From my point of view, the new "Star Trek" movie deserves a rating of 100 (on myu scale of 100) for one thing alone: They brought back teh MINISKIRT from the original Star Trek series (updated--the original garment was really a "skort"--shorts made to look like a miniskirt). I refuse to let bribery compromise my integrity, however, as the producers clearly tried to bribe sexist reviewers like me with this reversal of course. In addition, there are FEW women shown on the Enterprise in the new movie, which represents even further progress.
One of the problems with the way both science fiction generally, and Star Trek in particular, have evvolved is their promotion of the objectively FALSE idea that men and women are the SAME. Thus, in the Star Trek universe, you had women security officers able to handle SKILLED male fighters in hand-to-hand combat. What a crock. This false idea that men and women are the SAME (don't even THINK the same) is a radical feminist, leftist Big Lie--Orwellian", "1984" style. And science fiction in general has adopted this Big Lie as a matter of "politically correct" orthodoxy--even in the fiction of "military" science fiction authors like Davide Drake, David Weber, and John Ringo. Even Terry Pratchett--perhaps the best comic satirist who ever lived--worte a TERRIBLE, one joke book: "Monstrous Regiment." The whole, and ONLY, "point" of the book was that men and women are the SAME--again, a total falsehood. Terry Pratchett's comic fantasies are permeated by TRUTH in the form of satire. It was sad to see him fall victim to this same politically correct Big Lie, to the extent of even haveing a woman NCO in the hard drinking, hard firghting, mold of the hard bitten NCOs of John Ford westerns--"passing", of course, as a man (the whole "joke" of the book being that fully a third of the "men" in Terry Pratchett's "army" were really women disguised as men).
Star Trek has infamously (in my view) adoped this "Unixex" view of the world--the false view that there are no "real" differences between men and women beyond those society imposes. Thus, after the miniskirt looking, sexy outfits of the original Star Trek series, Star Trek reverted to "unisex" uniforms (albeit tailored in a form fitting way not common to a real military, or military-like organization). Exactly how "Star Fleet" differs from a military organization has, by the way, never been entirely clear. "Star Fleet" has always seemed responsible for the MILITARY, space security of the Earth, despite the suppposed "exploration" mission. I can't tell you how refreshing it is to see Star Trek bring back the miniskirt for women crew--a sort of Scottish kilt looking garment--rather than continue the truly boring "unixex" look.
Still, my reviewing integrity must be mainstained. Therefore, the rating for the new "Star Trek" movie is 84 out of 100--still high on my scale of 0 to 100.
I will get to the falws. This is not a great movie--simply a very good one (especiallly for those familiar with the original TV series--there being numerous "inside" references that you will miss unless you are familiar with the original series).
The best thing about the movie is that it brings back some of the humor and light heartedness of the original characters. Star Trk, in its later incarnations without the original cast, had become humorless--almost dour, solemn and sullen (which tended to go along with the unisex look and attitude). The actor playing Jim Kirk brings welmome echoes of the "overacting"/lighthearted ego of William Shatner. And the actor playing the younger "Scotty" almost steals the movie with an exuberance totally missing from the solemn "political correctness" of recent Star Trek series (the only one of which I really liked was "Deep Space Nine").
The plot? It hardly matters, except to anoy me with mondern Hollywood stupidity. It is about a Romulan whose "supership" travels back in time after the destruction of the Romulan home world (which Spock failed to prevent), and decides to take revenge on Spock and the entire rest of the universe. Star Trek has become obsessed with time travel, and it is a FAULT (not a virtue--maybe more about this in a future entry). I will note just one thing which illustrates the problem (slight "spoiler", but occurs early on in the movie): If a ship goes back in time and destroys Vulcan, does that not CHANGE the future so that there is no longer either Spock (most likely) or a ship to go back in time and destroy Vulcan? It is the old "what if you go back in time and kill your own grandmother" problem.
