor and this would make my analysis too long if it isn’t already too long. I just pointed out the ones that stood out for me.

Superfluous Scenes

This movie had too many pointless action scenes for the sake of creating tension or excitement but is completely unrelated to the plot. Now don’t get me wrong, I like action scenes as well as some action movies and I accept that this new Star Trek movie must have a fair amount of action scenes for it to be successful but I like actions scenes to be integrated with the plot, I like the scenes to be part of the storytelling and not be there for the sake of it. We had the car scene in the beginning where Kirk wrecked a car that was pointless. We had Sulu falling off the platform with Kirk chasing him which was pointless. We had Kirk arriving on Delta Vega and being chased by wild animals which was pointless. We had Scotty being sucked up in the ship’s water system and nearly died which was pointless. We had the ship having to escape the black hole which was also pointless. I made a lot of suggestion that could only be solve by extra dialogue. People may wonder how they can fit it the movie without making the movie too long. Well there are plenty of pointless scenes that could have been removed without the detriment to the movie and be replaced with character development or plot explanation scenes.

Undeveloped Romance

The last flaw I will comment on is the romance between Spock and Uhura. Now I’ll state that I didn’t have a problem with the idea of Spock and Uhura getting together. There was a flirtatious relationship that was established in “Charlie X” and “The Man Trap” between Uhura and Spock and this was before Spock ever met Christine Chapel (however noticeably the writers admitted to not remembering the flirtation in TOS when they wrote the romance scene. Perhaps that’s how they botch the romance up). Therefore not having Nurse Chapel would comply with continuity and a potential relationship between Uhura and Spock would still be faithful to TOS. The problem wasn’t the idea but the execution. When Uhura first kissed Spock straight after Spock failed rescue attempts of his mother. They only spoke to each other once before in the entire movie. That was the scene where Uhura complained that Spock assigned her to the Farragut. That scene had a more mentor and protégé relationship and there was no indication of a potential romance. When Uhura kissed Spock, it was completely out of the blue.

Now if they mimic the flirtation that Uhura done to Spock in TOS. Have a few scenes where Uhura flirts with Spock and create some sexual tension earlier on and have Spock rejects it. Then after Spock planet was destroyed. Uhura kissed him and tries to comfort him but Spock rejects it quite cruelly which upsets her. This is because he reacts to the death of his mother and planet Vulcan by suppressing his emotions and withdrawing himself even further. However, after the scene where Spock lost control and had his heartfelt conversation with his father. Spock learnt to accept his emotions and his human side. He then goes up to Uhura and kisses her and pursues the relationship. This relationship could have tied in perfectly with the story about Spock and his emotions but the movie botch it up and it made me felt like they just stuck a romance for the sake of having a romance.

Ok, it wasn't completely horrible

Now that I bashed the movie I will talk about the few things I like about the movie.

I agree with many people who say that the opening scene with the USS Kelvin was fairly good (with the exception of some of the specifics of George Kirk’s sacrifice) It was tension pack and kudos for JJ Abrams in the way he shot it. I love the way we see the damage to the ship and see the way the crew died. It adds to the tension and intensity of the movie. The set design was well done and I do like the multicultural elements on the ship and the aliens onboard and I do find them more interesting then some of the face mask aliens we saw throughout the Trek series.

It was a greatly crafted action scene that was also important to the plot and the story. This is what good action scene should be.

The other thing I like about the movie was I like the way they portrayed Spock with exception to the botch romance with Uhura and the kicking Kirk out of the ship. I do enjoy the childhood scenes. It was documented that he was bullied when he was young due to his emotions. I enjoyed his conversations with his mother which the movie could have more of. I do like the racism showed by the Vulcans towards the human and how Spock reacted to it with a “live long and prosper” that was like an f-you to the Vulcans. It made me realised that despite the different personalities and different upbringing that Spock had with Kirk. One thing they related with each other is that they are both rebels of their own society.

He was also the only character that underwent any development throughout this movie. His reaction to his mother dying and the resultant conversation with his father about him struggling to suppress his emotions and then realise that he doesn’t have to was dare I say beautiful and I was moved by it. Not only did Spock accept his own humanity but Sarek accepted Spock’s humanity. Remember that “so human” statement from The Final Frontier? It could have been improved by making the relationship between Sarek and Spock tense at the beginning such as after Spock rejected joining the Vulcan science academy causing a big argument between those two and then have Sarek accepting his decision at the end of the movie showing growth of the two characters. Nevertheless despite the room for improvement, it was still well done.

Overall the Spock character was well done. It could have been improved by some of the suggestion I mention before, but credit where credit is due, the Spock character development was well done.

The others things I like about the movie were I love the look of the Enterprise and the bridge and the uniforms. I like the way the action sequence was shot. I like the colourfulness of the film. It was a different look but it gave an atmosphere that this is Trek. It was well film.

