This is not a review of J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek because, if it were, it’s two years too late.
Sometimes I think that to get the feel of a film I have to let it ‘stew’ for a while, then give it another chance. I liked ‘Star Trek’ when I saw it in theaters, though I thought that it was a bit overrated. The second time around (much to my surprise) I enjoyed it more. It moved briskly, and seemed to make sense, despite seemingly maiming Star Trek continuity, and had lots of attractive people acting heroically.
That’s not to say that there wasn’t anything to carp on, though before I begin to do so–you had to know it was coming, right?–I noticed that the Romulan second-in-command was Clifton Collins, Jr–his distinctive voice is a dead giveaway–who we don’t see in enough films, for my money.
Now to the carping.
I hate the new Transporter effect; too much like neon and not enough fading and sparkly things. It strikes me as a bit of change for the sake of change.
Then there’s the Engine Room of the Enterprise, which looks suspiciously like some type of factory with a few consoles sprinkled about, which isn’t too far from the truth. Someone told me that it looks the way it does because the production ran out of money, and had to make due with what they had.
I get that, I really do, but the set design for the rest of the film was excellent, but somehow they couldn’t do anything but use a thinly disguised warehouse, brewery, or whatever?
In reference to that continuity I mentioned earlier, you have to keep in mind that the writers of “Star Trek,” Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman, also wrote “Transformers” and “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.”
Compared to them, Star Trek’s aspirations are positively Shakespearean.
Then there’s the creature that breaks through the ice after Kirk is marooned on an ice planet by Spock (the non-Leonard Nimoy one). It bursts through the permafrost, though you cannot tell if it came from water or some other liquid substance.
I mention it because the creature doesn’t appear to be designed for any aquatic environment; in fact it looks physically kind of crab-like, which is really, really dumb because–again assuming that we’re working with some sort of liquid environment–crabs aren’t exactly that well-suited for swimming, That doesn’t apply to all crustaceans–lobsters are strong swimmers, because of their muscular tails–though they generally prefer to walk along the bottom.
So, once again we have an example of an addition to the film not seemingly based upon any sort of logic, but because it looks ‘cool.’
Though I didn’t start this post for any of the things that I noted above; instead I started writing because of lens flares.
That’s right. Lens flares.
J.J Abrams, the director, seems to LOVE lens flares–those rainbow tinged bursts of light you see when you’re filming something in a very sunny location–in a way that other directors like explosions, sex, or violence. I mean, this film is filled with them, though they seem somewhat selective and primarily effect the Enterprise.
Sure, they’re dramatic. Sure, most of them don’t make any sense at all because there isn’t supposed to be a camera watching the scene unfold, so we shouldn’t see them.
Yeah, I know, artistic license. Doesn’t make it any less stupid though.