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Star Trek: TMP with Tron: Legacy’s Soundtrack

by Lambert Varias

One of the many criticisms against Star Trek: The Motion Picture is its slow as molasses pace, which turns its big reveal almost into a punchline. Video editor Patrick Collins tried his hand at making a concise version of the film, but he didn’t stop there. He heard similarities between the film’s soundtrack and Daft Punk’s score for Tron: Legacy and decided to use the modern soundtrack in his cut.

The results are mixed to say the least. Star Trek: TMP is indeed too long for the story that it wanted to tell, but cutting the film down to 22 minutes is a tall order. Aside from omitting huge plot points – for instance, the foreshadowing tension between Decker and Kirk is nowhere to be found – Patrick’s cuts are too abrupt. Unless you’ve already seen the film, you’re not going to be attached to the characters. Worse, the parts that were left in end up highlighting the film’s other weaknesses, such as the overly long close ups and just generally awful acting.

As for the injection of Tron’s soundtrack, it’s hit or miss at best. The first scene is just jarring, and the strings swelling up when Spock went to explore V’ger drowns out the Vulcan’s lines. It was like the audio wanted to outdo the visual gymnastics unfolding before Spock’s eyes. But in the film’s calmer moments I can see, or rather hear, why Patrick wanted to try this out. The finale works out as well.

Overall I think this is an admirable idea that falls short in its execution. If you haven’t seen the original film, this isn’t going to make you want to see it. But if you have and you loved it, Patrick’s edit is one cool trip down memory lane. Plus it’s worth watching the opening shots just to see the badass title font.

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