Welcome to the first installment of Five Scene Fixes. Unlike YouTube series like Cinema Sins, that only point the problems, in these posts I will look at popular media (movies mostly) that while good (or sometimes bad) could have been made great with just minor adjustments. I will try and limit these "fixes" to only what was seen in the original releases, keeping track of subsequent director's cuts and extended editions will only complicate matters. Some of these fixes will be minor, others may call for the complete rewriting of the scene, but sometimes even a throw away line can be enough to make a giant plot hole disappear.
Before we get started on the minor fixes that would have made this movie better, let me put this forward. I like Star Trek, I am not a huge Trek fan, growing up on Star Wars myself, but I always enjoyed Star Trek for what it was, a great platform for writers to tell allegorical sci-fi stories. It could almost be treated as an anthology series similar to the Twilight Zone, if it did not have a recurring cast of characters. Those characters and stories became iconic in sci-fi and helped to establish many of the sci-fi tropes we know and love today. When I first heard about the reboot I had no issue with it, assuming it was done with respect to the original vision of the creator, Gene Roddenberry.
Don't get me wrong, Star Trek 2009 is not a bad movie. It just left some large plotholes in there and could have been made that much better with just a little work, or by adding just a few lines. One of the biggest complaints that I know many people had with the movie was Kirk's precipitous rise to captaincy from being, basically a delinquent with zero space time under his belt prior to entering starfleet. So let's get to the fixes:
#1: The Bar Scene; Add in a line from Pike about how Kirk served on a civilian or Star Trek Merchant Marine type ship, maybe even made Executive Officer and was recommended to Starfleet by the captain. This would also be a nice place to drop a nod to the original series, by naming another civilian ship captain.
#2: The shipyard: There was no reason to show the almost completed Enterprise on the ground. It would have been just as effective to show the major hull pieces of the Enterprise on the ground, for later assembly in orbit. This is more a design level discussion, and the design of the NuTrek Enterprise has never sat well with me.
#3: The Transwarp Transporter: Sorry but just inputting an algorithm would not make the transport due what they needed, actual code would be required, and probably some physical alteration. Adding just a shot of the transporter exploding after use might actually suffice to ram this home, and a line from Scotty about how he's been souping up the transporter as well.
#4: The Core Ejection. Simple Fix, don't eject the core, but the Antimatter Reserves. (I said some of these were simple fixes).
#5: This one is not a scene fix so much as a design issue. I have always despised the design of the ships in this film. The exterior of the Enterprise, while similar to the original, was just too flowing, and it had numerous size discrepancy issues. The biggest failure however was to the interior designs. Modern ships are designed around compartmentalization, keeping spaces only as large as necessary in case of hull breaches. A ship like the Enterprise would be similarly designed. Filming in a brewery might have been necessary for budgetary reasons, but adding in some digital walls would have helped to a great degree. The vast open chambers of the engineer deck just hurt any suspension of disbelief. Nero's ship was even worse with the whole interior not appearing to have any interior walls.
Like I said, some films don't need much in terms of fixes, the next NuTrek film however, that one was a mess. That being said, I loved Star Trek Beyond.