Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Too much number 2 and not enough Kahaani!

So I had the misfortune of watching yet another Vidya Balan movie…sigh.

Ever since she has put on weight and worn less clothes to make a disappointing biopic, she has been elevated to a demi goddess in our world of untalented cast of abs and legs, what we call Bollywood. On the other hand, there is Scarlett Johansson who gained 30 pounds, shaved off her eyebrows, won an Oscar and is currently the hottest Avenger……just saying!

Based on some feedback about how amaze-balls Kahaani was, the director obviously wanted to ruin it and decided to make a sequel, and now, not only have they messed it up, they have ensured that I never watch any more Vidya Balan movies, ever again!

The movie is so predictable that it defeats the purpose of being categorized as a ‘suspense/thriller’, so I will just tag this under family drama. Single mother Vidya Sinha (Vidya Balan) has but one dream, and that is to see her waist down paralyzed teenage daughter, Minnie (Tunisha Sharma/Naisha Khanna) walk. Vidya works as a small time clerk in a nearby school, trying to save money so that she can take Minnie to the US to get operated. The movie kicks off when Minnie is kidnapped and Vidya gets a phone call asking her to show up at a pre-determined time and location to see her daughter. Being the calm, composed and rational person that she is, Vidya jumps in front of a cab, falling (yet again) into a coma. (and yes, this is the reason the movie is called Kahaani 2, because the lead is not Vidya Balan, but coma).

Enter sub-inspector Inderjeet Singh (Arjun Rampal…I don’t care what you think…. drool!!) Inderjeet recognizes the woman in a coma as Durga Rani Singh, a criminal wanted for kidnapping and murder. (dah dah daaah!!) Inderjeet does some fascinating detective work, finds Vidya’s diary (cause yes, that’s just how school clerks roll!) and reads about her life. He finds out that Vidya was obsessed with a kid named Minnie who was punished daily for sleeping in class. Vidya befriends Minnie to find out the root cause of her narcolepsy. One thing leads to another and it turns out Minnie is spending too much of her sleep time with her pedophilic uncle Mohit Dewan (the long forgotten Jugal Hansraj). Arguments ensue and Minnie ends up jumping off the roof which leads her becoming paralyzed waist below…. soooo yes, Vidya’s daughter is the school kid Minnie. (Yawn!)

I won’t go more into the story because I feel the rest is something Minnie wrote herself.

Now I’m not too sure if our directors have some certifications or a degree or some sort of license that allows them to direct movies, but Sujoy Ghosh needs his, revoked and should commit to doing some community service as a punishment for the devastation he has caused by holding a camera. He might have been lucky with Jhankaar Beats, since it didn’t make me claw my eyes out, but movies like Home Delivery and Aladin are so painful that even their trailers hurt my head. He has delivered a below mediocre movie and has definitely used trained penguins to write the script.

As far as the acting goes, Vidya Balan needs a reality check. The last good thing she did was probably Hum Paanch and yes, Paa and Ishqiya might salvage her some pride. However, I still refuse to believe that The Dirty Picture was a movie worth watching. Her performance ranks right up the rest, forgettable and asinine.  Arjun Rampal does a decent job of a duty bound police officer and a loyal husband, but let’s face it, he hasn’t done anything that qualifies him as a real actor. Jugal Hansraj is …well…Jugal Hansraj, don’t even know if there is much I could say about him. The rest of the cast do their part time roles as best as the sad and disappointing script allows them to.

I haven’t seen Kahaani 1, but based on the awesome reviews and the hullaballoo around it I will take a safe bet and assume that it is head and shoulders above this one, and extrapolating this performance -if there is a Kahaani 3, then it could be identified as the beginning of the decline of our civilization.

The movie lacks everything to be tagged as a thriller and falls ridiculously short of expectations. As the movie progresses the pace slackens to a level where you think it might start moving backwards. And a special mention to the ending which makes The Jackass movie seem like Schindler’s List. Not sure what Sujoy Ghosh (also the writer) thought of the masses in this country, but I assume he considers all of us to be mentally less developed than a 7-year-old.

