Saturday, December 5, 2009

Dude Movies: Star Trek (2009)

What’s it about?
Alternate-universe Star Trek: The College Years crew team up to fight the evil Romulan evil plan of evil to destroy the universe out of spite, pretty much.

Any chicks in the movie?
Zoe Saldaña as Lt. Uhuru, who looks like Nichelle Nichols run through a Beyoncé brand hottifying machine.

Awesomeness Factor?
Warp 10. By all rights, the ancient and wheezing Star Trek franchise should have been hung out to dry a couple of decades ago, were it not for the life support granted by fandom’s most irritating dweebs.* Director and geek saviour J.J. Abrams, who can apparently do no wrong, wisely moves away from the dramatic inertia that’s plagued the series since The Next Generation days and replaces it with what Trek should have been all along: crazy-ass spaceman adventures in space. Abrams and his screenwriters understand that, at it’s core, Trek is really fucking stupid, so whenever the story calls for some patented Star Trek sci-fi twaddle like “I have opened the control valves to the matter-anti-matter nacelles”***, Abrams wisely decides to have the cast speak it as possible in order to get to more of the good stuff, like Kirk and Sulu swordfighting Romulans**** or watching entire planets blow up. They also make the indescribably wise decision to move away from the absolute dominance of the Kirk/Spock/McCoy dynamic to up the badass quotient for the rest of the crew, making it a more organic ensemble piece than the source material ever felt. The movie also looks great, too, positing a bright utopian future where spaceship bridge decks can be mistaken for an Apple Genius Bars and green-skinned chicks from Orion can really party. Given Abrams’ propensity for coating every corner of the screen in lens flare, watching this new, revitalized Star Trek is not unlike the feeling of being a baby and having a kindly uncle shake his keys at you. Sure, it’s juvenile, but you gotta admit those keys are shiny.

Mitigated by?
But speaking of the script: time-travelling through wormholes? Really? Ooooooh, I bet the next movie will have a holodeck mishap.

* Seriously, I’ve been a hardcore geek nerdboy my entire life and even I can’t stand Trekkies. They have this weird sense of both entitlement and superiority, which is ludicrous because Star Trek has the intellectual depth of Teenage Mutant Ninja** Turtles comic. They’re kind of like the nerdverse’s version of Republicans.

** I just wanted to write the word “ninja” again.

*** Original series, season 2, episode 22, “By Any Other Name”. Because even though I hate Star Trek, I also seem to have it memorized.

**** Not sure what the deal was with the Romulans, who aren’t styled as wild rage-o-nauts so much as slightly perturbed Tool fans. Also, note to Hollywood: face tats do not make people look edgy, it makes them look like gay bikers.

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