Star Trek: What a Ridiculous Load of Crap
Massive spoilers below.
Imagine if you will that there's a magic red goop, and that a single drop of this goop—one drop!—can create a black hole. Now imagine that a whole man-sized container of the stuff (which one needs, for some reason, because a few drops just won't do the job) smashes in the middle of a starship. Now imagine that for some reason that ship is still around with a giant black hole forming all around it and you can have a nice conversation with the captain of that and then decide for some reason you need to shoot him with your phasers and photon torpedoes because the black hole hasn't completely destroyed them already.
Okay, now imagine that you sky dive from space into the atmosphere of a planet. There is no sense of burning up on reentry or even any sort of heat. Then you land on a giant laser drill in the stratosphere. This drill is hanging off of a ship in space and is drilling a hole in the planet, but there's no sense at all of the ship maintaining geosynchronous orbit; indeed the drill seems to be moving around quite a lot and yet is still drilling this big hole. Oh yeah, and the reason you need a big hole? Because you want to put a drop of red black hole goo in the center of the planet to destroy it because for some reason creating a black hole anywhere in the general vicinity of the planet isn't good enough. (Why do they bother even using the term "black hole" if they have no desire to have anything to do with what a black hole is or does?) But okay, so then you land on your space drill. You whip off your helmets and have no trouble at all breathing up in the stratosphere. Then for some reason the drill is manned, and the bad guys come out and you all have a big kung fu fight up on the top, complete with flips and acrobatics. On a platform in the open air in the stratosphere. And nobody just blows right off.
I don't think I've ever in my life seen an ostensible Science Fiction movie with such complete contempt for science. Space Balls had better science. Godzilla had better science (all of them).
And that's not the only kind of logical problems going on,
even putting aside the various complications involved with people coming back from the future and completely changing history (and we could go on for pages about those sorts of problems in the movie, which make Back to the Future look like a doctoral thesis on string theory)[EDIT: See below]. No just basic stuff. Like for some reason you kill one bad guy and they make you captain of the premiere ship in the fleet, along with a crew of your closest buddies even though almost all of them are straight out of the academy. Because that makes perfect sense.
What the movie does get right: the cast is spot on, and there's lots of space battles and fistfights and even some monsters and stuff that blows up real good, all the kind of things you'd expect from a special effects blockbuster. And there are lots (and lots and lots) of winks and nods to the various series and the other movies in the franchise which are all amusing in their way and will certainly please the hard core trekkie contingent. But somewhere in all that, Star Trek loses its soul, its sense of the possibility of the future, everything that Gene Roddenbury put into it that made it interesting and different and new. Indeed, if there is any movie this is in the tradition of, it's not the previous Trek films but rather Superman Returns, another movie that replaced its heart with a lot of winks and nods and knowing references and a bit of special effects flash.
I've talked in the past on this site about my mixed feelings with the Star Trek franchise in general, how I think its crap but glorious crap and I've seen nearly every episode and every movie. There was always something addictive about Star Trek, about the layers of melodrama over a solid foundation of golden age Science Fiction possibility. And this film may have a Kirk and a Spock and a Bones and the USS Enterprise, but I'm sorry, Star Trek it is not.
EDIT: Thinking about it, the time travel problems in this movie aren't as egregious as I previously thought, especially when compared to the plot problems, which get worse and worse the more I think about them. Consider this: you're a Romulan mining captain (whose mining ship looks for some reason like a giant evil octopus). Your planet, Romulus, is about to be destroyed by its sun going super nova. For some reason the best solution to this problem is to shoot red goop into the sun and turn it into a black hole which for some reason won't just destroy your planet anyway. Okay. Then the sun goes super nova early, you get pulled into the black hole that is finally made, and then instead of being totally crushed beyond recognition you're sent back in time. (Of course, Star Trek has had people traveling through black holes to another dimension (but not through time) in the Animated Series, but still, let's be clear that in this movie, the black holes behave not remotely like black holes.) Now, assuming you've resigned yourself to changing history, you can either:
- Go to earlier-time-period Romulus, give them your future tech so they become a super advanced civilization, and much more importantly tell them exactly when the sun is going to go super nova so they can be prepared. OR
- Dedicate your life to wrecking vengeance and genocide on the people who tried to help you in the first place, and somehow get the entire crew of your ship to go along with this plan.
If you picked number 2, then congratulations, you're JJ Abrams.
This movie makes no goddamn sense.