I just pray this is the end of Ghosh’s career since I am not paying a paise more to watch his farts on screen.

Advertisements

The Bronze is Golden

Sundance movies have a “feel good” factor about them, and this is clearly visible in every aspect and every moment in the reel of pretty much every movie they show. The Bronze is no different in this regard.

The Bronze is the story is about a former Olympic medalist (not a true life story) who is struggling to move on with her life. Hope Ann Gregory (Melissa Rauch, or better known as Bernadette from the Big Bang Theory), is an extremely crass and bad mouthed ex-Olympic gymnast who hasn’t’ really moved on from her 15 minutes of fame. A decade ago, Hope landed a flawless beam dismount despite having an injury in her Achilles heel and till date gets off on it! (Literally!) She parades around her small, podunk town of Amherst, Ohio in her USA outfit owning her celebrity status, as she is a regular at a local mall and the diner where she never pays for anything and has drink and food specials in her honor.

As a result of her foul mouth and pretty horrible attitude towards everyone around her, she still lives with her father Stan (played by the often under-appreciated Gary Cole), who is trying hard to tread the fine line between being a responsible father and slapping the teeth off his obnoxious daughter. In an effort to get her out of the house, he fakes a letter from Hope’s Olympic coach who has committed suicide and claims that she has left a will, stipulating Hope could receive $500 million so as long as she sets her ego aside, and trains the town’s up-and-coming gymnastics star, Maggie Townsend (the vivacious Haley Lu Richardson).

Tossed up between her want to milk her fame in her small town versus the possibility of losing her fame in exchange for 500 big ones, Hope has to decide and strategize her next steps. Will she train the new incumbent and step aside from her fame or will she burn the youngster? (It’s not a tough decision is it? J )

The film is satirical but not comic satire per se and this isn’t a movie like Office Space and obviously it won’t win any awards either, however it does have what you call a high level of ‘re-watchability’ and some of its one liners are absolute gems. The opening scene for one sets the outrageous tone and hats off to Melissa and her partner in crime (and life) Winston Rauch for writing something silly and intangibly wonderful.

The cast isn’t stellar but they are somehow apt for this low budget indie film. Melissa is the heart and soul of the movie and is competently backed up by Cole, Richardson and the rest of the cast. Special mention to Twitchy Ben (Thomas Middleditch of Silicon Valley fame) who plays the sweet guy and burgeoning love interest of Hope and does his best to pull her away from the dark side.

Bryan Buckley (of Asad fame) has done a decent job in his direction of this R rated comedy. However, if truth be told, the movie is carried on the petite yet powerful Melissa Rauch and her impeccable dialogue delivery with her poker face profanity-spewing-tongue.

If you break the story down to its basic elements, you will realize that there is nothing new in it. Evil ogre turns into village saving hero. But what really works for the movie is how it has been handled. A basic concept directed well and a script written funnily enough to ensure the audience does get its money’s worth of laughs. Throw in the aforementioned talent who all enact their parts to perfection and you somehow have a mix that breathes life into a resuscitated storyline making it entertaining and a reliable ‘sports’ movie.

The only downside of the movie is something I haven’t been able to pin so far. The movie is worth a watch, but the more you think about it, the more you realize, that the movie had the potential to be a Gold, but falls short …agonizingly so and thus gets a Bronze. (My sense of humor needs work, I know!)

It could be the lack of a stronger story or maybe the screen presence of someone more iconic, but the movie falls short at a certain level and maybe that is why it isn’t up there with Office Space or even Dodgeball or Blades of Glory.

With dialogues that would make a sailor blush and a scenes that will burn hysterically disturbing imagery in your mind for life, I wouldn’t recommend this to someone who is easily offended. But, if you’ve got the skin for it, I can’t recommend this comedy more.

