Shock's Movie Review: "Star Trek"
First of all, don't worry, I'm not going to give away any of the plot.
;D Secondly, I went and saw it this afternoon, so the movie is still fresh in my mind.
OK, first let me say that I am indeed a fan of the shows (except maybe "Enterprise"; didn't see much of that), and the only two movies I didn't particularly care for were the last two ("Insurrection" and "Nemesis" - Nemesis' plot was pretty stupid, even for me). However, I am not a "Trekkie"; I have never been to a convention, and I don't have any props or costumes or anything like that. I just really enjoyed the shows (and movies), and how they represented my view of the world, and were a reflection of their times. I think the most important thing about Star Trek as a cultural phenomenon is the fact that Gene Roddenberry, it's creator, wanted to present an image of mankind's future as a positive place, where there is no need for war, greed or money, and the pursuit of knowledge of ourselves and the betterment of mankind as a whole would be the most important things we would strive for.
Anyway, at least now you know my view of Star Trek and what I get out of it. On to the new movie.
As you may or may not know, this is essentially an origin story, i.e., it takes place in the years where Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Uhura, Sulu and Chekov begin their careers in Starfleet. We get to see how they were when they were young (at least Kirk and Spock, not the others), and how their upbringing affected who they are later in life. We see the story of James Kirk's father, George Kirk, and how James comes to join Star Fleet. We see the first meeting of Kirk and Spock, and how their relationship grows, how the crew comes together in battle for the first time, and how they learn to become a team.
As far as the casting goes, the producers nailed basically every character. Chris Pine as Kirk shows a mischievous side, and you see how as a young man his brashness and resistance to authority get him into real trouble. Of course, he's a ladies man (as was Shatner as the older Kirk), and you see him as he grows into the role of a leader.
Zachary Quinto was a great choice as a young Spock; he shows a larger range of emotion, and you can really see the inner conflict in him as he battles between being half Vulcan and half human.
The best casting, I thought, was Karl Urban as Leonard "Bones" McCoy. He really plays the part as if he really IS Bones: he's as gruff as DeForest Kelley was as McCoy, always seeing negative sides to things. His life up to that point that we know about would lead anyone to be like he is later in life. And of course he has a few lines that totally remind you of Bones on the old Star Trek original series.
The guy who plays Chekov, Anton Yelchin, does a great job with the thick Russian accent (better that Walter Koenig from the original series), and plays him as a bright, knowledgeable kid (he's 17 in the movie).
Simon Pegg is great also as Montgomery "Scotty" Scott. He's a genius engineer, and in the movie when we first see him, it's obvious he's not where he wants to be, or should be. He also has a great sense of humor, and he has some pretty funny lines.
Zoe Saldana as Uhuru is is a very smart woman, who knows what she wants to do, and is not afraid to tell anyone who stands in her way. She really plays the character how you would imagine Uhura would be in her younger days.
OK, also, Leonard Nimoy plays a pivotal role in the the movies' plot, so I won't give away what he does. Suffice it to say, he's the same old Spock he always was.
Eric Bana plays the movie's villain, a Romulan named Nero, and as the movie plays out you'll see why he is how he is.
Now, my review: this movie was fantastic! The director, J.J. Abrams, is the creator of "Lost" and "Alias". He directs the movie with love and affection for the source material (the original series, and well as subsequent incarnations of the show, and the movies). The movie, as well as the characters, play out not as an imitation of the original series, but they stand on their own as a "re-imagining" of how the characters' early years may have played out, and how they came to be the characters of their older selves. The plot deals with several stories, and the flow of the movie was well-paced. There is plenty of action, plenty of humor, and you really get to feel involved with the characters and get to know and care about them. And, of course, the special effects are top-notch. The scenes in the skies above planet Vulcan (don't want to give away the plot) are fantastic, and the stunts in the film are amazing.
One last thing: If you're old enough to remember the original series, you know that on just about EVERY episode, the guy in the red uniform who always beams down on the away missions ALWAYS bit the dust. The same is true here - it's a GREAT scene, watch for it.
Out of four Vikings, this one gets 4! Whether you're a fan of the show or not, you'll really enjoy it!
PPO Ambassador, Defender of the Purple Faith and Guardian of the Gates of Valhalla