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[personal profile] mschatelaine
[ profile] psychochicken was surprised at the tone of my last post: he thought that earlier, discussing the new Trek in the pub, I'd been more positive about it.

Which leads me to wonder, just why is my praise so damningly faint for the new Star Trek movie? As far as I'm concerned, it was enjoyable enough. The acting and characterisation were overall good, brilliant in spots and OK in others. In fairness to the script, they go out of their way to show Uhura as being exceptionally competent, and contributing to saving the ship. And the visuals were beautiful and spectacular as appropriate. Everything is just as it was in the original series and in the more exciting of the OS movies.

I think this is the core of my problem. I am not one of those who goes to an ongoing TV series to see the familiar faces go through the familiar paces. Although I will happily re-read favourite books, even many times, if an author's new book is too much like the last one or the last several, I will stop buying them. This is why I stopped reading David Gemmell, and why I think David Eddings was just taking the piss. I would not have been one of those fans who would demand thirty Rincewind novels of Terry Pratchett.

Which means that although it is pleasant to see Kirk, Spock, Bones and their happy crew just the same as they were before, I am not overjoyed. They are not a comforting safety blanket to me the way that they might be for some others. I don't have a vast amount of emotion invested in seeing old familiar characters go through old familiar situations and repeat old familiar lines. And I am less than impressed by JJ Abrams' spending tens of millions of dollars to make a film that we have substantially seen already, several times before.

Surely the old familiar characters with their pretty re-shot ship and scenery could have been put into a new and challenging situation? If we're going to reboot the universe, could it not have been with a story that was suitably epic? And here I think I have hit on just why I am less than blown away. Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura, Scotty, Sulu and Chekov deserved to have a real coming-of-age story, not to be manipulated as pawns of the plotline. What they were was spectators and spear-carriers in a conflict between a new disposable character with no history in the Trek universe, and a secondary character who did not need to be there except to pander to fans. And when the deus popped out of the machina and started telling us how it "should be", then the characters lost their integrity for me. Kirk had to be told by his old sidekick how to get his position on the ship, which by me means he doesn't deserve to have it. The film, good up till then, was fanwank from that point on as far as I was concerned.

To me, this is another visual-effects blockbuster; good as far as such things go, but no better. Comparable to the Star Wars prequels, say.
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