 

Wilderpeople are the best!

There is a certain element about movies that are released in Sundance. They have this part-emotional, part-humorous, part-sentimental and yet overall a very happy-go-lucky feel to them, and the best part about these movies is the sweet after-taste they leave, that is etched in your memory long after you have watched them.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople fits this genre ….to use a cliché…..like a glove!

Refreshing concept, the story starts with the introduction of the movie’s lead Ricky (Julian Dennison) aka ‘A Bad Egg’J.

Ricky is a hip-hop loving, haiku writing gangsta who is currently with child protection services after jumping a few homes and is finally dropped, on the laps of Bella (Rime Te Wiata) and Hec (Sam Neill), by his batty child-services worker Paula (Rachel House). Ricky begins to adapt to his new home and is slowly settling in, but tragedy strikes when Bella unexpectedly passes away and the child services agency is now no longer okay leaving Ricky solely with Hector. So it becomes family hunting time for Ricky again. Ricky, however is no longer interested in going back to the city since he knows that his future (based on his past) will lead him straight to juvenile detention. Ricky thus escapes to “The Bush” (a million hectares of dense forest with little to no contact with civilization) and Hec goes chasing him. Once Hec comes to his eventual rescue, an accident strands the pair, causing Paula to believe that Hec has kidnapped the boy.

Thus begins the cat and mouse game and the Hunt for the Wilderpeople.

For starters, the cast is brilliant. The lead Julian Dennison, who is in his third movie, shows acting skills far beyond his age and is delightful as problem child, Ricky. His confused teenage self: a self-reliant yet dependent boy, creating a façade of emotional strength hiding his innate need and desire to be loved by someone is beautifully depicted and poignant.

His care takers/foster parents Bella (Rime Te Wiata) as the big hearted motherly loving types really does a heart-warming job and Hec (Sam Neill of Jurassic Park fame) as the crotchety ex-con bushman excels in his performance of a man trying to stay away from the deliquent but who eventually gets drawn to Ricky’s innocence. A special mention goes to the nutty child-services worker Paula (Rachel House) who acts as the love child of Rambo in SWAT gear with the attitude of a bad Robocop. J

Directed by Taika Waititi, who has this distinctive family-adult brand of humor, which was the highlight of his vampire mockumentary “What We Do in the Shadows”, brings his finesse to the movie and it is such a fresh delight. The comedy in “Wilderpeople” is quieter than his mockumentary, which makes the story ‘real’. I honestly can’t wait for his mainstream “debut” with the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok. His ability to balance humor and action, fits perfectly with the Marvel superhero and here’s hoping him well with the same.

One of the insights I realized was how the movie touches upon an aspect of life, which is an addendum to its flavor. It highlights how past actions dictate the future, it shows the meaning to freedom and how people who need to break free from their past struggle to do so at times, and due to which their future actions are pre-determined by forces beyond their control. The film gives hope to those who believe that freedom is possible and we are in control of our own destiny.

On one end, Wilderpeople showcases a hilariously intensified world. On the other end, it might nullify the ‘people’ aspect of it seeing that it engages in reductio ad absurdum, but it’s mitigated by a strong sense of warmth, sweetness and humanity pervading the entire film. In short, I’d recommend you find the DVD version, flame up a bag of popcorn and chill on a Sunday afternoon watching the Wilderpeople. J

Dhoni’s untold story….remains untold!

Right of the bat and this is one of the times that phrase is perfectly appropriate, Dhoni is a legend among men, I’m not a fan-boy nor some Dhoni-bhakt, but an avid sports fan and I can differentiate between the good, bad, and the ugly in sports and Dhoni is definitely the good.

