Saturday, April 13, 2013

A ROTTEN TOMATO: Star Trek: The Motion Picture

Ugh, what a drag. After the thrilling cinematic experience of 2009's Star Trek reboot, I was curious to compare to it the original film. Unfortunately, this 1979 relic didn't hold up well for me. Considering this film came after "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", it's strange and frankly disappointing that it comes across as so much more dated than its sci-fi predecessors. Granted, there are some cool visual effects images, but otherwise it fell flat.
The main problem is that the film seems to be completely in love with its own mythology, rather than creating an engaging story. In the opening, there is a long sequence where all we see is Captain Kirk (played by William Shatner) gazing admirably as he approaches his beloved spaceship. Combined with the lovely music and shots of the ship, it starts out majestic but soon becomes self-indulgent. Much of the plot(what is this movie about anyway?) is similarly navel-gazing and its obvious that they were clearly pandering to the Trekkies. Unfortunately, I have no deep attachment to this franchise so it failed to pique my interest. Case in point, I was dumbfounded that there is no action in the film! It really became tedious and in the end, made me wonder what was the point of it all. If this is the "true" concept of Star Trek then sorry, I'd rather take J.J. Abrams' "inauthentic" interpretation any day.


  1. LOL, I remember loving these movies as a kid! I watched them again when I was in my mid-teens and loathed them! Abrams reboot was much needed.

  2. I've been a Trek fan for a long time but I actually just watched this film for the first time this year. I feel like, after the remake, there's definitely two kinds of Trek. The first kind would be a film like this (cerebral) and the latter would be the remake (slick and action-filled). Something like Wrath of Khan is somewhere in between (that's my favorite of the Trek movies) sort of cerebral but a good bit of adventure and action. I think Roddenberry was intentionally trying to make this first film very deep and science-y. See here -

    This is definitely not my favorite Trek movie but I still enjoyed it. I'm biased! :)

    1. I was hoping for more excitement out of this one. Perhaps if I had expected something so cerebral, I would have appreciated it more.

      That being said, I just watched Star Trek II and thought it was fantastic!