So, another year, another long stagnant franchise updated. The update has officially become the new remake. Hollywood is now longer simply following the same motions. They are updating them to reach the kiddies and their wallets. I do not know how long the update fad will continue. So long as people pay for it without realizing that it is all just a remake at heart. Or maybe Hollywood will come up with new ideas. The former seems far more likely.
Well, the latest “update” is of Star Trek. There are enough Trekkies in the world to invade a small nation at this point. But I am not among them. I certainly know who all the characters are, and I know enough to make a redshirt joke. But that is really as far as it goes. I have always found the material far to campish to ever be taken seriously. Nothing about the material does anything to connect to me on an emotional level. Watching the old show, I get the strange sense that I am watching B-rated actors play around on a set. This is never a good sign. If I am aware that I am watching actors, than the material has failed.
But there are many who love Star Trek. Luckily, J.J. Abrams is among them. I deeply admired Cloverfield for recreating a dead genre. Perhaps he could use his skills here.
The result? A mixed bag. It does solve the problem of emotional involvement. The actors are far superior to their original counterparts. Plus it was amusing to see all the pieces fall into place. The younger people act like their older counterparts. This success can especially be seen in Leonard Nimoy’s cameo. Abrams was clearly passionate about the material. This passion blazes throughout the run time. It is always a pleasantry to see a director passionate about the material.
But at the end of the day, it doesn’t take us to places we have not been before (despite it’s claim). Audiences have seen this all before. Sure, no other Star Trek movie has ever done it this well. But I was hoping for some sort of new ground broken. It wasn’t that. A big bad was created, he was defeated, and the crew goes off on a new adventure. How formulaic can you get? I understand the need to appeal to fans. I guess that’s why the filmmakers kept the space opera motif and kept the characters caricatures and the science weak.
Oh, do I even need to mention the science? It’s junk. I am not even a scientist and can recognize junk. For one, black holes do not operate that way. Plus, time travel paradoxes, light speed, the whole thing with the teleporters…the list goes on and on. Sometimes it was a tad too distracting. But it is important.
But the more pressing matter still involves the material. I kept wishing that the material, time and time again, would take me someplace new. Anything. It does not. It is one thing to be surprised. It is quite another to be disappointed. Most reboots have managed to discover something new with the material. The Star Trek reboot only proves one thing: the space opera has officially gone as far as it can possibly go.
Besides, it is possible to do something different with the space opera. Serenity did it. Maybe that’s what I wanted. I wanted Star Trek to be more like Serenity. Of course, this was never an option. For what it does, it does it very well. Maybe sometimes I should just take the spectacle for what it is. Besides, I have a feeling the summer season is going to get a lot worse than this. So, yes, go see it and enjoy. Just don’t expect it to drop a bomb…it merely launches a bottle rocket.