The movie is probably a decent reflection of him, but in no way is “him”. Bollywood has issues, deep rooted issues in making movies. Our weakest ability, perhaps lies in our incompetence in spinning a yarn and this is best depicted in our biopics and how shoddily we treat them. Movies likes The Dirty Picture, Mangal Pandey, Main Aur Charles, The Legend of Bhagat Singh, Jodhaa Akbar, Sarabjit are all recent (shoddy) attempts at making biopics, personally I believe sports movies bear the brunt of this substandard film making and movies like Bhaag Milka Bhaag, Azhar, Mary Kom, and well….Dhoni, highlight how we just can’t accept a story without masala in it!

Dhoni’s story has all the elements of a great sports biopic. A kid from a small town with dreams so big that they could swallow his city whole, added to this is his gritty determination coupled with a never say die attitude and an unwavering self-belief topped off with a calm composed confident demeanor that oozes credence and has this capacity to trickle to the 1 billion people who watch the sport as a religion. Welcome to the Dhoni show.

To start with, the movie is stolen by the lead. Sushant Singh Rajput is by and far the best thing about this 3 hour epic. Sushant Singh Rajput has spent time and effort in ape-ing our captain cool and the results are clearly visible. The walk, the talk and the approach is all something that SSR has spent hours and probably months practicing and on the 30th of September, he could pass off as a body double for Dhoni.

Although SSR monopolizes the screen time, the supporting cast does a decent job. From Anupam Kher, as the middle class father of a boy who cannot fathom sports as a career to his mother, who cares only about her son’s happiness and from whom flows his belief of being a success someday in the future. From his sister (Bhoomika Chawla) who believes he will grow up to be a big man (Read as “RM in Railways”) one day to his friends (honestly too many to name) who are his support system and his biggest supporters. The supporting cast is fabulous. The gorgeous Dishan Patani who acts as Dhoni’s first love and Kiara Advani who eventually becomes Mrs. Dhoni aka Sakshi Singh Dhoni unfortunately are the ones who really kill the movie. (Though in due regard, it is no fault of theirs).

Whilst we could have seen a little more about the ‘behind the scenes’ of Dhoni’s decisions to remove senior players, or the path he took to become the Indian team captain or probably a few more juicy tid-bits which surround his aura, the movie takes a horrible and unrequired detour to map his love interest which in all honesty was just about as juicy as the stale momos we ate at the theatre. However if one were to judge basis purely acting skills the cast does a great job and although I have missed a few more of the key cast members, they are in no way a lesser part of the movie. (Just due to a limited word restriction that I skip them here.)

Neeraj Pandey is an enigma for me. The director of movies like A Wednesday, Special 26 and Baby which are thrillers and pretty darn good, he took on the colossal task of recreating a national icon’s life in reel and ended up with a mixed bag. Simply put, the first half shows why Neeraj Pandey is one of the best directors in the country and the second half shows why Neeraj Pandey should never be given the camera to make a love story. Though, credit where its due and Neeraj’s style of shooting makes the movie really look like a sport drama, the continuous shots, the focus on the field and the timing of the shots is impeccable.

A special mention to the screen play writer(s) who did an honest to goodness job with the story and stuck to it as far as possible. This is where the movie is better than Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. A huge credit to SSR for his immense hard work and dedication for portraying Dhoni from the D to the I and this where the movie is better than Mary Kom. (I’m not going to compare Azhar since even Raaz 2 was a far superior movie as compared and that is saying something!)

Overall, the movie isn’t as great as it could have been. Following its strong first half, the movie collapses dramatically in the second half. The story lacks that certain punch that keeps the audience engaged and it is during THIS half when you start to look at your watch and realize “This is a very long movie!!” As a slight additional negative to the movie are the weak special effects, where SSR’s face is forcefully transposed in places, which do take away a little from the movie. Though it’s a small flaw and can be overlooked.

A good sports biopic ideally should be balanced and the movie does score on all aspects. It’s a good encapsulation of Sports, Drama, Emotion, Action, Suspense and Thrill. The movie is more than just a biopic and it is more an ode to friendship, to standing tall in the face of adversity and struggle, about dealing with responsibility, making compromises and “playing each ball on its merit” and all this, is the first half. The second is sheer crap.

