Star Trek 11 Review

Star Trek 11 Review

Here’s a series of one line summaries about the new Star Trek:

  • It’s hard to imagine a more brilliant cast cast of dazzling actors to really make this story shine out brightly in the Star Trek universe.
  • At a time where some movies can be a little hard on the eyes, the new Star Trek really provides a very polished production for the viewer.
  • It has our nostalgia glands ablaze.
  • That said, newcomers to the franchise will find this movie illuminating without overwhelming them with glaring references to the previous shows.
  • It’s obvious that J.J. Abrams and crew have gone all out to provide a very glossy movie experience.
  • The dialogue left me with a big beaming smile on my face.
  • Abrams really showed off his creative flare (spelling deliberate) in this film.

If you noticed the constant element amongst the previous statements, you’ve also managed to notice the element which impeded my enjoyment of this film.

But where are Dorothy and Captain Feathersword?
The Space Wiggles consider waking Jeff

Let me start by saying that I’m not the biggest Star Trek fan alive, but I do have a decent understanding and love for the show. I was a fan of Voyager on TV and an original crew fan for the films. So I was excited when I heard they’d be adding another movie to the collection, although dubious with the whole concept. William Shatner is simply one of those actors who owns the characters he’s played, so the idea of seeing someone else as a young Kirk was … interesting. And when you get right down to it, most Trek fans are similarly attached to the whole original cast.

The movie deals with the whole situation cleverly, and also in a fashion which all knowledgeable Trek fans will appreciate. Star Trek 11 isn’t a typical reboot, simply using the same characters in the same universe. Without spoiling too much of the plot (which is decent enough), it’s more of an alternate universe movie than simply copy/paste. There’s time travel involved. No space whales though. Pity…

"Anyone for a fan dance?"

Anyway given the changes to the timeline, it gives the actors the freedom to interpret the characters with their own style. It also gives the Trek fan in the audience the ability to enjoy themselves without making constant comparisons of old and new, which is probably a welcome environment for both actors and viewers alike.

That said, Abrams does his best to incorporate the old Trek into his updated model. Key catchphrases are relived and an appropriate level of homaging take place. There’s humourously thick Russian accents, not having enough power to do things and scantily clad green women. You know, things fans have come to expect from the franchise.

So no generation clashes: check. Decent number of hallmarks to amuse fans: check.

And the plot is decent too. It’s not Wrath of Khan brilliant or anything, but it’s certainly up to standard with the more recent Trek films.

So why, you may ask, did I mention at the beginning of this article that I couldn’t enjoy it? Well I’ll make a big SPOILER ALERT at this point, and not because what I’m about to say reveals any key plot points, simply that for me this element of the movie truly just spoilt my investment in the movie.

I warned you!

*deep breath*

What was J.J. up to with the fucking LENS FLARE in this movie? I mean really, did he and ILM just manage to find that button on Photoshop?

Whoa, that’s awesome! It makes it look like a bright light source is bouncing off the lens of the camera! Here’s $1,000,000, put it in every scene!

- J.J. Abrams … I assume

And now that you’ve heard me mention it, trust me, you’re going to notice it. I was similarly afflicted by a friend of mine before I got to see the movie and sure enough, not two minutes in it’s already ruined my experience for the film.

They later changed the script to add some Star Trek stuff
They later changed the title and added some Star Trek stuff

You can see a sun behind a space ship: lens flare. Kirk watches the Enterprise in the distance, illuminated by spotlights: lens flare. We see a bright computer console: lens flare. Spock’s hair goes near a hall light: lens flare. We enter a darkened room: somehow lens flare. Seriously, he may as well have gone the whole fucking hog and made a lens flare bounce from Kirk’s pearly white smile, then lens flared the various black holes that crop up through the film.

What, the, fuck? Not only is lens flaring one of the cheesiest effects known in modern cinema, almost on par with the whole “we shot it during the day and then filtered it to make it look like night”, but has the man ever heard of the 4th wall? In a space-opera, it’s one of those elements he should be trying to cling to with all his might. Suspension of disbelief is what he should be trying to protect for every sci-fi viewer! And yet every scene is permeated with this effect that, if it were to be really showing up that bad, PRESUMES THE EXISTENCE OF A CAMERA WITH A LENS TO FLARE OFF. This isn’t a documentary! We’re not seeing this film through the eyes of a film crew on the Enterprise constantly saying: “Just pretend we’re not here!”.

And that was really it for me. I quite enjoyed the film’s plot, dialogue was fine, little surprise twists were well executed, new actors did stand up jobs portraying their own versions of these classic characters. But none of that mattered because I couldn’t sit and enjoy the film without being barraged by these stupid and totally unrequired explosions of visual wank.

Verdict: See it anyway, it’s quite a good film around it’s questionable visual effects. Thumbs up!

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