Star Trek **Warning : Spoilers**

8 05 2009

Checked it out last night. Took the girls along and met up with the better half, the movies in Broome are great, even with a big release on opening night,  you’re still always guaranteed a good seat – really don’t know how they make money.

And my definitely biased opinion ? Awesome. Capital “A”.

Been a fan since the original series, getting into it late, in the early eighties. Enjoyed (and still do) the later incarnations, but in terms of characters that you really get a feel for, none match up to the original series (TOS) dynamic triumvirate of Captain Kirk, Mr Spock and Dr McCoy.

So this modern prequel of sorts arrived with big shoes to fill. Thankfully,  they had the right man for the job at the helm – JJ Abrams (Lost, Mission Impossible), who has  produced a film that pays respectful homage to the original version, and still delivers an action packed contemporary blockbuster thats expected success (critics and fan reviews  have so far been largely positive) bodes well for a reinvigorated franchise with at least one sequel planned already.

For many existing fans, there was one big  challenge inherent in taking on one of the most anticipated reimaginings to date – the characters. Thankfully, the cast deliver. Kirk and Spock, played by Chris Pine and Heroes’ Zachary Quinto respectively, set the tone with flawless portayals of the key elements identifying the characters played, without resorting to mere imitation of their predescessors (William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy) now legendary (in Shatners case, near-infamous, stilting) form. Quinto in particular gives a moving performance showcasing Spocks ongoing inner turmoil between his logical Vulcan and emotional Human halves.

The rest of the cast also perform well reflecting instantly who they are and where they fit into roles first made famous before many of them were born, yet  at the same time injecting new facets of personality and stamping  their own signatures firmly onto the characters played. Karl Urban was true to form as the irrascible Dr McCoy  – one of the few areas I thought they could have played on more was the 3-sided dynamic that featured so largely in the later (older) series between Kirk, Spock and McCoy. Still,  I suppose these were literally the early days, and the overall quality of the acting gives hope that this may be explored more in later sequels.

Original fans should have little to complain about. Any perceived breaches in established Star Trek canon are dealt a telling blow with the revelation that “this” Star Trek universe is in fact an “alternate timeline” Trek, created by the future Spock (“our” original Spock, played once more by Nimoy) travelling back in time.  A neat benefit of this for the writers means of course they can literally make it up as they go, there being effectively no  requirement at all for consistency with TOS – the main example here being the destruction early on of Spocks entire home planet, Vulcan by Romulan bad guy Nero.  Neros’ role was portrayed solidly enough by Eric Bana, although in keeping with the majority of earlier ST celluloid excursions, coming up with a villain to convincingly menace Kirk et al  seems to be a big ask. Possibly even more so in this story where Neros link to our favourite starship crew is more aligned with Spock than Kirk, our protagonist of choice.

The overall look is both nostalgic and contemporary, with the familiar lines of the Enterprise given a modern twist. Of course we do get to see the ship in all her glory, from the obligatory long panning scenes when Kirk first spies her in Spacedock (thankfully, not the overly protracted scene it was in the the original ST motion picture in 1979) and of course, in full battle-cry, Phasers and Photon Torpedos salvoing gloriously. Many of the effects get a much needed overhaul, while remaining loyal to their respective design cues. The Enterprise punching into Warp was particularly nicely updated.

Overall, a big thumbs up from me, the kids loved it, and most telling, even the wife said it was much better than she expected!  In my book, they nailed it. If your’e a fan, I suspect you’ll be going anyway. If you’re not, but wondering if yet another reimagined  scifi  TV series from the 60s really has a place in our modern world ? Rest assured. This one stands on its own.

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9 responses

8 05 2009
yankeedog

Well, all right! I’m convinced! Looks like a trip to the movies IS in order, then.

8 05 2009
havock21

Me too. Ford Feral..sound bloody good, and not a bad bit of work there either..critic..well doen

18 05 2009
havock21

Seen it Drej, good, but i was kinda a little disappointed, not quite as drag down. knocked out as I thought, lacked..more KILLIN..

18 05 2009
drej

Glad you both enjoyed it, Havoc, theres probably a lot more in this movie for the established fans, but hey, maybe a heap more killin in the next one wouldn’t be a bad idea. And bring back Yeoman Rand I say, played by Scarlett Johannsen I reckon would be about right!

19 05 2009
Traytable

Skipped this post until I had seen it. LOVED IT. I think CP got Kirk spot on, witthout taking the mick too much… The whole Uhura/SPock thing threw me a bit, but i suppose they hqad to chuck something in for the ladies. I really liked how they put humour into a lot of itt, without being to OTT, I like ym trek with laughs as well.

My only complaint is I wish JJ had putt a subtle reference to Kirk’
s shirt always getting ripped… unless I missed it in the bar fight. Now that would have been funny, and something only the fans would ‘get’. People in the cinema were clapping when McCoy came out with ‘Dammit Jim!!!” =D

19 05 2009
drej08

I remember back in the days of TOS there was always speculation of a Spock/Uhura thing, evidenced also by a number of amateur stories written over the years.
I was waiting for Chris Pine to demonstate the James Kirk Flying Double Kick manouevre in a bar fight :0

20 05 2009
uamada

i waited to wade in here until i saw it. wasn’t overly impressed. As strange as this sounds, I found the story derivative of the earlier movies. there was a great opportunity to expand the history without ruining the future. They didn’t take it. I was impressed with the big 3 though. Very impressed.

25 05 2009
drej08

U, all the movies had their flaws, including an awful lot of repetition. Most had enough “Trek” in them to make them still worth watching. Except maybe ST5.
This one I thought had far more positives than negatives overall. Hopefully the sequels will raise the bar again.
Damn it, now I’ll have to see if Franklin Mint have the new Enterprise models available yet 😉

1 06 2009
chazfh

I liked it, plain and simple.

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