Monday, May 11, 2009

76.5 million reasons to love Star Trek

Let me get this off my chest right here and now. STAR TREK WAS AWESOME!!! That's my review. Enjoy.

Just kidding, but only partially. What follows is my more in depth review of Star Trek with some slight spoilers.

First some hardcore Trekkars may not have liked it because it deviates from the stories they know, but if they are smart, and most of them are, and if they paid attention, as I am sure most did, then this should not be an issue, but if you are going in expecting a canon Star Trek movie you will be disappointed because the main reason for this film is to start fresh without having to stick with previous continuity, and they do a damn good job.

The film starts with the arrival of a Romulan named Nero who comes from the future trying to find Spock and destroy him, instead they help destroy a Federation Starship called the Kelvin. What's significant about that is that this never happened in the original continuity and this event alone creates an alternate reality which is where this re-boot takes place. So from this point on everything changes and follows a new path, a path that no Trekkars have gone down before. What else is significant about this event is that it kills Captain Kirk's father, who was an acting captain on the ship after the main captain was killed by Nero. His actions saved 800 people including his wife and their new born son (Kirk). Unfortunately in previous continuity Kirk's dad lived a long life. So right away everything changes. We then do some flash-forwards that compare Spock's life on Vulcan as a half-human half Vulcan as he is growing up under scurnity, and the Rebellious Kirk who has an evil stepdad. (Glock-Glock)

Soon things are put in motion and the young Kirk and Spock end up going to Starfleet academy. Three years pass and the action starts up as the planet Vulcan gets attacked and all spacecrafts are needed to help. So the young cadets are sent to their various ships and the battle begins. Kirk who is under academic probabtion and should not be allowed on a starship until things are on, gets on board the new Enterprise thanks to his best friend Bones McCoy. He discovers that something is not right and tries to convince the captain of the Enterprise, who also happened to be the man who convinced him to enter starfleet Captain Pike. It turns out to be a trap by Nero who decimates Starfleet, but the Enterprise is able to cause some damage to Nero's ship, but in the end Vulcan is destroyed and Spock's mother is killed, two things that did not happen in continuity. Also Spock has been put in charge of The Enterprise by Pike who is kidnapped by Nero. Kirk gets on Spock's nerves and Spock sends him to an ice planet where he is to wait for members of Starfleet who happen to have a base there to pick him up and court-marshall him. But Kirk decides to escape and ends up in a cave where he meets up with Spock! But this Spock is from the previous Continuity where Nero is from also and now he is trapped in this alternate timeline. He ends up helping Kirk get back onto the Enterprise with a little help from Scotty. Kirk is then able to relieve Spock of duty and they set up a plan to stop Nero who is now intent on destroying Earth the same way he did Vulcan.

That's the basic premise. There is a lot more to it but why spoil everything. Now my take on things. I love the idea of the alternate reality because now you can do things you would not have been able to do within the original continuity while setting up new ideas that can be followed up on in future installments. They have pretty much been given a blank check, and that is good. The acting was first rate with Chris Pine as Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Spock being the main characters and both doing an admirable job. But Karl Urban steals the show as Bones McCoy, his very prescence and mannerisms and vocal inflextions mirror DeForest Kelley's McCoy. John Cho and Anton Yelchin were cast fairly well as Sulu and Chekov, Simon Pegg was criminallly underused in the film as Scotty, but his few scenes he was perfect. Zoe Saldana was very cute as Uhura but needed more of a spark and who she ends up dating on the Enterprise is another surprise that could only happen in this Alternate reality. Bruce Greenwood as Captain Pike was perfect as well, and an unrecognizable Winona Ryder played Spock's mom. Ben Cross as Sarek was so good that I thought Mark Lenard the original Sarek was playing him here as well. Needless to say the film is brillant, the story is effective and not confusing, and the effects brillant. Totally an A+, or 5 out of 5.

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