Saturday, May 9, 2009

Star Trek Mania

Last night, the newest in the franchise of Star Trek movies was released, and I expected mobs to attend the 7 PM show at Tustin Marketplace. So I did something I normally do not do: I bought tickets online, thinking that there would be hordes of babyboomers and others garbed like Vulcans and Klingons waiting impatiently in line. Instead, there was only one costumed person, in his garish gold Starfleet shirt and communicator button, straight out of the 70s and assorted people about my age with their kids and their kids. Not a full auditorium even; there had been at least 7 showings of the movie already that day.
The buzz was good. This was to be a prequel to the oldest of the Trek shows--with Spock, Kirk, and the others played by fresh young actors who did not (except perhaps in the case of Spock) look so much like the originals as act and sound like them. I liked the concept, and enjoyed the slender plot conceit. But as R. noted, wincing at the ugly and violent previews that played before the film, this was not really the same Star Trek we loved on t.v. or even in earlier films. Rather, it had succumbed to the blow-it-up school of movie science fiction that was actually a thinly garbed revenge fantasy about our real life "war on terror."
Although the dissonance of seeing the young actors with old names piqued my interest (and they really found some likely candidates to play these roles!), what was best about the show was always its ideas, its thoughtfulness... in other words, what is best about science fiction when it works. And that really wasn't here.

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