Saturday, May 09, 2009
Let me cut to the chase. Go see this movie. It deserves to be the 900 lbs Gorilla of the 2009 summer movie season. Star Trek is BACK! Bring an uninitiated and unwashed non-Trek fan with you and you will BOTH have a great time at the movies. Be warned, Gentle Reader, whether you think you are or you aren’t a fan of Star Trek – you WILL be after you see J.J. Abrams take on the legend. You may want to tell a friend about the great time you had at the movies seeing the new “Star Trek” movie. This friend of yours may say something like, “Star Trek” and wrinkle their nose as if they have just stepped in something they wish they hadn’t. Take heart – the stereotype pendulum swings both ways. They probably do not deserve to enjoy the wonderful bounty and feast for the eyes that the new “Star Trek” film is. Come to think of it, chances are you need better friends anyway.
But enough about your friends, THIS is about STAR TREK.
A little note about me and not to beat a dead horse but one could say that I have more than a passing interest in Star Trek. More to the point, I am a fan; mostly of the Original Series and The Next Generation with a little Deep Space Nine thrown in for good measure. Treks after that – and with all due respect to Seven of Nine, no thanks, I’ll pass. Now you know where I stand. If you want to know further where I stand I recommend checking here: http://evilchickenscratch.blogspot.com/2006/04/reenergized-part-i-of-ii.html, here: http://evilchickenscratch.blogspot.com/2006/04/re-energized-part-ii-movies.html, and here: http://evilchickenscratch.blogspot.com/2009/04/enterprise-project.html.
Now that’s out of the way let’s get down to business… Scratch that. I should also say that there will be mild SPOILERS ahead so if you with to remain pure stop reading now. See you next time and thanks for stopping by.
Ok, NOW let’s get down to business.
J.J. Abrams has delivered. He has re-launched the entire franchise by making a Star Trek movie that everyone can enjoy. Not since “Star Trek II – the Wrath of Kahn” has this feat been accomplished. In fact, STAR TREK is even more accessible to the general populous due to the fact that the story itself is like pressing a giant reset button. This is the cadet crew of the starship Enterprise – but they exist inside an altered timeline. In other words that which was old is new again – in a BIG way. Accepted truths from the original series are now no longer set in stone. The characters are, at their core, still the same it’s their future that is WIDE OPEN. This altered timeline sacrifices sacred cows and promises that it will continue to do so into the future. I love this turn of events in the Star Trek universe. Suddenly, I’m not the only one who can hope that “Voyager” and the last few Star Trek movies with the Next Generation cast just never happened.
Telling a story on film is a collaborative art. The director and the cast has to have a story that they can hang their hats onto. Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman are the ones who helped lift the “Star Trek Movie Curse” (only the even numbered ones are good). Although this STAR TREK has reset everything, technically it is the eleventh in the series. The curse has been lifted. They did not forget that anything with the title of Star Trek should foster hope.
Yes HOPE! Hope for a great many things. Hope that in the future we don’t blow ourselves to kingdom come, hope that the future is one where people have learned to get along – as human beings and, in a greater a scope, in a universe that is teeming with life, and hope that humanity has a place in the cosmos. Star Trek is about a great many things but, rest assured, the greatest of these is hope. Orci and Kurtzman used this to their advantage. I hope that they continue to do so in the future.
The cast is superb. Going into the multiplex, as a fan, you hope for the best, well, the best was what this fan got. In an odd way this film is like welcoming back old friends. All of the principals nail the dismount here. Christopher Pine’s James Tiberius Kirk unites arrogance with ability. Zachary Quinto’s uncanny performance as Commander Spock underlines the emotions of the emotionless and the loneliness of being the character he is. Zoe Saldana’s Uhura is just a joy to behold. Karl Urban channels DeForest Kelly as Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy. John Cho is the folding Katana wielding Mr. Sulu. Anton Yelchin is the 17 year-old math whiz, Ensign Pavel Chekov. Simon Pegg is Engineer, Montgomery Scott. Pegg’s “Scotty” is a force to be reckoned with. Pegg chewed up every scene he was in and made his role, somewhat of a memorial to James Doohan. There is a scene where Scotty is sitting next to another man in the transporter room – that other man is Jimmy Doohan’s son. Brilliant. Then there is Leonard Nimoy as an older Ambassador Spock from the future. I’m smiling as I type this because I know that the director, writers, and actors must have had a great time with working with Mr. Nimoy and the Older Spock character.
I could go on but you should really see it for yourself. The curse has been lifted. STAR TREK is BACK! “The Future is Beginning” at a theater near you.