If you follow movies or Star Trek, you’ve probably heard that Quentin Tarantino is working on the fourth Star Trek movie of the rebooted universe. Quentin Tarantino is going to be awful for Star Trek because he’s an awful person who makes self-indulgent, exploitive and mediocre movies.
Watch Pulp Fiction. I mean, really watch Pulp Fiction. Not as an exercise in early-90’s narrative deconstruction or a study piece for zippy dialogue, but as a movie with a beginning, middle and end, a plot, and characters. What the fuck is this movie about? Yes, it gave us Jules, but I think Pulp Fiction is just an excuse for Quentin Tarantino (not the character he’s playing, because he’s very obviously just being himself) to say “dead nigger storage,” not once, but twice. I was mildly entertained by it the first time I watched it because I always came in for the third act. It was years before I saw the whole movie, and afterwards I thought to myself, “This is what everyone raves about?”
I wasn’t impressed enough with Pulp Fiction to watch any other Tarantino movie. I skipped Jackie Brown, Kill Bill, Reservoir Dogs, and everything else he made until Inglorious Basterds in 2009. Again, maybe I saw a different movie, but Inglorious Basterds was overlong revenge porn with the Tarantino Touch: mining the culture and history of other people for context for his exercises in violence. I was so disappointed by Inglorious Basterds that I said I wouldn’t watch any more Tarantino movies.
That means I won’t be watching his Star Trek movie. I love Star Trek more than any other franchise, but I don’t love it enough to force myself to sit through nonsense. I still haven’t seen Star Trek Beyond because Into Darkness was so bad. There are a lot of complaints to make about the Abramsverses’ approach to Star Trek, but at its core is a fundamental misreading of James T. Kirk. Chris Pine has been made to play Kirk as a womanizing hothead who breaks the rules to get the job done. That couldn’t be further from who James Kirk was in The Original Series (TOS). That reading is based on what essentially boils down to memes of Kirk kissing a bunch of women, and misunderstanding the TOS movie trilogy of Wrath of Khan, Search for Spock and The Voyage Home (I have A LOT to say about this, but I won’t bore you here with it).
Those problems are going to be compounded by Tarantino, who has misread every culture he’s cribbed from during his improbably successful career. He’s expressed interest in doing a big-screen remake of “The City on the Edge of Forever,” widely considered the best episode of TOS. I am certain that Tarantino will misinterpret what that episode is actually about and pour his psychic bullshit onto the Star Trek canvas. Don’t get me wrong- I’m completely open to the idea of a rated R Star Trek, and diversifying the tone and style of the franchise with different stories aimed at different audiences. Just please, please, don’t let Tarantino make one of those stories, because it’s going to suck.