Wednesday, June 10, 2009

To Boldly Split Infinitives ...

Kim and I took a break from our respective Too Much To Do and went to the movies this afternoon. Kim had been jonesing for the new Star Trek movie for weeks now, and with the school year fast drawing to a close we figured this would be the last opportunity for a while to go see it without paying for a sitter as well.

It was quite good, actually. Especially if you, like me, have no real connection to the original series other than what your friends have told you, verbatim, since you were a mere child trying to escape their fanatic clutches and locate some actual entertainment.

In theory I should be the ideal Trekkie. I am a voracious reader of science fiction and fantasy books - most of the books I own that don't have footnotes in them fall into one or the other of those categories. I have few social skills, as evidenced by my success in surviving graduate school and becoming a historian. I am a big fan of high camp. And I have the fashion sense of a refried bean.

And yet, I have never managed to become a fan of any of the sixty or so variations of TV series. I've seen a few episodes here and there, and enjoyed them well enough, but not enough to make a point of watching them again. I had never seen any of the movies prior to today. And none of this did I regard as a gaping hole in my life to be filled at the first opportunity, preferably in costume.

So the fact that the movie takes all the liberties that it takes with the Official Star Trek Canon and rewrites entire backstories of major characters didn't really bother me. It zipped along at a pretty comfortable pace. It told an interesting tale. It was full of shiny special effects. And there was no spandex on anyone. What's not to like?

Well, there is the fact that Kirk spends most of the movie getting his butt kicked. You would think a major action hero like that could win a fistfight once in a while.

And there's the fact that what passed for science in this science fiction film required not merely the suspension of one's disbelief but its actual hanging.

Also, all through the movie, as the stars zoomed off to one dangerous subplot after another, I kept thinking to myself, "Don't they have trained personnel to handle this stuff?" I mean, is it really the Captain's job to infiltrate the enemy's warship personally, along with the First Officer and Sergeant Expendable? Doesn't Starfleet have - I don't know - commandos or something? A SWAT team? Beat cops? Neighborhood watch? Anything?

It just seems a lot to expect of commanding officers, really.

But it was worth seeing and a pleasant way to spend an afternoon when we should have been working.


KimK said...

And, of course, the movie did leave me with the lingering question: Is that what would *really* happen if you shoot nuclear reactor cores at an incipient black hole? David told me to LET*IT*GO.

tellthestories said...

I always thought it was Ensign Expendable, but maybe that's just me. Or maybe it's Ensign Doomed.

No spandex = good. But what was with the goofy athletic shirt uniform bit? I kept waiting to see a Champion logo that someone had forgotten to rip off a mass-merchandised shirt.

I have fond memories of listening to the original Star Trek theme and soundeffects in the background as I played at home. But Jean-Luc Picard is my all-time fave Star Trek captain.