I also like to say is that the rest of the crew with the exception of Kirk was rather likeable. They weren’t particularly well developed characters and they didn’t need to be because the movie wasn’t about them but was about Kirk and Spock. Although they didn’t have too important roles, I found all of the characters and the few scenes to have to be likeable and give you good first impression that you want to know more about them in future movies. They were also well casted. Karl Urban’s Bones was exceptionally well done (I just wish he did more then just continually injecting Kirk as that was not funny. He also is not afraid of flying, he is afraid of transporters)

Although some people didn’t like Scotty, I quite like him simply for the fact that he killed Porthos and pissed off Admiral Archer. Come on, it is impossible not to dislike him simply due to that. It also reveals the stupidity of Archer hasn’t left him when he became Admiral as well. Scotty wanted to test out a brand new concept called transwarp beaming that would be potentially dangerous to whom ever was tested on. Instead of testing on a plant or a rat or an animal that has no sentimental value to him, Archer decided to use his personal pet that apparently he loves. What an idiot. It also showed his cruelty of banishing Scotty to a remote outpost. All new inventions will have initial failures in test; it was his own fault for using his dog not Scotty. 


The movie despites its flaws set things up for the sequels fairly well. The journey from the beginnings to Captain Kirk was botched up. I believe it was because they were trying to achieve too many things in a short period time (characters background, conflict, interesting villain, introducing all the characters, introducing Pike etc). However at the end you can see that a movies series about them could be interesting because you have a crew of mostly likeable characters that I want to know more about with the exception of Kirk.

I can't do a review of this movie without mentioning the whole changing of timelines and erasing the history of all our TV series controversy that has caused an outcry amongst Star Trek fans. My take on that is this. if you time travel using conventional manners (eg. transporters, sling shot effect, time ship) then you go back in time (ala Voyage Home or First Contact etc). If you time travel using red matter to create a black hole, you go to alternative dimension creating a parallel universe. Therefore no break in continuity and your universe is still in tact. No need to write hate mails to JJ Abrams about how the universe you grown up with and love has disappeared.

Overall I will give this movie 2/10. I went through lengthy periods pointing out the flaws of the movie and offering solution. The reason I did that is to show that this movie could have been a great film if these flaws were fix. This movie had all the ingredient of a great film but it was just poorly put together. It had mostly good characters, good casting, good sets, great special effects, good action scenes and good underlying idea of a story line but it was botch by writers who decided that story line, character development should be secondary to pointless action scenes. All the problems I listed out do not require drastic rewrites but just minor alteration to the movie. The script just needed some proof reading to iron out major plot holes and to embellish character detail and this 2/10 could have became 10/10. This is why this is such a frustrating movie for me. I look at this movie and I think of it as wasted potential. In fact if they just integrated some parts from the Countdown comic that the writers had already written, it would have solve some of the major plot holes and added character development to Nero and it would have saved this movie but for some bizarre reason they decided to cut it out for no good reasons.

I don’t agree with people who say this is the death of the franchise because the franchised died with Enterprise. Unlike other people, I'm not particularly angry about this movie. Let's face it, Star Trek movies in general are incredibly inconsistent and if you want to watch good Trek, the movies series isn't the first place to look for despite some good film in the saga. Star Trek XI is just as bad as any other odd number Trek movies and I don't agree with people saying it raped the franchise when there are far worst things that bare the Trek name and logo that exist. I mainly written this out of confusion due to the positive reviews from critics and amongst Star Trek fans and I just don't get the positive reactions.

This movie failed to resurrect the franchise for me but I do see a light at the end of the tunnel where a good writer could use the same material and the same characters and do something great with it. However I shouldn’t get too optimistic because this movie had received rave reviews and made a lot of money. If the writers are complacent and revel in the success and believe they did a good job and they follow the same formula then the next movie will be a failure as well. If they realise they have written a deeply flawed film and work to improve it for the sequels then I could see that a resurrection is not impossible and maybe this movie is just the victim of the bad odd number film phenomenon.


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  2. "This was the point IMO when the film became irredeemable because Kirk didn’t save the day. Spock and Chekov did."

    They were able to present an idea because they were in position. The "safe" option was to rendezvous with the fleet. The brave action was to do something different, something dangerous.

    Meet with the fleet, and Earth is destroyed. Do something different and you have a chance. Maybe that's what leadership is all about?

    1. I don't believe I'm asking lots from the writer for Kirk to do the brave action and then demonstrate how he is going to make the brave action pay off. A brave action without the brains is just a foolish endeavour.

      Meet with the fleet and Earth is destroyed but you can assist the fleet in destroying Nero before he takes out more Federation planets and you can also provide intel to the Fleet.

      Attack Nero by yourself means your ship getting destroyed as well as Earth being destroyed and the fleet have less chance of defeating Nero.

      Unless Kirk has an idea how to defeat Nero and save Earth at the same time.

      Problem is he didn't know how to do that and it was only his crew that was able to work it out.

      Kirk got lucky.

      Any person can say, let's attack the enemy. In fact that's the type of thing you expect from adolescent teenagers, normally people with associated maturity with measured thinking. You don't have to be a great Captain to do that. You know what we call those people fool-hardy people. It takes a great leader to be able to be daring and smart at the same time. Kirk demonstrated the former and not the latter.