I’d recommend for some of you to wait till it comes on the television and save yourself some money.

Don’t Miss Don’t Breathe

Right off the bat, I’m not a huge fan of the horror/thriller genre. Although I’ve seen the Jason series, gone through most of the Freddy Kruger list and even convinced myself to see 5 of the 7 Saw flicks, ll to stay with the list and less fun-tertainment.

Thus, in an attempt to branch myself out, I decided to invest time and money and watch the latest thriller flick, Don’t Breathe…and in all honesty it paid off.

Let us start with the basic question; what makes a thriller good/worth watching? The answer is simple à It is the suspense, the nail-biting, tense situations that have the audience at the edge of their seats at all times. And I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that this film delivers just that.

Don’t Breathe is a superb told story about a trio of thieves who find out about a massive fortune in the house of a blind man and plan to break into the house and relive him of his money. Blind, old man living in a dilapidated house in a deserted neighborhood with little to no police protection or home security. Piece of cake right? (BUZZER SOUNDS)…Wrong!! What they walk into, pretty much …. Takes your breath away. (See what I did there :D)

The three thieves ,a blind man armed with his small dog (a Rottweiler) make for an enthralling cat and mouse game, all shot in a small two story + basement house. And you sit on the edge of your seat (or in the case of my wife, below the seat) in the theater, literally holding your breath, sweating, nervous, breathing ever so slowly, glued to the 70 mm screen waiting for the next move.

The cast is decently picked and most are relatively new. Stephen Lang who acts as the not-so-helpless blind man is brilliant in his role and his presence sends shivers down your spine. Jane Levy (well known for her lead role in Suburgatory) does well as the scared, yet determined burglar Rocky, who has decided she won’t die in that house. Dylan Minnette as Alex and Daniel Zovatto as Money make up the remainder of the cast and both do enough in their roles. All the newbies are put through hell and their performances sell their petrifying ordeal compellingly.

Don’t Breathe is a masterclass in camera work and direction and, I’m pleasantly surprised at Fede Alvarez (Director) who’s only known work is the Evil Dead remake that released 3 years ago. Fede manages to keep the shots discernible, doesn’t jiggle the camera like it’s a toilet handle and sticks to the story like gospel. While the setup is a little too pedestrian, albeit economical, once the story gets rolling, the film doesn’t let up, running at a sinewy 88 minutes. The movie is a wonderful display of cinematic creativity and one of its strongest points is the sound design and the creativity in it.

Personally speaking, one of the best-selling points of the movie is the blurry line between good and evil. Almost all movies have that concept netted out impeccably, however Fede manages to write a complex story brilliantly where every character (even the dog), has moments of sympathy and compassion, as well as moments of scorn and disdain. You end up alternately feeling empathy and condescension, as the lines between hero and villain, antihero and anti-villain become progressively blurred. Not an easy feat to achieve and full marks to Fede and Rodo Sayagues for their thought provoking and brilliantly written story.

So in conclusion, Don’t Breathe is definitely not the scariest film of the year, but it is unique and very well directed and it holds true to its title. My recommendation would be to catch this flick before it leaves the theaters.

 

Khiladi misses his mark!

To all those who know me, would know the amount of effort it takes me to part with my money for a Bollywood movie. It is not snobby, it is just that there is a limited amount of song and dance I can take in a movie.

So in this case something went wrong!

We are all (at least by now) aware of the whole Nanavati shooting case and the resultant media hyperbole. So when Rajiv Bhatia aka Akshay Kumar decided to make a movie about something this fascinating, I admit I was caught in the wave. Throw in the fact that Akshay K. has been critically acclaimed for his recent string of movies like Baby, Airlift, Holiday, Special 26, Oh My God etc., curiosity got the better of me and unfortunately it is this curiosity which killed the cat/my brain.

