Monday, May 3, 2010

Star Trek by the Minute 099: Phaser Kicks

Kirk and Spock arrive in a place never before seen in the entertainment industry: a cavernous lair full of vile and dangerous henchmen of the evil mastermind bent on domination and destruction.  Just kidding, it was old even before James Bond visited Crab Key, yet suddenly and without explanation, these Romulans stop speaking the perfect English they have been up til now.

This observation, however, is just to delay discussion of the depressingly predictable shootout which follows – with our heroes evading every shot fired at them while simultaneously showing flawless marksmanship despite running blindly in the absence of any situational awareness, leaping around poorly-lit platforms without any destination in mind, and breathing some alien atmosphere.  One by one, their opponents get reliably phasered to writhing oblivion, despite have spent every day for many years on these decks, in other words: they are as completely helpless to defend their home turf, with their vastly superior weapons and decades of futuristic experience that has enabled them to conquer everything the Klingon Empire could throw at them without breaking a sweat.  In contrast, these unprepared newcomers prance around, randomly frying bad guys with comfortable ease.  Kirk kills one with a shot to the center of his chest immediately, another (possibly the same) goes down with a center chest shot, Kirk kills a third Romulan with another perfect hit in the center of his chest, before  yelling something as he ducks and runs.  Spock then does a flying, twinkle-toes Bolshoi leap and pistol point (click photo above for closeup) between 2 platforms and fires midair, with this "hero" killing a fourth crewman with a shot to his neck - a neck which bursts into flames as the victim screams in pain.  Perhaps this entire film will turn out to be a Matrix-like simulation in the future retcon, and these killers will be absolved, unlike the real world where vets have to spend the rest of their lives living with the inevitable killing of innocents that always accompanies war.  Speaking of real-world fighting, anyone with minimal exposure to armed combat or firing a weapon can tell you how long an unprotected, bunched group of clueless infiltrators would last with the tactics shown in this segment.  In Abrams world, (a narrow slice of corporate America) lack of competence is no impediment to incredible riches.  The screen with Star Trek XI reflects this distorted, arrogant, consequence-free view.

Another chest shot kills the next, victim 6 who also cries out in painful death as our noble Starfleet representatives continue their rampaging death spree, murdering anonymous crewmen 6 and 7.

Kirk and Spock finally take some cover and begin shooting, and contrary to something like 50 years of Trek, we see the phasers actually kicking after being fired, as in Kirks recoil above.   Romulan 8 dies.

Someone reports to Nero, (switching back to perfectly understood English), “Captain, we have Starfleet officers aboard this ship.”  Adding “this” is a pretty stupid way to word the report, as if there could be some confusion regarding another ship we might be considering somewhere that we had previously believed had no Starfleet officers on it?  "Our" or "the" would have made sense if one felt the need to specify "a ship", which is sort of already implied by "aboard" isn't it?  Furthermore, how did this miner happen to determine the rank and organization of some aliens that were dashing through the gloom while shooting at him and every other Romulan in sight?  It seems like pretty stupid writing.

“One of them is Vulcan,” he continues… perhaps he telepathically read Spock’s mind?  Why contradict the prior exposition that Romulans and Vulcans share a common ancestry and are all but indistinguishable?  One wonders what possible explanation could be offered, if not incompetence...

“Noooooo…” gasps Nero before running and yelling down into the ship “Ayel!”

As he continues to run, we see various members of the crew strolling about as if nothing is wrong, in the words of Tyler Durden: “…calm as Hindu cows.”

Of the 11 parts in this segment, none are women.

Groovy new phaser technology is used to assist in the mental rape of a helpless prisoner in Star Trek by the Minute 100: I Gotcha.