Friday, May 8, 2009

Star Trek

Star Trek Trailer
Originally uploaded by AsceticMonk
In this Trek universe James Kirk has grown up rebellious and fatherless because the day he was born his father died saving the lives of the U.S.S. Kelvin crew as it was being attacked by a futuristic Romulan ship captained by Nero. Meanwhile, Spock grows up on Vulcan experiencing a different kind of emotional rift as he is half-Vulcan/half-human and must decide which lifestyle he should choose. Spock enters Star Fleet and rises through the ranks, but Kirk shuns Star Fleet until he is shamed and challenged by Capt. Pike. Three years into the academy Vulcan sends a distress call and Star Fleet sends all of the cadets into active duty allowing Kirk, Bones, & Uhura to join the rest of the Enterprise crew. Once nearing Vulcan Kirk realizes that the disaster Vulcan is experiencing isn’t natural, but the same thing that attacked the Kelvin 25 years before.

Star Trek is unlike any Trek movie I have ever seen and it is all the better for it. JJ Abrams and his writers truly dug into the roots of Star Trek and decided to bring the series back to its core with the original characters, and they returned the original adventurous attitude as well. This is Star Fleet without rules, the impulsive space adventure we all truly want and we get the added bonus of having a Federation universe that is not at peace, it is still at war with the Klingons, Romulans and doesn’t have all the answers.

What is so remarkable about this film is the characters are perfectly acted and written so that they are instantly identified with the originals we know and love without being charicatures or far too predictable. Zoe Saldana is sultry and attitude driven as Uhura; Simon Pegg is hysterical & lovable as Scotty; Anton Yelchin is young, excitable & overzealous as Chekov; John Cho is the perfect blend of cocky & naive as Sulu. On top of that Zarchary Quinto & Chris Pine are beyond perfect representations of Spock & Kirk for a new generation. Not only do they really understand the core of these characters but they understand their relationship and how each man begins to inform the other.

That being said, the single show stealing actor is Karl Urban. Urban was born to play McCoy. From the moment you first hear him, before he ever walks on screen you know that Bones is coming and he captures your attention. He is filled with attitude, heart and that biting wit that always made McCoy a crowd favorite. This may be a bit of Trek heresy but I think that Urban is a better McCoy than Deforest Kelly. Urban is so good that you forget that the other actors are doing phenomenally as well.

What was so great about the writing for these characters is that the writers thought about how to get what the fans would expect in there without making it seem out of place or smack of cliché. Each character has their signature line thrown into the movie, but it happens so naturally that you wouldn’t realize those lines are important unless you are a fan, and eve in you are a Trekkie you might miss them on first viewing.

This movie did the impossible. Abrams has managed to reinvent the Star Trek wheel without throwing the car out of alignment. He pays enough homage to the original films that hard core Trekkies can appreciate it (if they get over their grudges and get to the theatre) but change the timeline so the original films can still be valid. Trek now exists in an alternate timeline. As if that weren’t enough, Abrams has opened Trek up, and people that are completely unfamiliar with the world of the Federation can discover it in an incredibly approachable way.

Go see this movie.

Director: JJ Abrams
Writers: Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman
James T. Kirk: Chris Pine
Spock: Zachary Quinto
Old Spock: Leonard Nimoy
Nero: Eric Bana
Capt. Pike: Bruce Greenwood
Leonard McCoy: Karl Urban
Uhura: Zoe Saldana
Scotty: Simon Pegg
Sulu: John Cho
Chekov: Anton Yelchin
Sarek: Ben Cross
Amanda Grayson: Winona Ryder

Nero: James T. Kirk was a great man... but that was another life.

1 comment:

Stefanie said...

It was a great film. I want to see it again.