Sunday, 10 May 2009

Star Trek

Yesterday I went to see the new Star Trek film.

Well, this is the deal ... killer special effects but that didn't necessarily mean that this would be a good film. What it did mean though was that an incredibly well written script was supported by a huge budget. The effect was electric.

The Plot
Opening up immediately into action, we quickly learn that the USS Kelvin is in danger from a Romulan ship. On board is a brilliantly cast and likeable captain played by Faran Tahir and his second in command is George Kirk - soon to be father of James T Kirk. The Romulan Captain, Nero (Eric Bana), is on a vengence mission and looking for Spock. He rapidly disables the Kelvin, murders the captain and leaves George Kirk in charge. Kirk begins a rapid evacuation and then the worst happens. The Romulans fire again and the autopilot is damaged. Kirk realises he has to sacrifice his life in order to save the crew, his wife and his unborn child.

We were less than ten minutes in, and - I admit - I cried my eyes out as George Kirk died soon after his wife gave birth. And that is saying something. I really don't cry easily at films. But what the director had achieved here, in conjunction with the writer, was an incredibily believable and likeable crew, which was also extremely well cast. All credit must go to them. They established the characters so well and so quickly, you'd have to be inhuman not to be emotionally engaged.

From then on, it was one long thrill after another. The plot was never sacrificed for action (which often happens with modern films). I was on the edge of my seat all the way through. It blew me away so much that I didn't even mind the obvious paradox of both Spocks being in the same time and place later on.

Fans of the original Star Trek series (like myself) will love the humour and use of the typical character taglines all the way through. Sulu gets to fence, Scottie gets to say 'Dilithium' and Spock gets a 'Live long and prosper'.


I would never have thought in a million years that I'd actually accept anyone else as Kirk, Spock, Bones, Uhura, Chekov and Zulu ... never mind Simon Pegg as Scotty! That really was a surprise (and he lived the part too!)

Zachary Quinto (Heroes' villian, Sylar) was so completely Spock that I completely forgot he used to laser people's brains out in Heroes.

Chris Pine as Kirk? Oh yes! It certainly worked for me.

And the rest of the cast gelled so perfectly that I didn't even think about the original crew until later. Of course it was really great to see Scotty 'beam' people up and tell us that he 'cannie' get more out of the engines, when we all knew he would. But even that element of predictability was great.

Overall - 10/10 from me. An absolutely amazing and entertaining film.


J.R. LeMar said...

I agree it was great. It gets a 9 out of 10 for me, only because I would have preferred if they'd skipped the whole time travel/alternate reality plot, and just made this a complete reboot. No need to bother trying to tie this into the original franchise to explain anything. When they made "Batman Begins," they didn't bother trying to explain why it wasn't a prequel to Tim Burton's "Batman." They just made a new movie, and said this is it.

Like it seemed to me that the only reason young Kirk & Spock decided top trust each other is because Old Spock told them each that they MUST become friends, because it will be good for both of them, instead of just having them start to respect each other naturally.

But, regardless of that, I loved it. Up to now, Picard was my favorite Captain, but I think this new guy will make me like Kirk even more. I've seen it 3 times, read the prequel comic-book (which shows the whole Nero/Spock storyline in the future) & just bought the novelization. I'm telling, even just reading the USS Kelvin scene makes me choke up a little.

I also liked the Spock/Uhura romance, that was an interesting twist, which I hope to see explored in future films.

Sam Stone said...

Yes - I felt the same about the Kelvin scene - made cry buckets.