Saturday, May 9, 2009

Star Trek


I wrote this on my Flickr page when the movie came out, and I've copied it nearly verbatim here (my blog was getting neglected thanks to my photo projects).

Today I saw the new Star Trek movie which was done by J.J. Abrams. When I first heard they were recasting Captain Kirk and his crew, I thought I was going to hate it. Throughout the production of the movie, I heard of the changes they made and like a good fanboy, I fumed online about the little details and how J.J. Abrams is going to "ruin everything". When the first trailers came out with a young Jim Kirk driving a car off a cliff I was furious. How could they do this? This didn't look like Star Trek! I was ready to hate the film.

Then the second trailer appeared. I saw glimpses of Captain Pike, and the new starship, and the awesome space battles; I was intrigued, and the sight of the Enterprise gave me goosebumps.

Today I went in the theatre excited and nervous, and I spent the next two hours thrilled. Initially, I was unsure about the casting of James Kirk, but Chris Pine did a rather good job portraying a young, cocky version of the famous captain without doing any Shatner impersonations. Simon Pegg as Scotty was pure casting win, and Karl Urban isn't too bad as Bones McCoy. A lot of people liked Zachary Quinto's Spock, but it still felt a little jarring for me to see Sylar as a Vulcan. However, we still got to see the classic Spock as Leonard Nimoy returned to reprise his famous role again on screen after all these years.

As for the story, I have to hand it to J.J. Abrams for having the guts to do what he did. For a long time Star Trek has been languishing in a stagnant pool. lacking imagination and innovation (I blame Berman and Braga for this). Abrams took Star Trek and made it his own, rebooting the franchise in a manner that's plausible within continuity.

With this reboot, everything that we know about the Star Trek universe has been reset. There are events that change the course of history of the future irrevocably, and at one critical point in the movie something cataclysmic happens (you'll know when you see it) and my jaw dropped. I couldn't believe what had happened. The shockwaves from this movie will be reverberating throughout the discussion boards of Star Trek fans for many months to come.

The movie isn't without flaws. The product placement is glaringly out of place in a future where money is no longer used (and yet communicators are Nokia brand!) and some plot points are glossed over and inadequately explained (such as Spock's story of what happened in the future).

I don't think any other summer flick that follows can top this one for thrills. It was a fun movie, and it's well worth the price of admission.

1 comment:

Juliette said...

I'm still not down with the cataclysmic event. I wish they'd just started frrom scratch without wiping out everything we know and love. It was a good movie though, Simon Pegg was great and I'm sure I will buy the DVD!