Friday, May 8, 2009

"star trek" movie review

if "quantum of solace" was my must see movie of 2008, "star trek" assumed that role for 2009. james bond did not disappoint, neither did "star trek." the short version, the franchise reboot via prequel was simply awesome. first and foremost it was a movie worth watching in its own right. second, it happens to tell a great star trek story. while some die hard trekkies may scream blasphemy (spoiler alert - if you want to be surprised, skip this review until you've seen the film) the rest should love it.

just like daniel craig restarted the moribund bond franchise with "casino royale," the new fresh faces on board the enterprise should do the same for a new generation of star trek fans (as well as reawaken the interest of us old timers). i didn't become a star trek fan until my law school days in the mid-80's. i got hooked watching midnight reruns of the original series and, so thereafter, fresh episodes of "the next generation." my favorite episodes, actually, are from tng and involve the borg in one manner or another. but i digress.

time travel conveniently alters the lines of the original history and allows for a great lenoard nemoy cameo (we'll gloss over how shatner was frozen out of any appearance in the film). we start off with kirk's dad assuming command of a star ship, the kelvin, for a mere 12 minutes (long enough to save 800+ souls) and while his mom gives birth to kirk during the evacuation of the ship. a dramatic start - but hardly as gripping as the young kirk joy "driving" a cherry red convertible. wild child, wild teen, wild young adult to be?

similarly, the young spock grapples with keeping his emotions under control - in the face some vulcans equally determined to taunt him into losing his cool because his mother is a human. he does slip up that one time (letting some of his human emotions escape). but it is equally fascinating to watch him verbally confront the insulting dean who marvels at how much spock achieved operating under such a disability (clarified: a human mother).

equally cool was the a barroom scene where kirk (not yet vaguely interested in star fleet) tries to meet uhura. he gets beaten down by 4 star fleet block heads - only to be saved (physically and spiritually) by captain pike. trekkies will undoubtedly recognize captain pike from the original first episode of the t.v. series. in this prequel, he assume the mantle of an authoritative and benevolent father figure to kirk.

the only major heresy from the star trek canon (and it is a whopper) is not the potential relationship between kirk and uhura (as contrived as the circumstances were, they did actually kiss on one episode of the original t.v. series). that's a minor cavil when (SPOILER ALERT) we find out that uhura is not interested in kirk because she is in love with spock (who, quite remarkably, for one who is hell bent on suppressing all emotions, reciprocates)! i will admit this plot turn completely blindsided me!

john cho (from harold and kumar fame) plays sulu. and simon pegg ("run fatboy run" among other hilarious comedies) plays scottie. both are great in their roles, and each has a fantastic scene with kirk. i should mention that winona ryder plays young spock's mother. the only disappointing scene in the entire film was the ridiculous creatures that chased kirk when he is marooned on a frozen outpost - and the equally incredulous manner in which he avoids being eaten by them.

that minor quibble aside, this is a must-see movie for trekkies and non-trekkies alike!


Coffee Nomad said...

this new Star Trek is probably the best movie I've seen in the theaters all year; the new cast did an awesome job emulating the originals as did the script writers -- tons of fun

ChickenUnderwear said...

I took my son last night. I walked to the theater reviewing characters with him. Things he "needed" to know. We walked by another father telling his kids similar stuff.

We met the rest of the family for dinner. He said it was better than Star Wars. His twin sister said "I already don't like it"

ChickenUnderwear said...

Oh, and check out the video in my blog for a funny way to make fun of Science Fiction Geeks

CTmarathoner said...

i took my 14 year old son to see Star trek this afternoon --he knew way more about the story line and history than i did...I almost went to see a chick-flick next door while he went to ST but glad i saw it --amazing!! I thought the planet of snow with the monsters was hysterical:)

Anonymous said...

If you are going to have a star trek movie that is the "before/past" of the episodes then the things that are in the movie must relate to the things in the episodes. this movie had many problems regaurding facts.
1) spocks mother was ALIVE in the episodes
2)kirks father couldn't have died because kirk had a younger brother sam... who was in one of the episodes
3)the relationship between spock and uhura made NO SENSE because spock's problem was that he couldn't display emotion...
4)Vulcan was STILL A PLANET in the episodes
5)spock and his father had a dissagreement about the fact that spock wanted to work for the federation and his father wanted him to study on planet vulcan... a dissagreement that lasted for years. in which spock and his father DID NOT SPEAK to each other
6)the main theme of star trek was to not interfere with the happenings of other planets etc. also not to interfere with the future... the future people that invaded were interfering and because of that kirks father dies, and vulcan is destroyed
- the movie was a great movie to see, with all of the action and scenes that had you holding your seat. however for a trekkie, like me, it was a disaster...

ChickenUnderwear said...

I wonder if the anonymous blogger above was featured in the video clip I put on my blog

Relax trekkkie, it is a movie, there are no facts to dispute. Anyway it is an alternative universe.

And I wonder how many blogs you posted that comment on?