Friday, May 08, 2009

Star Trek

It's hard to write a review when you're still blown away.

I never considered myself a Trekkie. Sure, I love Star Trek. And sure, I've seen every episode and film ever made. But I love other geek pursuits more. I can tell you when Spider-Man got his black costume but I'll watch an original series episode and forget how it ends. So I'm not going to rail about the details of this movie.

But I am going to gush about it. Finally, a Star Trek movie that doesn't look like a television episode. The later movies shared crews sets and budgets so readily the movies lost what made them special. They were just another episode you had to pay for. Paramount spent $150 million on this. Star Trek: the Motion Picture was considered big budget at the time and doesn't come close to this.

The franchise has grown up. Throughout the 90's it was content to ape the late 80's while newer shows like The X Files ate its audience. This movie has learned not only from the newer Star Wars effects, but from the reboots of Batman Begins and Battlestar Galactica. The pace is quick and the storytelling lean.

I easily accepted the new leads. Chris Pine's Kirk is still an asshole, but he's not a Shatner asshole. Better yet, this Kirk recieves the consequences of being an asshole. He has brusies on his face the entire movie. Zachary Quinto's Spock is not nearly the Nimoy impression I had anticipated. His Spock barely tolerates the humans in his crew. And he does NOT like Kirk. Then there's Karl Urban as McCoy. He made me smile the entire time he was on screen.

The rest of the cast is pitch perfect. And for once, everything is given something to do. Purest may have a problem with the changes to Uhura. But it's Uhura! What did mechelle Michols ever do but answer the phone? And sing all creepy? Sulu gets to fight. Chekov gets to come up with a plan in a ridiculous accent. And Scotty? They make you wait for Scotty. And they make it worth the wait.

The only one who gets the short shrift is Eric Bana as the villain Nero. He's the villain. With enough of a backstory to make him hate the characters. His personal vendetta is a bit oblique and the third act is such a spaceship fight I forgot what happened to him. Its obvious there was such focus on getting the original characters right the new ones suffered. No one will care.

Everything about this movie works. Everything. Sure, I could have used more character in the effects laden climax but that's almost a given for a modern blockbuster. As a movie, it's really good. As the hope for the franchise, it's beyond belief.


Cromely said...

Good to hear. I'm seeing it at the Imax tonight. From the promos I'm impressed with Quinto so far. He doesn't scream "Sylar!" which is what I was worried about. Sylar is such an iconic character, if Quinto can break away from him it's a testament to his acting ability.

Adhi Potoba said...

Question: If a drop of red matter is enough to create a black hole and make an entire planet onto itself, why doesn't a couple of gallons of the stuff in a jar do the same for the spaceship it is in?

Mo Diggs said...

Hahaha, I also forgot the end to the point where I had to see it again. My only complaint with the film was that it ended. Mark my words: the sequel will be even better in the way Dark Knight blew Begins out the water.