Still, the time travel device is not obtrusive in this movie--just a device to set up the plot rather than a prime mover of the plot. There are other plot problems which are more serious, and seem to arise from the present Hollywood idea that viewers don't care about plot logic. For example, a class right out o fStar Fleet Academy--ijncluding 17 year old kids, takes over all of the important functons of a the FLAGSHIP of the Star Fleet mission to help Vulcan in a supposed "natural disaster" requiring major assistance. Kirk, in fact, virtually stows away on the Enterprise, after having his graduation from the Academy SUSPENDED (for chearing on that famous, "no win" test by reprogramming the computer). The captain nevertheless appoints Kirk "first officer" when he leaves the ship. ABSURD. I am not able to turn my mind off to the extent modern Hollywood wants me to do.
Then Spock (who himself is made captain of the Enterprise with NO apparent previous experience) says: "I want Kirk off this ship". He means IMMEDIATELY, in one of the most illogical acts a supposed "logical" being could ever order. Kirk is than EXILED--alone--in a shuttle to an isolated planet with a small outpost. No explanation as to why Kirk was not merely put in the brig. The real explanation is LAZINESS by the script writers. The OLD Spock (Leonard Nemoy playing his familiar character, and acting better than anyone else in the cast) has been dragged back in time with the Romulan ship, and has been exiled on the same outpost planet by the insane Romulan captain to observe the destruction of his home world (revenge). The ONLY purpose of the "exile" of Kirk was to arrange a meeting between the new Kirk and the old Spock. This is accomplished by an even more absurd scene--reminiscent of the totally absurd "dinosaur stampede" in the new "King Kong"--where Kirk is chased into Spock's cave by a chessy, bug-like creature. ABSURD is a KIND word for this lazy stupidity.
I went to see this movie with Sylivia--my only, if platonic, female friend. She thought the movie was "cheesy", and only "okay". She is not a regular Star Trek fan, although she has een some of the movies. I would amend one of my statements above, in that being familiar with the MOVIES with the original cast is probably enough to get most of the "inside" stuff in this movie, even if you are not that familiar with the original series.
Sylvia, to one degree or another, is RIGHT. The movie has a "cheesy" look to it--especially in scenes like the bug chasing Kirk. My personal opinion is that computer graphics NEVER look real. To me, they ALWAYS look "cheesy". And the Enterprise deliberately has the "cheesy" look of the original series, which is why they also brought back the miniskirt.
Still, the movie is fun--with the actors pretty much creating believable younger versions of the characters created by Kirk, Nemoy, and the rest. The humor is there, and it is often funny. The characters are what enable you to get past holes in the plot and the "cheesy" look of the movie. The movie is very successful in recreating the original characters tha made the series and movies with the original cast so much fun. That enabled me to ignore things like one plot hole that bothered Sylvia. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE MOTHER? Kirk's mother gives birth to him in the--pretty exiting, and even toucing--beginning of the movie, and basically DISAPPEARS. She does not appear when he is in trouble at graduation from the Academy, and she does not appear when Kirk is honored for his actions. In the modern Hollywood, you just have to overlook these inexplicable lapses.
There is actually a relevant scene in "Star Trek" to the outdated racism of Sonia Sotomayor (see blog entries over the past week). Uhura--the black communications officer--is the girlfriend of Spock in the new movie. She makes a point of KISSING him rather passionately. Way back in the original series, Uhura was FORCED to involuntarily kiss Captain Kirk, played by William Shatner. There was actually a big story--"controversy"--in TV Gude about the INTERRACIAL "kiss". Of course, Spock is not supposed to be a human "white" male, but I think Uhura's kisses are deliberately meant, in this movie, as a comment on how far we have come. No one would think of creating a "controversy" over an "interracial" kiss these days, unless it was a LEFTIST (like Sotomayor) wondering why there were not black males in the cast for Uhura to kiss. Now Spock himself has an Obama type "look" in this movie--a somewhat differently appearing skin tone from Leonard Nemoy. And Spock IS a "multiracial" character. Think how truly absurd it is for Sonia Sotomayor, and leftists in general, to STILL be making such a point about RACE at a time when we should be PAST that. As Uhura's kisses show, as well as Obama being elected President, we truly are pretty much past the idea of treating race as a fundametally defining characteristic of people--all except for the left still deliberately living in the past for political gain.