Written by Radek Belina and directed by Radek Belina and Andela Hermankova, ‘Can’t Stop, A Star Trek Fan Production’ is a fan made short film inspired by the Star Trek universe. The film stars Radek Belina, Petr Malina, Igor Gottwald and others.
Radek Belina plays Captain Glenn Dirk as he and his crew have set off on another adventure into the far reaches of the galaxy. However, an urgent call from central command forces them on a five month vacation in the midst of their mission. Apparently, the crew cannot transfer their vacations to next year so they must take their vacations now. Flabbergasted and bored, the crew will reluctantly resort to concocting shenanigans to pass their time; this includes dance performances, pursuing hobbies and a penchant for killer dress up parties.
Star Trek was always very serious, dealing with morality, existentialism and other heavy subjects such as the dynamics of human thinking. Thus, it is great to see a fan film that flips the script on the franchise’s essence. Amidst the doom and gloom, Starship crews do manage to have fun and the film makes this clear in a near satirical way. Rarely do you expect to see Starship crews knitting or listening to old music but alas, here, we do witness this and so much more.
The acting is very good across the board. The satirical subtext in the script is brilliant and it is extremely entertaining to see the crew deliver their lowkey hilarious lines with a straight face. Radek Belina as the Captain is captivating and Igor Gottwald as his second in command is equally energetic. Amidst all the shenanigans, the film does indeed make some time for a proper villain as well. Zuzana Belinova plays the extradimensional Q and here, the crew is forced to vanquish her boredom or she will annihilate them all.
The team behind the production went all the way and actually built a real life set of the inside of the ship. With no prospects of financial rewards to be extracted from such fan films due to Paramount guidelines, this is a display of the sheer loyalty and extreme devotion of these fans towards the franchise. Studios need to celebrate their fans more (looking at you Disney who has been extremely dismissive towards Star Wars fan films since it took over the franchise a decade ago). Similarly the Starfleet costumes are on point and so is the technical jargon that takes place on the bridge. All in all, this looks and feels exactly like Star Trek; other than the fact that shenanigans and fun have taken over more serious matters.
It is great to see fan films try to make their own way into the convoluted franchise lore. Both Captain James Kirk and Captain Picard are name dropped as is a meeting between Picard and the extra dimensional being Q. Equally impressive are the visual effects which are superior to most other fan films out there thanks to the supervision of Pavel Houska. The ship looks great and the moment it jumps into hyperspace is a sight to behold. The marvel of modern CGI means that even fan films can have near perfect visual effects that look almost as good as the theatrical Star Trek films. Complimenting the visuals is the fantastic sound design which recreates the audience experience of being inside the Starship bridge as accurately as possible.
One must also pause and talk about the delightful songs. The later half of the film turns into a musical with two pieces, each perfectly choreographed and synched, showcasing the cast’s massive talents for the performing arts. For a 27 minute short, the film manages to cover everything without getting boring in the slightest. Director Radek Belina keeps things moving briskly and the unexpected turn of events in the story manages to keep us, the audience hooked. Thus, Can’t Stop, A Star Trek Fan Production is a labour of love inspired by a decades long franchise and made by people who adore it limitlessly. Although the film takes some lighthearted jibes at Star Trek, its heart is in the right place. Radek Belina and crew have made a compelling fan film, one that feels fresh whilst accomplishing much in service of the franchise it celebrates.