Star Trek may still be riding high at the box office, but there's one area where it's lacking, according to (of all places) the Financial Times: It's fashion sense.
The newspaper's Peter Gutierrez enjoyed the movie, but found the visual style somewhat lacking:
As the script makes clear, Vulcans and Romulans share a common ancestry but they also evidently shop at the same stores. Heavily favouring earth tones, the two groups are far less vivid than the Enterprise crew in its golds and blues, let alone those lucky cadets in cardinal red. (The style transformation that takes place upon joining the Enterprise is exemplified by Simon Pegg as Scotty, who migrates from dishevelled DJ to IT professional.) The Romulans sport dusters even in a controlled, presumably dust-free, environment, though the Vulcans' nomadic look is a little more upscale by virtue of their polo-necks. Winona Ryder, aka Spock's human mum, fits their crypto-Asiatic vibe well, sporting something that's a step or two removed from a burka. Of all the cast, Star Fleet's leaders are the worst off, since apparently they are sufficiently powerful to get away with wearing throw rugs.
The movie, Gutierrez argues, is just the latest in a line of science fiction stories where fashion ranks below blandness in order to be "realistic":
Lately it has seemed that minimising the impact of fashion statements in science fiction has become a film industry goal. Who remembers the clothes in Stargate, for example? This is an interesting, if dismaying, development, since style has always mattered more in science fiction than in other genres. At times, for better or worse, it's actually mattered more than anything else.
It's true; where are the outrageous looks of Barbarella or even Battle Beyond The Stars these days? Somehow I doubt that Terminator Salvation is going to full of fabulous clothing, so consider the challenge set, future SF moviemakers: We demand some visual pop to our characters to accompany their dialogue's zing.