Thursday, May 21, 2009

Star Trek XI

I was never really a fan of Star Trek. Hell, when I was a kid I actively rebelled against my parents' Trekkie tendencies. If Trek was playing somewhere on TV, it was also playing somewhere in my house. While my parents were not extreme Trekkies by any means, I know characters and story lines solely from being around the show as a young child. They have all the movies, a bunch of the books, a Tribble, and, when my younger brother started expressing his enthusiasm at about three years old, they outfitted him with as many action figures as they could get their hands on. My anti-Trek sentiments increased in middle school when I became a huge, hardcore Star Wars fan, but since the prequals have ended, the animosity has decreased dramatically.

For a nerd, Star Trek is just a fact of life. You learn to live with it.

Knowing that, I saw the trailer for this new Star Trek and immediately wanted to see it. It looked action packed and revamp and everything that, if I had ever watched Star Trek, I would have wanted more of. This movie DID NOT disappoint.

The new actors did a fantastic job of freshening up the classic Star Trek crew. The things that everyone had loved about the first crew were there with these new actors. Spock and Kirk have their banter. Kirk and McCoy have their banter. The ship is attacked, people get shaken around, and accented voices yell through the comms from different parts of the ship. A red shirt dies. Hell, Kirk even almost has some sex with an alien. All pretty good times.

I knew from the trailer that Chris Pine (Kirk) had to be good. I was a bit leery of Zachary Quinto as Spock because I know him from Heroes as Sylar, but I didn't see Sylar at all in this movie. He was Spock, and my brain had no trouble equating his character to Leonard Nimoy. Karl Urban as McCoy was a surprise and, to be honest, he played his role well enough that I couldn't quite figure out that it was Eomer up there.1 Simon Pegg was a surprising casting choice and his enthusiasm made him a great choice for Scotty; I really wish he had been in the movie more. Most of the other crew members didn't have that much screen time, but I thought they did a great job.

And in addition, these new actors and the advancement of special effects allowed Star Trek to be more action packed. There are huge effects scenes with fights and explosions and everything I love about science fiction. The ships looked great, the sounds were great, and everything was very well put together. Oddly enough, ILM and Ben Burtt (Star Wars) did most of the effects and sound for this movie.

There were, of course, some things that I didn't like in the movie. The fact that the alternate time line is never put right was weird to me. I have watched one Star Trek movie and it involved a partial alternate time line, but it was fixed at the end. From what I understand, most of the alternate time lines in Trek are resolved, but this one isn't.

Also, the whole love affair thing between Uhura and Spock was weird. And wrong. It just felt off and forced.

But other than that, this was a great movie. It made me, someone who's spent his whole life purposefully not watching Star Trek, think about sitting down and watching all the old shows. I definitely recommend it to anyone even remotely a fan of science fiction or action movies.

1 And I have it on good authority that Urban was an AWESOME 'Bones'. XD

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