Warning: Anthony Lane lovefest ahead.
Seven hours ago, the New Yorker made my Saturday and put Anthony Lane’s review of “Star Trek” online. The accompanying illustration is by Istvan Banyai, who sounds like he’s someone who ran away from the U.S.S. Enterprise (“which looks like a dozen Philippe Starck lemon squeezers clumped together and dipped in squid ink”). Considering all the stuff that’s happening aboard that ship, I’m not surprised.
In the midst of this, the doting parents find time, over the airwaves, to have one of those “No, darling, what would you like to call the baby?” conversations that bring so much joy to interstellar couples everywhere. Their first thought is Tiberius, which, given that the Romulan captain is named Nero (Eric Bana), suggests a delightful rerun of first-century imperial Rome, complete with a new Caligula cavorting in zero gravity. In the end, though, they play it safe and go for James.
Only Anthony Lane can tuck in references to Shakespeare and Dickens into a JJ Abrams creation. Bless.
Shakespeare could have kicked off with a flashback in which the infant Hamlet is seen wailing with indecision as to which of Gertrude’s breasts he should latch onto, but would it really have helped us to grasp the dithering prince?
I wish I’d come up with this question when my professor was sinking deeper and deeper into Freudian readings of “Hamlet”.
Note the fluent ease and elegance with which he tucks in the word “dickhead” into the review without sounding like he’s a freckled 14-year-old.
I thoroughly approved of his bedding an extraterrestrial female with green skin, eco-sex being all the rage two centuries from now, but that is the only downtime afforded by the recklessly rolling plot, although Jim still manages to defy the continuity team and switch hair color from dirty blond to redhead and back again. Don’t worry, he’s still a natural dickhead underneath.
God bless bad movies. If they didn’t offer themselves up to being ripped apart, reviewing and reading reviews would be such a drab affair.