Friday, May 08, 2009

Movie Review: Star Trek

I've gotta say that I was impressed. I've never been the biggest Star Trek fan, the original that is. In college, I archived the perfect balance of free time and alcohol abuse that made Next Generation my favorite series for a couple years there, but Kirk, Spock and crew just never connected for me. I enjoyed the better of the movies (how can you deny Wrath of Khan?) , but it just never meant that much to me. So I approached the new movie hesitantly, but I wasn't overly concerned with J.J. Abrahms "crapping on my childhood" or anything like that. Hell, if I was going to try to sell a Trek movie to the general public, I'd do the same thing, start with what everyone know, Kirk, Spock & "Beam me up Scotty!"

So the movie, for an origin story it zips right a long. Starting with Jim Kirk's birth and his Father's death. From there, we get some parallel stories of Kirk & Spock's upbringing, meant to highlight the fact that they grew up outsiders. This is really the only part that kind of fell flat for me. While Spock's story works well, Kirk's only illustrated to me that he was a mouthy little kid who needed a good slap. Plus, that kid looked nothing like Chris Pine.

Anyway, things move quickly from there, getting Kirk etal. through Starfleet Academy via a quick, "Three Years Later"* title and getting us to Kirk's victory over the Kobayashi Maru scenario, which was pretty damn funny. I do like that while Chris Pine nails Kirk's cocky, self-assurance, he's the only one of the actors that didn't attempt to mimic their predecessor's acting style/character tics. It would have been very easy for him to fall into mimicking Shatner's stilted line-readings and that just would've been horrible. The rest of the gang is just great, though I would have preferred a little more of Simon Pegg's Scotty, but hey, you can't get everything you want. All of the characters are given something to so, something that comes from their character and that's the best thing about it, the characters join hand in hand witht he whiz-bang effects to make this just a fantastic film.

The biggest down-fall of the film overall is its villain. Eric Bana gives it a try, though he varies from being the hard-ass, tough-guy, to playing one scene with cocky sarcasm, but he's just kind of there to give something for our heroes to bounce off of. When the sequel comes, I have a feeling they'll have to put a little more effort into the challenge the Enterprise faces.

Overall, I loved this movie, in fact, I plan to see it again tomorrow. Though there are still a few movies coming out this summer that I'm eager to see, I doubt that any of them will rival this one. Now, when's the damn sequel coming out?

*My biggest disappointment about my viewing experience is that the theater mis-framed the picture of the movie, so all of the titles bled off into the curtains. It would have been nice to see the whole thing.

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