Star Trek by the Minute 006
Previous: STbtM 005
We are on the bridge of the evil ship, Capt. Robau answers his captor's question with: "I am unfamiliar with Ambassador Spock." OK, while it may be true, it is unhelpful and an incredibly stupid response that we would not accept from a 19 year old intern answering phones for two-bit software firms in the year 2009, yet this dialogue is supposed to be coming from a ship captain? Did I mention this is not the skipper of a Pentaran mining shuttle? This command sits in the big chair for a top-of-the-line starship on a deep space exploration mission, in a future with what we hope is a passable education system. As might have been said in a performance review feedback for corrective action: "The correct response, Captain Robau, is to offer to assistance in finding the information or a resource that can provide an answer if there is one, or offer assistance in formulating options if there an answer is unavailable. Is that clear?"
For no reason, the Romulan then asks: "What is the current stardate?" which is beyond explanation. Did the Romulans suddenly decide to ignore their quest for vengeance against Spock? If they did have a major update to their information, they must realize they reappeard from a black hole (ridiculous) far in time and space from when they entered. If they wanted confirmation of their time and location requesting information about Spock and his ship make no sense. Robau replies: "Stardate? 2233.04. Where are you from?" Captain Nero decides he's had enough chatter via his intermediary and opens the cool switchblade tip on his spear, howls, and leaps toward the Captain - apparently Robau got the point. J
Now, as I recall from my single, torturous viewing, Nero went back in time and was after Spock because Romulus had been destroyed. Let's put ourselves in this situation: we've seen a horrible disaster like this, after which something inexplicable occurs and we are transported back in time prior to the catastrophe. What would you, I, or anyone do? Might we follow the most basic instinct for survival and act to avoid it? Discovering we now can easily save our entire world, families, and everything which was lost would be, well, "good" wouldn't it? No, J.J. Abrams doesn't want characters who are so predictable, he wants excitement and grittiness! His characters are full of surprises, and Nero is no exception. Rather than the typical celebration that one might expect at what everyone else would consider a miraculous answer to one's most heartfelt prayers, Nero flies into a rage and murders Robau, the bringer of the great news. This is silly, nonsensical writing.
Back on the Kelvin bridge, where everyone has been uselessly staring at a new, more anatomically correct schematic of Robau, that visual goes red and "TERMINATED" is overlaid in bright red caps. Great graphic for a sci fi movie tie-in, terrible for medical accuracy or sensibility. Exactly what was terminated? The data feed? Respiration? Did the pulse rate drop to zero? Silly.
A bridge officer announces, "Sir, they locked on our signal. They're launching again!" Capt. George Kirk calls for "Bravo six maneuver, fire full…" and the rest of the order is obscured by explosions as we cut to the exterior battle scene where we see a massive barrage from a dozen or more phasers and pulse cannons shooting at the enemy ship, and that's only from one side of the Kelvin's saucer section. The canon on this was clear: phasers are powered by the warp drive – without access to the kind of energy the main engines produce, only torpedoes are available, and I don't recall any mention or visuals of torpedoes aboard or used by the Kelvin. Where is all that energy coming from which powers all this firing? It's a miracle!
We see the "top" of the saucer show damage or destruction on about 30% of its surface. The ship shown doesn't even appear habitable, much less capable of any real operations, much less any type of combat, much less launching an attack against a vastly superior enemy. How is this possible? It's a miracle!
We see several explosions inside the Kelvin, including bridge panels exploding, downing crew members. An overhead panel bursts with smoke and sparks just over the Captain's chair and the bridge fills with smoke and sparks as Kirk jumps out of the command chair in what looks to be an effort to check the downed crew as he declares: "I'm initiating General Order 13, we're evacuating!"
We see a pregnant woman in a wheelchair who says: "That's George's voice, What's happening?" as she is pushed quickly out by a medical team. A woman on the med team announces "We'll deliver in the shuttle, go!" I suppose this comment is slightly plausible, but one would think that they would have announced this when deciding to evacuate, since it would effect what they brought from sickbay. It seems to make little sense to say this when preparations are done and the group is already jogging down the passageway, where Minute 006 ends.
Looking at this segment and the preceding, at some point all these miracles and inconsistencies appear to abuse viewers. I don't want to be petty and nitpick, especially a Trek film – rather I want to get swept away by a great story to a place I've never been on a grand adventure. But when there's no sensibility, no consistency, and the plot is advanced without plausible cause and effect events in a narrative believable for the universe in which it is set, one feels somehow insulted by the film. This feeling persists regardless of how pretty the actors, how grand the music, and how good the special effects look. In fact, better production highlights defects, placing them in sharp contrast to the great quality of the presentation.
Perhaps it will get better? Next: STbtM 007