Bollywood can’t do without extras. Be it in dance sequences, where random girls wear short clothes of the same color and dance behind a female lead wearing even shorter clothes (but always of a different color), or action sequences, where big guys try and fight the lead but their punches land a mile from his body or (alas) a “true” story, where despite the story already being written out, writers have to go and muck up the truth to make it more appealing for the masses. (Or this is the excuse I have read/heard each time)

Rustom had all the elements needed for a brilliant movie. A story of love, betrayal, murder, the armed forces, courtroom drama and no “mein tumahre bachche ke maa banne waali hu” crap. Then where did it all go wrong?

……

Rustom Pavri (the infallible Akshay Kumar) is a decorated naval officer who finds out his wife Cynthia Pavri (the glycerin addicted Ileana) is having an affair with his friend Vikram Makhija (the man with limited talent, Arjan Bajwa).  Upset, but still able to think rationally (Naval training you know!) Rustom, heads to Vikram’s house and shoots him with the revolver provided by the Indian Navy. Rustom turns himself in and the movie moves to a courtroom drama and media frenzy ensues mixed with a wee bit of regionalism. Now despite the disclaimer (which is what gave the director the reason to muck up the picture) the movie is still got the basics right and somehow this is what makes it worse.

The movie at the end of its two and a half hours, doesn’t leave you with a feeling of satisfaction but more with a “Why did I watch this? Reading the story on Wikipedia was more interesting”. And if we all believe that books can never be as good as the movie, then how bad a director are you when your movie is worse than a Wikipedia page?

Akshay Kumar is the only saving grace! He is the Will Smith of Bollywood. Movies starring him are made…FOR him. I would assume he takes about 80% of the screen time whilst the rest of the cast act as puny cogs working in the shadow of the behemoth. Ileana, I think has about 3 dialogues in the first 90 min and probably 20 more in the last 60 min. Her time is spent in trying to wear clothes that give her the look of a 1950’s stylish woman and based on her crying, is ready to OD on glycerin. Esha Gupta who acts as Preety Makhija (Vikram’s sister), on the other hand thinks she is dressed for a Tim Burton meets David Lynch movie, but her look is more 5th Element mixed with the Hitchhikers Guide. In her attempt to appear as a 1950’s flamboyant socialite she ends up forgetting to act. (No! Pouting all the time is not acting). I can only think that she wore those clothes as a favor to her friend who is a failing fashion designer because, real people don’t wear those clothes, not in 1950 and judging by what Priyanka Chopra wore, not in 2050 either. Also kudos to Arjan Bajwa, his acting skills are horrible and he was one of the very few people who did not disappoint. He was shot early saving him the frugality of being a part of this movie for longer.

The weakest link in the movie is the writing and it is so bad that I’d start a petition to have Vipul K Rawal’s desktop, laptop, tablet, mobile, pen, papers, and chalks all taken away from him just for OUR safety. I would go a level ahead by recommending highly pressurized acupuncture procedure to kill his nerve endings and hence his ability to hold a pen, but then I guess this review would be moving to a dark place. Thus for now I’d just recommend we break all his keyboards and pens!

Dharmendra Desai who also worked with Akshay Kumar in Special 26 is somehow unable to recreate the magic here and he has no one else to blame but Vipul. When there is an existing story, why would you write something equivalent to Great Grand Masti? When you have a courtroom drama and you could have made something of the quality of ‘A Few Good Men’, why would you write something that is worse than Jazbaa! (Sorry Ash fans, but you know that movie sucked too!). The courtroom scenes were horribly sketched, making Tareek Metha’s pitiful show seem like Seinfeld.

For those calling this a courtroom drama…shame. For those calling this a murder mystery ….shame and for those rating this movie more than 4/10…..shame …shame (rings the bell).

 

Star Trek Beyond CRAP

Thou’ must ruin a good thing and that’s for sure.

