Star Trek XI: Joe Strike’s First Impressions of the Film

Posted by Guest Author on May 6, 2009 in Star Trek |

Exclusive Star Trek XI Report with Joe Strike

Editor’s Note: In this column film critic Joe Strike gives us his first impressions on Star Trek XI. Warning this might contain a few spoilers and ruin a maximum virgin film watching experience:

Heavy, heavy, HEAVY ST logo– looks like it was carved out of highly polished dwarf star material, probably weighs about the same… music is pretty heavy too: Giacchino wants us to know this is an intense movie…

We see Kirk’s birth on a starship under attack by the biggest (and pointiest) Romulan ship ever made. (Born on the battlefield – just like Conan the Barbarian!) A console screen display is projected across the captain’s face – big-time cheat (does your computer screen project onto your face?), but it looks cool; in fact it looked cool when Kubrick did it in 2001… Why are the guts of a starship filled with huge pipes with steering wheel-size valve controls on them? The whole place very much resembles the inside of a power plant dressed up with a few Starfleet computer terminals – but nahh, this is a big budget movie, they wouldn’t do that, would they?

Star Trek XI: The new Enterprise

10-year old Kirk drives a 20th century sports car off a cliff, jumping out just in time to hang onto the edge by his fingernails (I’m sure the DVD’s deleted scenes will explain where and how he got the car, not to mention why he drives it off a cliff (Thelma and Louise fan?), or who the voice chewing him out on the radio belongs to)… meanwhile, ultra-logical Vulcan bullies are giving child-Spock a hard-time… the gals on Vulcan wear dresses that look like teacups, and educate their kids in teacup-shaped holes in the floor…

Teenage Kirk is one tough sonuvabitch wise-ass trouble-maker – he deserves to get his ass kicked by those cadets he’s smirking at. (Boy, those punch sound effects could kill a T-Rex)… the humongously huge Starfleet base in Iowa is glimpsed waaay in the distant mist, its silhouette barely visible as a slightly darker shade of blue/grey – reminds me of a mid-1960’s sci-fi paperback cover…

Young Kirk is a bit of a punk!

Space cadet Kirk is doing the nasty dance with a hot, green-skinned babe: let’s hear it for a classic ST:TOS meme… every character’s personality has been ramped up to 11: Chekhov’s wery, wery Russian accent (how come Quinto is a ringer for Nimoy but Anton Yelchin looks nothing like Koenig? Just asking), McCoy’s misanthropism (he’s my favorite ringer for one of the originals – he even gets the voice right), Scotty’s gung-ho love of engineering has turned downright giddy… gee, it sure was lucky Sulu brought along his magic folding sword to do battle atop that blasting platform… JJ seems to enjoy leaving James T hanging on by his fingertips over bottomless chasms; if it happens one more time in this movie, I’m outta here.

SPOILER YOU’VE PROBABLY ALREADY HEARD ABOUT: Nimoy shows up as Future Spock, doing a little past-meddling to make sure Kirk & his younger self become buddies (Butt buddies? The glances between these two guys are hot – I bet the slash fanfic is being posted even as I write)… in fact, the whole movie revolves around Nimoy/Old Spock’s presence.

Aha, I’ve figured it out: the point of this movie is to reboot TOS’s universe, just like a DC Infinite Crisis or Marvel Secret Wars mini-series: a few planets & characters go bye-bye & the remaining ones now have new, improved pasts (not to mention new improved actors), thanks to a convenient time-tunneling black hole. (That ‘Red Matter’ is potent stuff!) Along the way a lot of stuff blows up, the music is loud, the effects are cool and everything ends happily; Pike even winds up piloting a much better-looking wheelchair.

Joe is an occasional animation scripter and freelance NYC writer covering animation and sci-fi/fantasy entertainment. His work has appeared in the NY Daily News, Newsday, the New York Press and, as they used to say on Rocky and Bullwinkle, ‘a host of others.’ He is a regular contributor to the animation industry website, but it’s much easier to visit to see what he’s been up to lately.


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