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WTF Did You Do to Scotty?

Saw Star Trek this morning, and at any given moment I go from loving it, to really hating it, back to loving it again. For the benefit of those who haven’t seen it yet (and if you haven’t by now-chances are pretty good you won’t until the DVD comes out), I’ll keep any spoliers to a minimum. In fact the only spoilerish thing I’ll say, is that the story involves time travel.

To which I say: Fuck time travel! Fuck alternate universes where Spock and Uhura make out, and various and sundry things happen. Time travel is very tricky to do, and the writers make no attempt to even have any of it make sense. So please, don’t think about it too hard or you might just implode. I hated that aspect of the movie-to the point that it nearly ruined the whole thing for me.

Having said that, what did work in the movie, worked extraordinarily well. The relationship between Kirk and Spock was a joy to watch unfold. Perhaps even more moving was watching the friendship between Kirk and McCoy develop. Having loved Karl Urban in Lord of the Rings as Eomer, I couldn’t imagine him as the feisty doctor; but dammit Jim, he’s an actor, and embodied everything about the character you’d expect. He is one piece of casting that serves as the glue to keep the whole together. When he refers to Spock as a green blooded hobgoblin at one point, it was like seeing DeForest Kelley. Not to say he was aping Kelley’s performance from 40 years ago, but more like channeling him. He steals every scene he’s in, I just wish he was in more.

Chris Pine managed to bring the essence of Kirk to the screen, without making you think of Shatner once. So good is he in the iconic role, I forgot about Bloat Shatner for two hours. His womanizing, arrogant persona is intact-yet he doesn’t come across as unlikable (as the original sometimes did for me); he brings a humanity to the role that simply wasn’t there in the last 4 decades.

Zachary Quinto is a perfect replica of Nimoy’s Spock, bringing everything Nimoy has invested in the Vulcan to the table. My only problem with Quinto is he seemed a bit too, fey is the word I’m looking for, so when he kisses Uhura it certainly doesn’t seem authentic. his nasal delivery doesn’t really help matters much either.  Despite that, he brings a strong counterbalance to Kirk, even though he can be every bit as arrogant-in spite of his logic which compels him to act.

And then there’s Scotty. WTF did they do to Scotty? When did he become the fricking comic relief? If ever there was any miscasting in the movie, it was Simon Pegg as Montgomery Scott. I like Pegg a lot. I loved Shaun of the Dead, and liked Hot fuzz, but in ST, he’s wasted. For this I blame the writers. They did such a good job in capturing the essence of every other character (though like the series, all given short shrift), how did they manage to fuck up Scotty? And that little rock like companion, what the hell was that? I was afraid George Lucas had done some script doctoring.

What works best in ST are the characters, it’s just unfortunate that in a pretty enjoyable franchise reboot, they had such a lame story to tell.

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May 26, 2009 - Posted by | My Life, Reviews

4 Comments »

  1. Not seen it yet, not sure I can bring myself to, but does seem a lot of love for the likes of Urban and Quinto.

    Really like Pegg when he is in his own work, not much when in other people’s movies.
    His sitcom Spaced is fantastic.

    Comment by CritGit | May 27, 2009 | Reply

  2. New ST has good and bad points. From this new timeline, they can wipe the slate clean and start again.

    In this timeline, because of the Narada changing history, Spock has no 13 year mission with Pike before Kirk, Kirk does not know his dad and is a delinquent, Kirk does not serve aboard the Farragut as a Lieutenant, etc.

    But hey, they tell us that the original timeline still exists, thanks to quantum theory that states that every possible timeline exists and does exist.

    And if you love all that, get this piece of classic film from Daggy: “Warzoners”.

    Comment by Johaha | May 28, 2009 | Reply

  3. I loved the film. Fast, mostly true to the themes of the series, and well acted everywhere.

    I was disappointed that Eric banner was totally wasted on that bad guy. No actor could have made much of that character as the story was about the Trek crew, and the bad guy was really more a blunt instrument of a plot device which gave them something to work against. Don’t get me wrong; Eric banner did a good job, its just a minor role.

    The red matter and the security officers almost got the same screen time as the “bad guy”.

    Test will come in the next film, as they’ve reset the storyline now – the test will be to see what they can do with it.

    Comment by Typhoon Andrew | June 1, 2009 | Reply

  4. Andrew, you’re right about Bana; even Pike got more screen time, it seems. I didn’t even get into the red matter in the review as it was just too silly-at least to me. This really could have been a “Balance of Power” type story had they spent a bit more time with it. Nero could have been a really great villain; instead he was just, as you said, a blunt instrument. Given everything that could have gone wrong with this, I am glad it turned out as well as it did.

    Being an old fart, I grew up on reruns of Star Trek every Sunday night, and while not exactly a Trekkie, I do have a deep love for the characters and the universe Roddenberry created. It was nice to see it not badly butchered, and I’ll be in line opening night for the next movie.

    BTW I checked out your blog and you have some good info in their on WoW. Being a player myself, I had to check it out.

    Comment by raingods | June 1, 2009 | Reply


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