After two stupendous movies where Chris Pine & Zachary Quinto literally flipped the entire Star Trek fan base for doubting them as Kirk & Spock, it has all come crashing down in the end. Money can’t buy class and this movie highlights that. How else could you explain the fact that Paramount spent something to the tune of $185 million and gave a guy who made Fast and the Furious to make a movie with a history spanning back to 50 years?

Justin Lin (director and main culprit responsible) has taken his brand of shiny cars driven really fast by guys wearing their pants way too low and put that in the suave USS Enterprise. The result is something that makes a Chunky Pandey flick look like Schindler’s List. Lin was probably a step below painting the Enterprise red and having yellow flames on its side! Its unimaginable how someone with so little talent can be given the reins of a movie franchise which established its fan base while he was still potty-training. Mr. Lin, Star Trek is a lot more than fast cars and women wearing short skirts dropping their handkerchiefs to kick start a race, and you’d know that if you bothered to see it yourself.

Star Trek is about exploring science fiction concepts and themes through great storytelling, to borrow a quote “To boldly go where no man has gone before”. To help open our minds, to think of the possibilities and widen our imaginations and not watch a video game in 3D.

The story is lame, but with this being a review and all that….. It’s Star Date 2263.2 and Kirk (Chris Pine) is into the third year of the “5 year mission” and is emotionally ‘Lost in Space’. Spock (Zachary Quinto) also receives some unfortunate personal news and that unsettles him. Spock and Uhura are also “on a break”.  Kirk, Spock, Uhura etc. all are in need of a vacation, and Starbase Yorktown appears to be able to offer them that. (Throw in special effects to show an unbelievable location in space.) The reverie is rudely interrupted by the arrival of a frantic alien called Kalara (the gorgeous Lydia Wilson) from the other side of the galaxy. Her crew has been stranded on a remote planet and she needs help to rescue them. Kirk agrees but as most rescue missions go, this one comes up with a roadblock, mainly in the form of the warlord Krall (the brilliant Idris Elba who I feel is wasted in this movie), whose presence as the bad guy in the movie is literally as important as asparagus in a salad! Kirk and his crew now have to rescue themselves and the crew, throw in some more special effects, a random motorcycle and you have Star Trek Beyond.

Star Trek is much more than just a big spaceship racing another spaceship at warp speed and Justin Lin needs to realize that. Star Trek deserves better than Justin Lin. He is definitely not worthy of handling a franchise of this magnitude. For those making me think I am directing too much hate at him….please remember that he didn’t even make the good Fast & Furious movies!! (He made the 3rd, 4th and 5th one!)

Second comes the writing. Simon Pegg writing movies works well ONLY when he stars in them. Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Paul…all brilliant, all silly, all have Pegg as the lead character. They are funny short stories with little, to no brains required and this is Pegg’s niche. Star Trek needs more capable and able bodies to work through its storyline and not a stand-up comic who can write about a zombie infested city which the lead can clear with a baseball bat.

To give an example of the poor writing…THERE IS A MOTORCYCLE ON THE SPACESHIP!!! There is no rhyme or reason for that. Logically thinking, why would there be a motorcycle in OUTER SPACE!!?? Is the captain thinking,” You know we have never been that far out in space…screw the oxygen tanks and probably travel through thick jungles, let me just keep my motorcycle on board…you know….just in case an alien challenges me to a drag race!”

With poor direction and even poorer writing, the movie just falls apart. There was no character development in this movie, which I personally feel has been the best part of the franchise till date. The complex equations between Kirk and Spock, Ka’an and Kirk, Kirk and Bones, Spock and Uhura…etc. are all part of this wonderful science fiction adventure. Unfortunately, in this movie, there was neither a flow nor any character evolution and you do not learn more about anything really. Instead of Kirk, Spock and Scotty you could stick just any name over the protagonists and the movie would have flown the same. The story is loosely tied and the characters are thinly created and I have seen Barbie Dolls with more back story.

Sorry folks, but this movie is literally a waste of time and money.